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Dave Exten leads the estimating department at Case Architects & Remodelers in Washington, D.C. where estimating happens in steps and phases. It’s a process that’s been honed over more than 50 years. In episode No. 3 of the Design-Build Central podcast, co-hosts Bruce Case and Bill Milholland interview Exten to unpack the process for their listeners.

Pricing design/build projects poses unique challenges.

First, every project is custom – the existing conditions, the team members, the clients, the design solutions, the access. Second, we have to bring costing together from a myriad of sources including distributors, trade specialists, and direct providers often 6 months before we even start the project. Third, we should break down our estimates into cost codes and segments so that we can better compare actual to estimated costing to inform future adjustments.

Learn how Case estimates over 700 projects/schemes per year and manages to stay within one or two points of the estimating cost. QR

Editors Note: Dave Exten will be a featured speaker at F.A.S.T. Remodeler Live, May 14-15, 2024 in Austin, Texas. To learn more and register go to

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