Design Estimate

The Design Estimate tool allows you to associate costs with the design feature classes (DFCs) in your express design or view the total cost of the current express design. The top half of the Manage Cost tab displays cost items. The bottom half of the Manage Cost tab displays information about the design features added to the current express design. The Summary tab summarizes the express design's cost.

Click Design Estimate  icon to display the Design Estimate window.  Click the red X in the top right corner to close the Design Estimate window.

Click a section title to view its contents.

Manage Cost Tab

The Manage Cost tab on the Design Estimate form is used to associate DFCs to work locations (WLs). It is also used to assign cost items to the DFCs in your Express design.

To assign a cost item to a DFC, select the DFC in the bottom window, then select a cost item above. There are a few ways to assign the selected cost item to the selected DFC. You can double-click the cost item, use the arrows between the top and bottom windows, or drag the cost item and drop it on the DFC. If you double-click a cost item, the Add Cost Item window will open if it is selected as an option.

You can easily assign a cost item to multiple DFCs. Use the Shift or Ctrl key to select multiple DFCs, then use one of the methods described above to assign the cost item to all selected DFCs.

Some DFCs may already have cost items assigned. This is because the cost item was assigned when the DFC was added to the palette. After you assign cost items to the DFCs, they are displayed in the bottom half of the window by expanding the DFCs. If you add a cost item that is already associated with the DFC, the quantity of the cost item increases by one.

Cost items are displayed in white rows. Blue rows are DFCs.

Modifying Fields

You can override the values in the following cost item fields:

  • Description: You can change the description of a cost item. If you subsequently add another instance of the cost item to the Design Estimate, it will be listed on a new line with the original description. However, if you change its description to match the modified description, the two cost items are combined into a single cost item entry on the form.

  • Quantity: The quantity for linear features is the length of the DFC, multiplied by the buffer amount. Palette features may list the same cost item more than once. The quantity is multiplied by the number of times the cost item is listed in the palette item definition. If you override the quantity initially displayed, the Buffer field is set to one and displayed as a blank.

  • Buffer: The buffer is an amount added to linear features. The buffer value for each linear cost item is set using the Cost Item Library Manager tool in ArcCatalog. The default value is null. If you change the value in the Buffer field, keep in mind the following:

    • If the buffer value is one, the Buffer field is blank. If the value is 1.05, the field will display “+ 5%”.

    • The buffer is calculated as a percentage. For example, if the length of the DFC is 100 feet and the buffer was 5 percent, the quantity shown in Quantity field would be 105 feet.

    • Enter decimal numbers in the Buffer field. For example, enter 1.05 for five percent.

    • If you change the value in the Buffer field, the new value updates the quantity for that cost item.

Delete Cost Items

There are three ways to delete a cost item:

  1. Click the red X  icon to the right of the item.
  2. Highlight the item and click the up arrow .
  3. Change Quantity to blank or to zero (0) and press Enter.

    Associate a Design Feature with a Work Location

    See this topic on associating a design feature with a WL.

    Highlight a DFC or Work Location

    Anytime you select a feature in the design costs lists, it is highlighted on the map. In the image below, the highlighted features are red.


    When filtering by selection or text, provided that a feature meets the selection or filter criteria and the feature is associated with a WL, that WL is also be displayed.

    This image shows a feature prior to filtering:

     This image shows a feature after filtering on a pole:

    This image shows a feature after filtering on a switch:

    This image shows a feature after filtering on a WL:

    Summary Tab

    The Summary tab displays a summary of costs for the current express design. The values in price column and Total field are rounded to the nearest penny.


    The Export button allows you to export the cost summary information to either Excel or a web browser. How this data is exported (Excel or web browser) is determined by your Administrator during configuration. Click Export to display the data in the chosen format.

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