Cost Approach Booklet & Instructions

Dave Towne

Cost Approach Booklet & Instructions

FREE Cost Approach calculation worksheet…


Many use as a source for completing residential Cost Approach details in appraisal reports.

Craftsman Book Company is the owner of this service, and the web site offers a FREE Cost Approach calculation worksheet, which can be printed to PDF and included in reports, and also a printed hardcopy for the workfile if desired. I began using and promoting this web site years ago.

Not long ago, the web site above was updated, to provide more specific reporting items, which in turn enables a more accurate and professional looking Cost Approach to be completed.

To understand the various categories in the web site, the designers included additional information via a small link shown in the category. This is extremely helpful to better understand how this service rates and calculates the various costs, but it is a tad bit cumbersome if the user is not totally familiar with the web site program.

I decided to take their ‘definitions’ and ‘instructions’ and produced the booklet, embedded below, with all of them in the same sequence as on the web site, verbatim – meaning no changes were made to their material.

Note that their “Quality Estimate” definitions use the word ‘Class’ and a number; these are designed to replicate the UAD rating numbers.

When folded the booklet is 5.5″ x 8.5”. You can print each page separately. And if you print the first page spread (pages 1 & 4), you can run the printed sheet back through your printer and print the second 2 page spread (pages 2 & 3). After doing that, fold to make a booklet.

If you like using for doing Cost Approaches, you might want to review this booklet, and keep it in your library as a reference tool.

Also, keep in mind that Craftsman Book Company also has hard copy Cost Guides you can purchase. Cost Approach Booklet & Instructions


Dave Towne

Dave Towne

AGA, MNAA, Accredited Green Appraiser - Licensed in WA State since 2003. Dave Towne on

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5 Responses

  1. Avatar jeanie says:

    I was using M&S before Corelogic took ownership. I’ve been using since then. But I’ll give this one a test drive since it’s free. Thanks for the booklet!

    • Avatar Tom C says:

      Corelogic is buying everything. Another reason to switch.

      • Baggins Baggins says:

        Corelogic, destroying the national standard, one monopolized portion of the industry at a time.

        I’ve noticed this with our local CO real estate group, the meetings and minutes have shifted from education focused to planted product sales masquerading as CE or in this case, news.

        It would seem that of late, everyone except appraisers are running this appraisal industry.


    • Baggins Baggins says:

      You know what else is also free?  A visit to lowes, ace, youtube, and thousands of contractors forums to learn about detailed construction methods, costs, and challenges.  The funny thing about marshall and swift I think is best illustrated in heated markets and manufactured housing.  Now I was unable to get those used basic double wides over the 160k mark, even with increased land value.  How on earth did the other guys do it….  Those figures went damned near 300k lately.  Don’t people know they can order a brand new 2000 sq ft 2x online for 130k, including delivery and real property certification?  Cost approach for appraisers is irrelevant in stick built tract housing, plain and simple.  The real value of being an appraiser is not having access to cost tools, it’s being able to describe the total components of real property and estimate realistic costs and value or price benefits through a broad spectrum of real property understanding.  Cost approach went by the wayside a long time ago as a valid tool in this variable lending rate steep inflation environment.

      Did you know over half of the people living in sf det homes in this country are now renting them?  You don’t own it till you own it and cost is relevant to the purchasing power this floating cash variable lending rate system offers to both consumers and builders.  Show me a cost approach which has a rate table and gives you the cash equivalent comparative to capitol lending rates for builders at the time, also incorporating the borrowers purchasing power and applying a multiplier to bring total cash equivalency.  If the item in question is no longer fungible, the value becomes based primarily in market.  The components stop being fungible when they are set down and installed as real property.

      This is why regression and mass analytics falls short in appraisal.  That individual deck will still cost you 10k large.  The roof will still run you 5k.  The lack of or presence of total utility systems revamp can easily go 20k, and then consider the foundation.  These things are only loosely tied to agla.  A professional contractor won’t charge you less just because your home is smaller, their job still consumes so much time.




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Cost Approach Booklet & Instructions

by Dave Towne time to read: 1 min