What is the AWI Estimating Seminar About?

An Architectural Woodworking Institute educational presenter provides a thumbnail description of AWI's two-day estimating seminar. November 11, 2005

I am planning on attending the AWI Estimating Seminar in Nashville, TN. Has anyone ever been to this seminar and what did you think about it? Is it geared towards a custom cabinet market, or will it apply to all markets within the cabinet industry?

Forum Responses
(Business Forum)
From contributor A:
You may get a response from one of the Estimating presenters, but I am a long time AWI member, a presenter on the Project Management seminar, and I have been part of the Estimating seminar both as a student, and as an observer, as we have tried to coordinate and develop the two seminars together over the years.

The Estimating seminar teaches an operational method of estimating that is distinct from the lineal foot, anecdotal, by guess and by golly methods that are so common in this business. The seminar uses the AWI Costbook, which is a compilation of standard times for specific woodworking operations from S4s lumber to panel cutting, to dadoing, to assembling of various types of products and joinery. It does not teach you that these are the right times for your shop, or that you have to use the Cost Book to estimate operationally, but rather how to look at your operations and develop labor costs that fit your business. Additionally, you will learn about materials takeoff, waste factors, and how to generate accurate materials costs, overhead, markups, profit, takeoff methods for architectural plans, accurate listing, proposals, contracts etc.

They cover estimating examples and problems for millwork items such as casework, stile and rail doors, door frames, trim, ornamental items, finishing, and installation. They touch on the way that the AWI Quality Standards and the Quality Certification programs impact estimating, and there is a wealth of anecdote, example and exchange that communicate the essential tricks of the trade. I'm sending my junior estimator to Nashville, and I'll be there myself teaching a one day Project Management 101 class.

From the original questioner:
Thanks for the advice. I was looking forward to attending and I think it would be very helpful and informative for me. But my boss has gotten the idea into his head that it is geared towards the custom cabinet market and doesn't think it will benefit us. I know otherwise, but he is the one that has to approve it, so maybe I can catch it next year.