Job Order Contracting Best Practices: The Unit Price Book

Job Order Contracting Best Practices: The Unit Price Book

About the Unit Price Book

An accurate Unit Price Book is the cornerstone of any successful Job Order Contracting program because it provides the basis for pricing the program’s every project. Gordian Job Order Contracting programs include a custom Unit Price Book called a Construction Task Catalog© (CTC) that contains local material, labor and equipment costs for the kinds of construction work an owner expects to complete.

A comprehensive and accurate Unit Price Book allows the parties to focus on completing projects instead of negotiating prices. Conversely, generalized or generic task descriptions, inaccurate pricing and missing tasks put a strain on the owner-contractor relationship as the parties engage in contentious negotiations instead of collaborating in pursuit of the same goal: a successful construction project.

Learn more about running a best-in-class JOC program from A to Z, including more info on the importance of using an accurate Unit Price Book, on our dedicated Job Order Contracting Best Practices page.

Why a Local Unit Price Book?

A Unit Price Book containing local costs ensures the project owner pays, and the contractor receives, a fair price for construction work. In some parts of the U.S., the national average for construction prices is higher than the local market; in other parts of the country, the opposite is true. Depending on the economic situation in your local market, using national average pricing has serious financial consequences.

Let’s say the national average price for installing 1,000 square feet of 5/8” drywall is $8,930. But in Anniston, Alabama, the price is for the same work is only $6,620. That means JOC project owners in Anniston will overpay by more than $2,300 for their drywall installation if they use a Unit Price Book with national average pricing. But owners aren’t the only group who benefit from local unit prices. A JOC contractor installing 1,000 square feet of 5/8” drywall in Boston should be paid almost $12,000 for their local market. That means by using a national average Unit Price Book, the Boston contractor is underpaid by more than $3,000.

A local Unit Price Book is good for everyone involved in a Job Order Contracting project. Owners pay a fair market price for construction. Contractors receive fair market value for their work.

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The Importance of a Customized Unit Price Book

Each Job Order Contracting program serves different needs and will be deployed in different ways. A department of transportation, for example, is going to complete far different projects than a public school district. A custom Unit Price Book, containing only the relevant costs for your Job Order Contracting program, creates a more efficient process for project owners and for contractors.

Gordian’s Construction Task Catalog: The Ultimate Unit Price Book

Project owners receive a custom Unit Price Book called a Construction Task Catalog or CTC as part of every Gordian Job Order Contracting program. Think of the CTC like a super-charged Unit Price Book. Each includes more than 275,000 construction work tasks researched and developed by Gordian. Each task includes a detailed description, unit of measurement, unit price and, where applicable, demolition cost. The unit prices contain local direct costs for material and labor. There are a set of technical specifications for each of the construction tasks and general conditions that contain the contract language concerning the execution of the contract. This level of detail aids everyone involved in the project. The procurement office knows exactly what it is paying for. The contractor knows exactly what work to do and how to do it. The facilities team gets a project completed to its satisfaction. Users get a safe and reliable space.

Interested in starting a Gordian Job Order Contracting program with a custom Construction Task Catalog? Contact to us to get started.