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B3451: Essential Cost Estimating Workshop

BUSINESS 3451: Essential Cost Estimating Workshop

BUSINESS 3451: Essential Cost Estimating Workshop

This program challenges students to compute markup based on their own financials. Students will utilize the Watershape Advisor® Estimator software developed for the watershaping industry as a platform to elevate their cost analysis and client presentation, while reducing liability exposure.

Learning Outcomes

  • Describe correct markup and gross margin using accurate profit and loss financial data.
  • Discuss payment schedules, cash flow, and construction contracts.
  • Identify key factors for maintaining consistent payment schedules for project fees.
  • List methods for developing accurate construction cost estimates and calculations for items such as weight of reinforcing steel, excavation volume, trenching, concrete, and other project phases.


International Accreditors for Continuing Education and Training (IACET)

Duration: 8 hours


All students who complete the course and evaluation form receive a Certificate of Completion documenting 0.8 IACET CEUs even if they do not continue with the Certified Watershape Builder (CWB) certification.


There are two options:

Online Asynchronous (On-Demand)
  • Start immediately at your convenience
  • Available 24/7/365
  • Start and stop at your own pace
  • Repeat content as needed
  • The course is organized into roughly one-hour logical units of study. You can tackle one at a time or even stop after 20 minutes and start over later or simply resume where you left off.
  • The manual is available as a PDF download
  • Instructors are available for calls during normal business hours
  • No travel or lodging expenses!
Live In-Person
  • See schedule for upcoming classes
  • A typical course runs 8-hours in a single day
  • Complete attendance is required
  • Ask questions as they come up
  • Manual is provided in class
  • Instructors are available for questions during the lectures
  • Travel, lodging and meals are the responsibility of the student
  • Watershape University provides lunch


Watershape University’s BUSINESS 3451: Essential Cost Estimating Workshop prepares builders, service professionals and retailers for financial success by explaining basic accounting and overhead expenses, culminating in the calculation of markup. The second half of the course focuses on estimating projects and it includes a free MS Access database that can be used to estimate projects quickly and accurately. Watershape University requires this course or an equivalent 8-hour cost estimating course in order to apply for the Certified Watershape Builder (CWB) certification.

BUSINESS 3451: Essential Cost Estimating Workshop supports the following certifications:

Certified Watershape Builder (CWB)

Certified Watershape Builder (CWB) more→

Certified Watershape Professional (CWP)

Certified Watershape Professional (CWP) more→


BUSINESS 3451: Essential Cost Estimating Workshop is intended for and attended by architects, landscape architects, designers, builders, installers, consultants, contractors, subcontractors, and service and maintenance professionals — particularly those looking to ensure long-term success by accurately estimating their project costs.

Level: 3 – Junior / Intermediate / Practical Application

B3451 Front Cover

Manual Table of Contents

  • Why Businesses Fail and Basic Accounting Definitions
  • Gross Margin, Markup and Breakeven
  • Profit & Loss Statements, Balance Sheets
  • Estimating Methods, Tools, Spreadsheets and Databases
  • Contracts, Payment Schedules, Cash Flow and Misappropriation of Funds
  • Introduction to Watershape Advisor Estimator
  • Project Phase 1
  • Deeper Dive into Watershape Advisor
  • Project Phase 2

There are no prerequisites for BUSINESS 3451: Essential Cost Estimating Workshop


BUSINESS 3451: Essential Cost Estimating Workshop

  • Online Asynchronous (On-Demand) | $700 | Instructor: David J. Peterson, P.E., IWI | begin immediately→

Authorized Faculty

David J. Peterson, P.E., IWI

President/CEO — Watershape Consulting, Inc.

Peterson is President/CEO of Watershape Consulting, Inc., an international planning, design and engineering firm providing owners, architects, contractors, and the legal profession with services relating to residential, commercial and institutional pools, spas and water features.

He obtained his B.S. Civil Engineering at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and is a registered engineer in several states. Peterson has been in the watershape industry since 1994 when he began his career designing life support systems for large aquariums and marine mammal exhibits. He was Vice President Engineering at Polaris Pool Systems where he developed and patented several products.

Peterson reorganized the Genesis 3 Design Group into GENESIS® University in 2012. When GENESIS merged with the National Swimming Pool Foundation (NSPF) in 2016, Peterson became Director of Education for GENESIS, a position he held until forming Watershape University.