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Construction costs

Costing information could be important when choosing components, outlining a budget, or understanding current prices for services or parts. Here are a few sources of costing information. 

Construction cost data (Canada & US)

  • RSMeans Estimating Handbook (2009) provides technical data required to estimate costs for major construction projects, including sizing, productivity, equipment requirements, code-mandated specifications, design standards, and engineering factors. 

      Tip: You can adjust for inflation in order to get costs for current year.

  • Hanscomb's Yardsticks for Costing (in print in the Webster library) that contains cost data for the Canadian construction industry. Details constructions costs for eight major regions in Canada and includes market unit costs, composite unit rates, and gross building costs

Product literature includes product, company, vendor, or manufacturer catalogues, product selectors, buyers guides, advertisements, etc. They can provide costs for components, parts or entire systems. They can also provide performance and test data, dimensions, specifications, photographs, drawings, application notes, data books (for computers and integrated circuit devices), etc.


  • General:
    • AZoM: lists suppliers, articles, equipment, etc. based on application.
    • Provides access to an up-to-date database of Québec manufacturers and suppliers. There are no catalogues on the site, but it will link to a company’s catalogue if available.
    • IHS Global Specs: This website is updated daily. Registration is required, but it is free.
    • Thomas Register: for finding suppliers of products and services in North America.

  • Electrical/Software:
    • Adafruit: tools, equipment and electronics personally selected by an MIT engineer.
    • All Electronics: electronic and electro-mechanical parts and supplies.
    • Electronic Engineer's Master Catalogue product catalogue for electrical engineers.
    • Maker Shed: Books, kits, robots, microcontrollers, science sets, electronics, tools and supplies, curated by the people at Make.
    • Sparkfun: Catalog with over 3,500 components and widgets.

  • Mechanical:
    • McMaster-Carr a searchable listing of over half a million products.

Recycled or used parts

  • Job Vacancy and Wage Survey: Satistics Canada data on average wages across industries, occupations, types of work, and regions of Canada.
  • Canadian Industry Statistics: Salaries and Wages are available for various manufacturing sectors.
  • Québec survey on total compensation: The Institut de la statistique du Québec conducts the Québec survey on total compensation (ERG) annually (in French only). The PDF report gives costs divided by sector (public, private, unionized, etc.). Table A gives global costs across all sectors.
  • U.S. National Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates: Wages for major occupational groups (from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)
  • Engineering News Record Magazine: publishes biweekly construction cost data from the United States. Follow these steps to find the most recent data:
    1. Go to Business Source Complete
    2. In the first search box, enter "ENR: Engineering News-Record", and then select the "SO Publication Name" from the drop-down menu
    3. In the second search box, enter "construction economics", and then select the "TI Title" from the drop-down menu


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