Common Estimating Conversions and Formulas

April 6, 2022

The only estimating calculator you’ll need is already built in.

When 1build hears from the incredible contractors we work with each day, there are a few topics that always come up about how 1build can helped their businesses grow. First is winning more projects. The second is a good resource for those estimating formulas that turn a handful of measurements into a professional estimate. So, rather than switching between your estimating calculator and your bid sheet, 1build made it possible to enter these common conversions and formulas directly into your estimate line item. Then we pull from the latest local cost data for material, labor, and equipment, and you are done estimating before your superintendent turns in for the night.

Below we’ve included specific formulas for trades like framing, demolition, and drywall. We also included all the unit of measure conversions you’ll need to take your 2-D drawings into real life.

Even professional estimators learn one formula at a time. Here we go!

Electrical

To convert Square Feet to Cubic Yards:

Total SF * Depth (or Thickness in Lineal Feet) / 27 = Cubic Yards

To Convert Lineal Feet to Cubic Yards:

Total LF  * Width (in Lineal Feet) * Height (Lineal Feet) / 27 = Cubic Yards

To Convert Lineal Feet to Square Feet:

Total LF * Height (in Lineal Feet) = Square Feet

TIP: This can be used for things like wall area for drywall & insulation. This can also be multiplied by additional factors for things like double layers, etc.

To Convert Lineal Feet to Each (for studs):

Total LF / Spacing (in Lineal Feet) = Each

TIP: This works best for stud counts and items where you measure a distance, then figure how many items are there from the indicated spacing

To Convert Lineal Feet to Each (for board counts from total LF):

Total LF / Length (in Lineal Feet) = Each

TIP: This works best for board counts and items where you measure a distance, then figure how many items are there from the length of the desired board/material

To Convert SF to Each:

Total SF / SF per piece (think of a 4’x8’ piece of drywall) = Each

TIP: This works best for piece counts for things like drywall or plywood where each sheet covers a certain amount of square feet (e.g. 480 Total SF / 48 SF per sheet (4’x12’) = 10 sheets)

Quick Guide to decimal conversions from Inches to Feet (1-11 inches):

1” = 0.0832” = 0.1663” = 0.254” = 0.3335” = 0.4166” = 0.57” = 0.5838” = 0.6669” = 0.7510” = 0.83311” = 0.916

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