Estimating, Preconstruction and Bidding


In the construction process, the estimator not only predicts project cost, but also recognizes potential risks that might result in delays or financial losses. Designed for construction professionals, this course presents methodologies and processes necessary for developing accurate estimates. Through real-world examples and case studies, you’ll examine the foundations of cost estimation, practice with common tools and the latest technologies in the profession and explore shifts in the industry related to Lean Construction practices. By the end of this course, you will possess an understanding of the essential principles of estimating in order to produce more reliable estimates for your projects.

Learning Outcomes

  • Perform basic estimating functions
  • Identify potential risks and predict how to minimize risk
  • Analyze regional and aggregate market conditions
  • Apply methods and technologies associated with quantity take off
  • Differentiate the bidding process between public versus private projects, and adapt your estimating accordingly
  • Develop a reliable estimate using Target Value Design concepts

Skills You Will Gain

  • Estimation software
  • Risk assessment
  • Target Value Design
  • Applied math
  • Analytics
Academic Units
Section Number
Instruction Method
Online class

Section Notes

This is an online course with class materials that can be accessed throughout the week. The course is structured to move from one week to the next.

Access to the online course platform, Canvas, will be granted to students one business day before the scheduled start date of the course.

Textbook information will be updated on this course page under Section Course Materials at least one month before the start of the course.

Prerequisite: Construction Plan Reading and Specifications or a student must have the following:

  •  Knowledge on how to follow detail path flow; understanding detail progressions starting from larger to smaller views of the same subject/item(s)
  •  Basic overview knowledge of On Screen Takeoff (or similar estimating software)
  •  Knowledge on how to apply the appropriate plan detail information as it relates to needed estimate takeoff quantities
  •  Be able to comfortably maneuver through plans and understand bearings

Certificate students: Students must earn a grade of C or higher (not a C minus) in order for this course to count towards the requirements for the Construction Management Certificate. Courses applied towards the Construction Management Certificate must be completed within five years.

Enrollment Policies

Refund deadline: 4/16/2024. Refunds and/or enrollment transfers (minus a $30 processing fee) will not be approved after this date. Click here to view complete enrollment policy information including details on withdrawals and transfers.

Students have the first week of class to enroll with the understanding that students who enroll after the first day of class are expected to reach out to their instructors to make sure they receive all content and are on track with the course.

Technical Requirements

All elements of this class will be conducted online. Students must have a computer with access to the internet and an email account in order to complete this course. Students must be able to download and upload files from and to the online classroom. To ensure your success in this course, please review our technical requirements page.

Section Course Materials

Estimating in Building Construction

Students may buy materials from any online source, provided that they obtain the specified edition. Materials purchased directly from the publisher are available in print or digital options.
Steven J. Peterson & Frank R. Dagostino


Early Enroll Discount

Enroll 14 days before the course start date to save $50 on the course fee.

Info Session Discount

Attendees of UC Davis Continuing and Professional Education Information Sessions may be eligible for $100 discount on a class by entering the Coupon Code provided at the Information Session.  Contact UC Davis Continuing and Professional Education Student Services office, at (800) 752-0881, if you have questions about this discount.


Members can receive 10% discount on the course fee by entering the Coupon Code.  If you don’t have your association discount code, contact UC Davis Continuing and Professional Education at (800) 752-0881.


Members can receive 10% discount on the course fee by entering the Coupon Code.  If you don’t have your association discount code, contact UC Davis Extension Student Services at (800) 752-0881.