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Iii Estimated Total Cost

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III. ESTIMATED TOTAL COST Having established the foregoing facts, the estimator is now prepared to decide' upon the total amounts for completing the work under the items of classification III, enumerated above.

A—Storage. He must make a list of the ap proximate amount of material to be kept con tinually on hand, which will vary with different classes of work and the facilities that must be provided for storage. Where a stock pile is to be used, the preliminary work of getting ready the ground, erecting a handling plant, etc., is a part of this item, which also includes the salary of the storekeeper who looks after not only the storage of the material but also that of plant and supplies. The cost of rehandling material may be classified either as storage or as preparatory charges. The storekeeper, supplies, stationery, coal to warm the storehouse, as well as necessary materials for labor, should not be forgotten. For the total cost of storage, 5 per cent of the actual value of small tools and material, ignoring stor age of large plant on average construction work, is liberal.

B—Bonus or Discounts. This item depends largely upon the particular business followed. If the contractor is figuring to earn a bonus on the contract price by getting through before the time limit, such being provided in the contract, it should appear in the estimate; and, as offset ting this, what he can lose by delay should also appear in the estimate. Not many months ago, one of the largest cities in the United States paid for a considerable amount of work in bonds at par, which several contractors, needing the money, sold at a discount of not far from 3 or 4 per cent, as it was not convenient for the city to raise the money on short notice. It is safe to say that this had not been figured on in their estimates.


Charity or Accidents. This is an item about which it is practically impossible to give advice in advance. The first part of it covers a good many sins and other things in contract work; while accidents are generally provided against, as far as possible, by insurance. Where

the insurance companies refuse to insure, the contractor has got to provide against this item in the estimate somehow; and it is well to esti mate the rate that the insurance companies would be likely to insure for if their rules did not prevent them from doing so, and to multiply this rate by about two.

A contractor is supposed to assume certain risks; but, as pointed out by Colonel Raban, of the Institution of Civil Engineers of Great Britain, it is another question whether all of the risks should be put upon the contractor. Risks from weather, the problems of handling men, and the general vagaries that go with all construc tion work, are probably the contractor's risk; but, when held up by strikes, or by eventualities that are not peculiar to his line of business, it seems unreasonable to shift these risks to the contractor's shoulders, and thus needlessly raise his estimate.


Depreciation. No other part of the esti mator's task will call for the exercise of more careful judgment than the determination of the percentages of depreciation.

F--Fire Insurance. For brick buildings and for dwellings and their contents, the present rate, 1909, in the eastern part of the United States ranges from per cent to per cent for three years. For a plant such as is in use in the Hudson River Trap Rock Quarries, the present rate is from 2 to per cent per year. The rates vary widely with different localities and with different kinds of buildings or equipment insured; and where a general approximation is not sufficiently definite, the estimator will have to go to the nearest fire insurance agent, who, with the idea of getting business, will be so keen to furnish him with information as to make it a pleasure to ask for it.

H—Rent. This depends entirely upon the local conditions, and can be obtained by the writ ing of a postal card to some representative agent in the vicinity.

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