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Has Anyone Tried National Building Cost Estimator Software?

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grotorooter

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RSW

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I've not tried it. I use the M&S Residential Express software program. I like it a lot.
 

Mile High Trout

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This sounds similar to the home depot cost estimator book that showed up a few years ago.

Stick to Marshall & Swift residential cost handbook, it's much easier to use, and is still the industry standard used by a huge amount of appraisal peers. You can write it off, so if you can manage to actually earn, not loose, in this appraisal environment, it's worth it.

Consider the use: it's not for appraisers, marshall & swift is. If you were a general contractor, it sounds like a great idea. I looked at it, it seems like a more reliable tool for job bidding. The issue is that it seems to be too ambitious, covering far beyond residential. The all encompassing blanket of cost data, I would feel is less reliable, because they have not committed to one area or the next. M & S is residential, seriously, why are you trying to be cheap about the M & S.

Make sure you include this text in your cost approach: "The cost approach is an independant approach to value, to be considered alongside other approaches to value, it is not intended to be used for insurance underwriting." Insurance people have been known to hold you to that cost approach data, make sure you have a disclaimer, and clearly state your source for the data.
 

Terrel L. Shields

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Contrare to above. The National Building Cost Manual is available as a book. Also, the CD above I believe is merely a digital copy. It is not calculating software.

They do make that for their construction and repair estimating books, but those are strictly useful for doing engineering break down appraisals where you itemize every single item. They are designed for bidding on jobs. I keep one for estimating cost to cure however.

The NBC manual, on the other hand, is a SF cost book. And it is for appraisers, etc. It is simple to use and it covers a wide range of buildings. Frankly, I ditched M & S years ago. M & S gets more for their Ag software than 15 copies of NBC alone. And NBC had ag buildings, residential, multifamily, military, and commercial applications.

R. S. Means also has a slew of books on construction and construction standards. But the one book that is very useful for residential appraisers is The Means Residential Square Foot Costs 2008 guide. Means has been around since 1942. The SF guide is $39.95 list price (cheaper on Amazon I bet). The National book list price for 2008 is $33.
 

Ray Christ

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Apr 17, 2002
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Wisconsin
I have the CD. I find it very cumbersome to work with from the perspective that there are so many items to select from and there is no list for easily gathering the data in the field.

I have spoke with them and said it was not something they thought of and would consider.
 

DaveH

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Ohio
We use the online version and love it. No Problems with anything, and are buying the CD's for more detailed work.
 

Terrel L. Shields

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have the CD.
You have the construction CD I bet. That is NOT a SF cost book like M & S. But the National Building Cost Manual is...don't confuse it with the National Constructor Estimator which has the CD - its for bidding purposes.

Likewise, you can get a Means estimating book but you want the SF Cost Manual
 
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