Understanding Project Manuals


What to look for?

Understanding Project Manuals, or “Spec Books”, is another skill that is critical. Along with blueprints, they enable us to assemble an accurate bid. These documents are typically provided by the customer, on most larger projects. Usually you will be provided with an FTP site link where you can download the “Plans and Specs”. Once you have these “Bid Documents”, you can either print them or import them into your estimating program, such as OST (On Screen Takeoff), eTakeoff, or a number of free programs that you can access from certain sites such as iSqFt or BXWA.

Understanding Project Manuals and Their Formatting

Spec books follow a set format (with some variations). They are the architects’ tool for conveying to us what to do and how to do it. The several Divisions, with their sections and subsections, are broken down for you in detail. Critical sections and items are pointed out for you,. Also, I point out many pitfalls to be avoided. I gladly share with you the important things I have learned over a thirty year career, in an effort to help you avoid those potentially costly mistakes that many have learned the hard way, through trial and error.

Attributes of an Excellent Coach Teach from Book

Paint Contracting and Estimating will also walk you through the “Discovery” process, pointing out the things you need to focus on. Much of this information may surprise even experienced estimators. There are a number of details that are not always apparent when you are looking for information about the painting scope of work. I provide a structured approach to working through the Project Manuals. I also give tips on how to organize your methods so you will avoid missing critical details. Many tips from years of lessons learned will hopefully save you a considerable of difficulties. Understanding project manuals, and knowing what to look for and where to find it, will increase your speed in putting your bids together Also, it will help you learn how to generate a higher volume of bids.



About the Author

Lynn Jackson began his painting career over twenty years ago under the watchful eye of a master painter. After many years of learning and perfecting his trade, working both on his own and for contractors, he finally settled in Northern California.

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