Construction cost information provider RSMeans has launched an online square foot estimator tool on its site. The new tool enables users to create square foot building cost estimates in just minutes. (RSMeans is a unit of Reed Construction Data).

The square foot estimate provides online access to RSMeans' library of commercial building models and systems. Users can select from 75 commercial building models and specify building type, area, perimeter, number of stories, story height, framing and exterior walls. They can also use Means data for cost escalation, architect fees and contractor overhead, as well as input their own percentages.

The square foot estimator joins another RSMeans online tool, construction cost estimator. Both tools allow users to choose union or open shop labor rates and factor their estimates to more than 900 locations in the U.S. and Canada.

The estimates can be printed out, exported to Excel, shared online or saved for future collaboration or archiving.

This is certainly a smart move by RSMeans for several reasons. First of all, by adding more features to the site, the company will undoubtedly increase traffic and usage on the site. Plus, this new tool serves as a perfect compliment for the construction cost estimator that users have already been able to access. As a result, users can accomplish more goals on the site than ever before; making an even more valuable platform for users.

If the folks at RSMeans haven't already, they should certainly be working on adding even more new tools to the site going forward, taking care to address all of the needs of their construction industry users. It will be a satisfying victory for RSMeans in the future if the company can provide all of the tools these construction professionals need to accomplish their goals. At that point, could become their only source for cost information.