To understand Construction Estimating one must also understand plan reading and construction techniques. This book is designed to teach the construction student these three core skills in equal measure. Using hundreds of plans, sketches, and photos, the book builds case studies of the major construction divisions including concrete, masonry, carpentry, and more. Over forty cases are divided into sections following a specially designed format:

Plans: Scale drawings of floor plans, sections, or elevations.

Plan Interpretation: The drawings are explained with comments.

Scope of the Work: A written description of the boundaries of the work is given for each section.

Construction Techniques: The construction processes and their sequence are explained.

The Takeoff: A takeoff is shown at the end of each section.

This approach helps foster confidence in plan reading, building methods, arithmetic, takeoffs, and estimates. The various products and terms used in the industries of structural steel, doors and hardware, and roofing are defined. The shop drawing process is explained, which is so important in many industries, as well as the role of and difference between manufacturers, fabricators, and suppliers/distributors. The book ends with a study of "front end" documents, including Division 00 General Conditions, AIA 201, and Division 01 General Requirements, and a chapter on Ethics. This textbook can be used to teach a variety of classes including plan reading, construction techniques, and estimating 1 and 2 (takeoffs and pricing).

chapter |4 pages


part Part 1|26 pages

Plans and specifications

chapter 1|5 pages

Reading plans

chapter 2|15 pages

Plan types

chapter 3|4 pages

The specifications

part Part 2|22 pages


chapter 1|5 pages


chapter 2|11 pages


chapter 3|4 pages

A short history of bonding and liens

part Part 3|91 pages


chapter 1|6 pages


chapter 2|12 pages

Isolated concrete pads

chapter 3|10 pages

Continuous concrete footings

chapter 4|15 pages

Slabs on grade

chapter 5|12 pages

Monolithic slabs

chapter 6|12 pages

Concrete walls

chapter 7|7 pages

Concrete columns

chapter 8|8 pages

Concrete beams

chapter 9|7 pages

Elevated concrete slabs

part Part 4|58 pages


chapter 1|7 pages

Products and metrics

chapter 2|9 pages

Foundation blocks

chapter 3|15 pages

Single-story block walls

chapter 4|11 pages

Multiple block wall heights

chapter 5|8 pages

Sloping block walls

chapter 6|6 pages


part Part 5|38 pages


chapter 1|15 pages

Structural steel

chapter 2|14 pages

Steel joists and steel decks

chapter 3|7 pages

Miscellaneous steel

part Part 6|51 pages


chapter 1|6 pages

Products and metrics

chapter 2|10 pages

Floor framing

chapter 3|21 pages

Wall framing

chapter 4|12 pages

Ceiling and roof framing

part Part 7|23 pages

Thermal and moisture protection

chapter 1|7 pages

Asphalt shingles

chapter 2|5 pages

Metal flashing

chapter 3|4 pages

Metal roofing

chapter 4|5 pages

Moisture protection and waterproofing

part Part 8|14 pages

Door and window openings

chapter 1|12 pages

Doors, frames, and hardware

part Part 9|22 pages


chapter 1|11 pages

Metal studs

chapter 2|9 pages

Gypsum board

part Part 10|6 pages


part Part 11|45 pages

Construction documents

chapter 1|5 pages

What is (and isn’t) a contract document

chapter 2|26 pages

Division 00 General Conditions

chapter 3|12 pages

Division 01 General Requirements

part Part 12|16 pages