Construction Cost Reference Book

There's a book published by Design & Construction Resources out of Vista, California called "Architects, contractors & engineers guide to construction costs". The 2007 edition is selling for $52.95 plus $8 shipping. Anyone ever use this? What's your take on its usefulness?
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Resources such as those quoted are generally reliable "guidelines" not to be confused with actual costs which are accrued during specific phases of any given endeavor. R.S. Means has also published this type of cost data for many years. The fact that they remain doing so must indicate the data has merit but again, as a guideline.
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On Mon, 25 Sep 2006 14:28:49 GMT, "clintonG"

I used to use these costing books until about 2 years ago when the price of everything went through the roof (Regina, Saskatchewan).
Budget books are now out of date before they even hit the printer. The price of materials has gone up roughly 110-200% depending on the demand and local labour is almost impossible to obtain because of the acute draw of people to the oil sands area in Northern Alberta. You want electricians? Be prepared to pay OT because the only free day they might have is Sunday. Heck, some places even had a quotas or limits on portland cement! How does $350/m3 sound for concrete? The price of steel changes DAILY so it depends what time of day you call the supplier what price you'll get! Albeit, some of the cost fluctuations are due to Katrina and the rebuild efforts. Heck, we've had reports of desperate Americans coming up here with semis and buying truckloads of material to ship back south....
Contractors around here are just about ready to throw up their hands when somebody asks them for a quote that they can hold for 60 days! So everybody adds in a premium for what they THINK the price will go up in the interim.
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