An introduction to the need for validation
I recall the days of checking my math with a calculator that had a roll of paper to keep track of each calculation. Once I submitted a bid, I stapled the roll of paper to the sheet as a record that I had checked the math. When working in a spreadsheet today, I often include check totals to help determine if I made any formula errors.
While cost estimating at an architect’s office, I created a Sage Timberline Estimating replacement using Microsoft Excel. This worked rather well and even included a $/sf per CSI graph. As I developed the estimate, I could easily see how it compared to similar work. If CSI 05 Metals was off the charts, I would check for errors in the quantity takeoff or pricing section.
No matter what technology you use, developing a way to validate your means and methods might well be worth the effort.