To use your own data to find hrs/BF or hrs/SF, divide average hours used for each framing task by total SF or BF of materials used. (BF = thickness x width [in inches] x length [in feet] ÷ 12). This table shows figures for tasks associated with framing and sheathing a typical exterior wall.

In my previous column, I began a discussion about how I create a "unit" for a unit price estimate. I used framing 20 linear feet of a typical 8-foot-high exterior wall as an example and described how to do the materials take-off using a sketch.Labor is more difficult to estimate. The time it takes to do a task is subject to a multitude of issues that have had estimators pulling out their hair for decades. While there is no "silver bullet" formula for estimating labor that will work for everybody, there are some procedures that I am fairly sure will...