Estimator User's Guide, Templates, & Catalogs (Downloadable)

expand Category : User's Guide ‎(1)
expand Category : Templates (Framework Which Mimics General Summary) ‎(3)
expand Category : 2013 Catalogs (Historical Bid Data) ‎(5)
expand Category : 2010 Catalogs (Historical Bid Data) ‎(4)


Recently, the Division of Construction Management decommissioned the CMS Portal and Cost Search tool. The Office of Estimating has several work products for cost searches:


Estimator Questions

Answers to frequently asked questions can be found on this page and in the following document. 




If you have additional questions regarding Estimator, please contact: 

Debbie Wood
ODOT Office of Estimating
(614) 644-6786  


Need to Purchase Estimator?
Consultants & Municipalities that need Estimator 2.12a-1 should contact:
Ariel Gibson
5700 SW 34th St., Suite 1235
Gainsville, FL 32608
(352) 381-4400
*ODOT has an Estimator site license. Therefore, district personnel should contact DoIT for a copy.
Item Master & Estimator Catalog Updates
The Item Master is updated regularly to accommodate the addition of new items. However, Estimator catalogs are only updated biannually in February and August. Therefore, new items will be added to Estimator catalogs at their next closest biannual publication.
Updating Estimator Files
To update Estimator templates and catalogs, you must manually download the latest catalogs from the links shown above.  At the present time, we do not currently support the automatic catalog update feature.  Please be sure to save the catalogs to the correct directory.


To find where Estimator reads the catalogs and templates from, follow this procedure:
  1. Open Estimator software, but do not open an estimate.  You should see a greenish-gray screen.
  2. Select the “Tools” menu 
  3. Select “Global Options”. A box with the global options will appear on the screen.
  4. Select the “URLs” tab. The first line “Catalog Path (HTTP or file):” is where Estimator points to the catalogs.  The third line "Estimate Template Folder" is where Estimator points to the templates. 

Estimator Templates

An Estimator template is a file that is structured in the same format as an ODOT General Summary plan sheet (i.e., item categories outlined in the ODOT L&D VIII Manual). When selecting a template, we recommend that you choose one that best suits your needs and most closely matches the category breakdown of your General Summary plan sheet. If the template has categories that your project does not use, you can delete them.

The Office of Estimating maintains three templates (No_Categories, Simple_Categories, and Complex_Categories) 

Estimator Catalogs

An Estimator catalog is a file that contains historical item prices. Estimator catalogs are updated on a semiannual basis. Please note that the 2013 Estimator catalogs do not contain prices from 2013 alone; the "2013" refers to the specification year, not the year of the historical prices. 

The Office of Estimating maintains eight catalogs:


Do The Item Codes in the Plans & Estimate Have to Match?

Construction plans are a contractual document that will be advertised to contractors.  Therefore, the item codes, extensions, and descriptions need to exactly match the Item Master. 

Design (C2) Estimates are budgetary tools to ensure projects are designed within budget.  Budgetary estimates are never advertised with the plans to contractors.  Therefore, it is acceptable that the plans do not exactly match the estimate as long as you have accounted for all items in the estimate.  You can use a similar item in your estimate and insert notes to explain which items are “placeholders” for the newer items that are not in the Estimator catalogs.