12. CONTRACT COSTS
We define pass-through costs as material, freight, equipment rental, and sub-contractor services included in the direct costs of revenue associated with projects.
The Company uses the percentage-of-completion accounting method for fabrication contracts. Revenue from fixed-price or unit rate contracts is recognized on the percentage-of-completion method, computed by the efforts-expended method which measures the percentage of labor hours incurred to date as compared to estimated total labor hours for each contract. This progress percentage is applied to our estimate of total anticipated gross profit for each contract to determine gross profit earned to date. Revenue recognized in a period for a contract is the amount of gross profit earned for that period plus pass-through costs incurred on the contract during the period. Consequently, pass-through costs have no impact in the determination of gross margin recognized for the related project for a particular period.
Pass-through costs as a percentage of revenue were 58.5%, 48.3% and 45.3% for the years ended December 31, 2013, 2012 and 2011, respectively.
There were no prepaid subcontractor costs at December 31, 2013 and $33.1 million as of December 31, 2012. These costs represent uninstalled materials purchased using customer funds, and are recognized as pass-through costs in the period the materials are installed.