RSMeans Data Online is cloud-based access to a comprehensive database of construction costs in North America. The application details costs for materials, equipment, labor and productivity at the unit, assembly and square foot level of detail.
There are three tiers designed to equip users with the appropriate tools for executing a wide variety of different construction projects including capital planning, conceptual estimates, unit and assembly estimates, cost validation, facilities maintenance and repair.
Within the estimating application, RSMeans Data Online offers quick cost lookup, Excel export and reference by CSI’s MasterFormat. Costs are further grouped by project type, allowing users to select the dataset that best fits their needs.
RSMeans Data Online is deployed in the cloud and is compatible with Mac and Windows operating systems. The solution is iPad and tablet compatible allowing remote access to data. Support is offered via email, phone, product tutorials and through an online knowledge base.
Jim R. Branche: Bau Mitarbeiteranzahl: 10.001+ Mitarbeiter
The online version is great. I like not having about 4 tons of outdated cost books in my file cabinet. I like being able to see what an estimate would cost in the past just by changing to an older data set. The SF cost estimator feature is really good. The one complaint is the structural types to choose from never quite matches what we actually build here in Utah. It seems it is very "east coast" oriented. The cost gets pricey if you want something different than their preselected data set packages. I don't like the fact you can't just pick and choose data sets ala carte. I also wish the formulas would export with the SF cost reports. I waste alot of time recreating links and formulas after exporting to excel.
I like that it has just about everything you would need to price out for all types of construction.
Sometimes as an estimator you use your own template and you use RS-Means as a resource for costs and product descriptions. The software doesn't allow to right click copy and paste text feature so I have to jump through alot of hoops to export the estimate in Means to an Excel report and then copy and paste from there.
Michael R. Branche: Bau Mitarbeiteranzahl: 2-10 Mitarbeiter
There are a few things that make this program very frustrating to work with. The biggest issue is trying to scroll through the data after you search for something. Say "Doors" the database has like 1000 items that are related to doors and it will generate the first 40 or so items in the screen but when you go to scroll down in the window to see more - it takes a while for the new data to generate - and I have a fast connection 100 MB/S so it is not the internet. But that is not the issue - it is the fact that if you scroll too fast and the website has to search for more data, then the entire screen scrolls up and you have to continuously grab the bar and scroll back down. It happens also when you scroll up the entire screen will scroll down and then you have to scroll back up... The other issue is the width of the columns - the allow you to size the columns that way you want them but the column bar is like one pixel wide and for you to point your mouse at exactly the right location on the screen to get the column bar to size the column takes FOREVER !! I have wasted like 6 hours out of 300 trying to resize the columns - the problem is that you can not see the material, labor and equipment prices until you either resize the columns or continuously scroll to the right and then you have to scroll back the left in order to check the item that you want to add to your project - so it is continuously moving back and forth and up and down - NO GOOD
Great data, excellent product database, great Square Foot model, I have the full blown professional version which comes with unit prices, assembly prices and square foot models for all types of buildings for all divisions for all locations throughout the USA. By zip code, you can set the labor type - union or open shop ...
Too costly - I paid $$$$ for the full blown version and it is missing some components. Such as LED light fixtures SF costs. Columns are hard to adjust. The layout of the website is not user friendly. To create a SF Model is not user friendly at first. It needs to be more intuitive, and easier to follow. The first thing you have to do is name the project in order to generate any kind of data out of the SF model - well the Name Cell is way down the bottom of the web page - and not up near the top - so if you select the type of building you want and size etc -- it will not generate a SF model .... I have been using RS Means for over 10 years - I started using it in 2004 and they had CD versions then they came out with one license agreements for a server type version - then it was named Costworks - I truly loved the CD version of RS Means Costworks - The best part of having CD is if you lose internet you are not out of business like I was the other week!!! For over 8 hours I had no power in my house therefore no internet and using a Hot Spot does not do the trick when you are searching a database with over 30,000 items....
Wait for the fixes and wait for the price to come down. The Gordian Group purchased the RS Means product and now they have a system in place where as soon as you type a complaint or email an issue - someone on the other end sends you an email reply saying that it has been fixed .... Well 99% of the time it has not been fixed - the people (upper management) of Gordian need to relax their policies and not make it mandatory to close an issue the day it was created --- People are just pushing papers and they have lost the customer relations part of the process. You get a lot of emails stating that it has been brought up to the engineers attention and that the database creators are aware of the issue and that fixes are coming and the next version will or may or may not have these fixes included .... Not Good - I think to change the thickness of a column should take a few minutes???
Daniel R. Branche: Architektur & Planung Mitarbeiteranzahl: 2-10 Mitarbeiter
As an occasional user (maybe once a month); it is difficult to use this any more than is absolutely necessary. As it is, with each use, I still pull the information out into my own "summary" and present it to clients from my custom spread sheet. I basically find myself using it like a Means "book" and not taking advantage of it as an "electronic" system. Currently, my experience requires a lot of extra time just to get the final data into a usable, transferrable, understandable format.
Depth of the cost data is impressive.
Ability to "modify" and customize into "assemblies" is powerful.
Software keeps a "running tab".
Customization seems very proprietary and cumbersome.
Experience is required to learn the language and "assignments" of materials to categories and assemblies.
Pricing adjustments seem to require being in Excel at which point, that specific work is not "saved" to the program.
Jeremiah S. Branche: Tiefbau Mitarbeiteranzahl: 2-10 Mitarbeiter
As far as cost estimation goes, this is the most widely used tool in the industry for a good reason. I have found that in some cases, the cost estimates tend to be lower than bids from contractors.
The best feature is being able to save job specific cost estimations that can easily be transferred to a similar job in a different region as needed. Local adjustments are available for even remote places in the United States.
The user interface can be a bit challenging to get used to. There are some acronyms that are not explained and require a bit of digging to find.
Jesse R. Branche: Programmentwicklung Mitarbeiteranzahl: 10.001+ Mitarbeiter
Overall RSMeans Online is a great tool with a wonderfully complete database for vertical building construction. However, there are limitations with user interphase that limit its functionality and complicate the estimating process unnecessarily.
The database of materials and labor is second to none in my opinion and I like that the program includes the square foot estimator and life cycle cost tools.
The ease of use when developing estimates and square foot models is lacking, and could use some revisions to allow for more functionality. It would be nice if in the square foot model you could adjust the quantity without having to swap an assembly, and it would be good to also have the ability to delete multiple line items at a time when revising the model to best fit the building application. Additionally, it would be helpful if you could define more of the characteristics of a building (i.e. wall construction vs finish, roof construction, roof material, window type, etc.). Within the estimate area it would be helpful if all of the different sections (CSI format, Uniformat for Commercial New Construction, and Uniformat for Facilities Maintenance and Repair) all exported with the same columns and data. Most of my clients like to have their data in a specific format that is not RSMeans export so creating a template is difficult and can be time consuming.