On foundation walls I take off the quantities for forms, 2 by 4 keys, slab seat bearing and concrete. After the word "forms" I place the words "in 4 foot heights" in brackets. I separate my forms every 4 feet by height for pricing and I use one price for material and labor for walls up to 4 feet high. Form 4 feet to 8 feet, I use higher prices. I do this because more bracing is required for higher walls and the additional cost is in both labor and material. A lot of contractors don't believe in breaking up their foundation wall takeoffs into different heights but actually it makes a tremendous difference. For erection of forms, I figure a ratio of one carpenter to one-half of a laborer's time. My cost per day for a carpenter always includes one-half a day's time for a laborer. If a carpenter is to set up 300 square feet of forms per day then on that job he needs one-half of a day of laborer's time to help him. The figuring of production per carpenter per day, the cost of a carpenter and laborer ratio and how to apply them will be discussed in next month's issue. This issue confines the discussion to getting the quantity takeoff properly accomplished. Now, should you take off wall columns separately or should you take them off as part of the wall? If it's a lot work, take it off separately and call it a column to put it into the correct price bracket. If it is only about 4 inches wider than the wall by about 1 foot lone, call it a pilaster and include the forms and concrete with the wall. Grade beams must be treated separately. I take them off separately, because I include the cost of a mud sill in the square feet of wall area. I do this by figuring 10 percent more in the material cost and 10 percent less in the square feet erected per day. For simplicity in pricing, take off a seat bearing on a wall for slabs by total lineal feet. These usually run about 4 inches by 6 inches. If they are not to high, brick ledges in walls should also be taken off for pricing by the lineal foot. If brick ledges run 2 feet or more in height, it will most likely be necessary to place one form inside another. In other words, you'll have to double-form the wall. The best way to account for this in takeoff is to double the form area. Estimating form area and concrete for piers below grade is relatively simple. Piers below grade are piers that will have earth backfill around them. These piers can be formed with rough lumber and this is why they are kept separately form columns. The formwork is twice the width plus twice the length times the height, or once again, the contact area. The concrete volume is the width times the height.