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  #1  
Old 12-14-2011, 06:02 PM
natgeo natgeo is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
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Default Building-cost.net vs. National Construction Estimator

I know the cost approach data supplier issue has been hashed over before. But I am wondering if there is any difference between building-cost.net which uses data from Craftsman and the National Construction Estimator currently available for download from Craftsman’s web site for $44.99? Specifically, has anyone used both and is there any benefit of one vs. the other in terms of ease of use, data provided, etc.? Also, if you have used both, have you estimated the same property and did the numbers come out the same? I am as cheap as the next guy, but am willing to pay the $45 bucks if there is a benefit.
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Old 12-14-2011, 06:13 PM
Terrel L. Shields's Avatar
Terrel L. Shields Terrel L. Shields is offline
 
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If you use it regularly, the CD is way handier imho...

and the print out documents the figure better

Also, I recommend you buy the BOOK with the CD and on Amazon it is as cheap as the home site. The book provides you the very valuable historical Index. If someone has an outbuilding and tells me they built it in 1999 for $15,000, then the RCN for that outbuilding is $15,00 x the multiplier...
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  #3  
Old 12-14-2011, 06:37 PM
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I use Building-cost.net

I take it that the CD is a software that is downloaded on your PC so it gets updated regularly? With the construction costs changing like it is, it would have to.
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  #4  
Old 12-14-2011, 06:46 PM
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IMO, unless you're keeping a boots on the ground running tab on local builder costs from builders and developers there is no meaningful difference between published cost sources.

It's supposed to be YOUR cost estimate, not the cost sources estimate. Use the sources as a guide in estimating costs.
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  #5  
Old 12-14-2011, 06:49 PM
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Sid Holderly Sid Holderly is offline
 
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Building-cost.net is usually higher than Marshal & Swift for Mid-North rural Indiana. I still use it from time to time, the on-line one, for a quick reference.
  #6  
Old 12-14-2011, 07:11 PM
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and free
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  #7  
Old 12-15-2011, 10:21 AM
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Steve Metz Steve Metz is offline
 
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Builders Cost .net is better in my area than M&S.
  #8  
Old 12-15-2011, 12:28 PM
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Mike Garrett, RAA Mike Garrett, RAA is offline
 
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Cost approach? I don't do no stinkin cost approach....but if I did Marshall/Swift would be my choice even though it's more expensive.
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  #9  
Old 12-15-2011, 01:09 PM
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Terrel L. Shields Terrel L. Shields is offline
 
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NBC data is updated quarterly on line.

RSMeans (Reed Construction), NBC, and many other vendors (M & S, too) rely upon data that they apparently obtain from research organizations, suppliers, or trade groups that actually are the "boots on the ground". They simply parse the info differently.

Craftsman's update icon is actually on my toolbar. BTW, I think this (2012)will be the first year that Dave Ogershok did not edit the issue. My 2012 issue came this week.

I poll local builders and costs but I find the actual CONSTRUCTION costs are changing very little year to year. But when I have good cost data on a plans and specs and I have the land value, then I actually compare that to the sales price later when the property sells. (We've only had maybe 4 nearby sales I have worked the past year.) The difference between the sales price less land price = the cost WITH Entrepreurial profit and the costs given me are usually close to cost book... The gap is that EP. We had a spec house of 1,430 SF, lots were selling $22,000. Cost was $78 a SF~ Actually sold for $140,000 - about $6,500 for EP. The builder also actually does the work so he made the builders profit (which is included in cost books) One brother is concrete and brick man. One frames, roofs, does the final. They hire out sheetrockers, electrical, plumbing, and do most of the rest. They continue to build 3 to 5 homes a year. And mom and one brother are Realtors...they try to keep dad off the Bobcat and mower...he started this 30 years ago and a serious wreck slowed him down a year or so ago.
Quote:

How often is the data updated, and does RSMeans send out updates?
The RSMeans database is entirely reviewed and updated annually. The data found in the cost publications, CostWorks CD and MeansCostWorks.com online is new each year. RSMeans does not "send out" updated pricing. However, there is a quarterly update to the city cost index available that is based on a variety of "key" materials
(Engineering News Record)
Quote:
Where does ENR get its data?
ENR has price reporters covering 20 U.S. cities who check prices locally. The prices are quoted from the same suppliers each month. ENR computes its latest indexes from these figures...
Quote:
Where can I obtain data on construction costs in Florida or Arizona, or other states that ENR does not collect cost data from?
There are three major firms that collect construction cost data -- R.S. Means, Marshall and Swift/Boeckh, and BNI Books -- all of which have data for most regions of the U.S., including Florida and Arizona.
And for you Cannucks...
http://www.ciqs.org/public.asp?WCE=C=47%7CK=107909

very interesting listing of sources

http://www.planningplanet.com/wiki/5...adsheets-today
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Last edited by Terrel L. Shields : 12-15-2011 at 01:20 PM.
  #10  
Old 12-17-2011, 06:16 PM
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VolcanoLvr VolcanoLvr is offline
 
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I'm constantly amazed at the number of appraisers who think they are experts in providing a properly supported replacement cost of a dwelling. There are too many variables. Cost services are only estimates. Builders don't even know the true cost until the keys are handed over to the buyer just before closing.

This is just another example of 'scope creep' where the lenders have said "just let the appraiser do it" but of course don't pay us for the additional service. They and we are foolish. The CA began nationally in the 1960's with the Green Hornet appraisal form adopted by most lenders.

The reason why the CA is asked for is so they can calculate INSURANCE. Are you an insurance agent? That's their responsibility.
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