Shortly after I published Nail Your Numbers, I began receiving emails full of questions and suggestions from a fellow named Joseph Hough. At the time, Joe was working as a carpenter and studying engineering in Vancouver. For me, that would be a full load. But Joe was somehow finding time to give Nail Your Numbers as attentive a going over as any of my books has ever received from a reader.

When Joe had completed the book, he asked me to send him an exam on estimating and bidding. I did; and a couple of months later, I received his answers to the exam questions.

As I read Joe’s answers, I began to appreciate that he had achieved a better understanding of estimating and bidding than many of the veteran builders I had interviewed for Nail. To be sure, there were a couple of topics that I suggested Joe revisit. In response, he asked me to give him some direction, but I said, “no,” telling him to figure matters out for himself. And that’s when the idea for this article crystallized.

Read More