The 3 steps to estimating success

What is a construction estimate?

A construction estimate is an analysis of what a construction project will cost. They often take a considerable amount of time to produce due to the amount of factors which should be considered. These include being detailed, needing to consider the client’s vision, availability of materials and labour, and all the necessary budget requirements.

A good construction estimate should accurately refer to the scale of the job, review the project requirements, clarify the construction methods, and provide a clear calculation of the costs of materials, equipment, and labour.


What are the key parts of the process which will lead to a successful construction estimate?

1) Accuracy is everything!

It’s essential that you can accurately account for all parts of the construction estimate. This includes things like labour costs, equipment, travel, and subcontractors. Ask yourself these questions, and whether you can guarantee you would get all of these aspects 100% accurate:

  • Pricing breakdown – Have you completed the pricing schedule accurately?
  • Cash – Do any cash allowances need to be included?
  • Insurance – Does the project need special insurance? Have you included this in the pricing?
  • Equipment – Is the equipment your responsibility?
  • Materials – Have you obtained accurate and up-to-date costs from suppliers?
  • Amendments – Do you need to include a clause for any changes which may occur during the project?


2) Time is of the essence!

Suffice to say, meeting deadlines in the construction industry is extremely important, and providing construction estimates is no different. People often expect estimates very quickly, whilst complete accuracy is maintained.

It’s quite clear that managing the many parts of a construction estimate can be a bit like trying to complete a jigsaw puzzle! Any delays can impact the ability to meet a deadline. Some of the most common hold-ups for estimators include:

  • Requiring quotes from subcontractors.
  • Not having enough time blocked-out in your calendar.
  • Taking the time to carefully read the specifications.
  • Leaving things which rely on a response from someone else until the last minute.


3)  Get the price right!

After calculating the costs and adding a mark-up for profit, you will create your final figure for the customer. This amount is so important for any estimator: Could it be too high compared to other estimates? Might it be low and therefore not make much profit? Here are some ways which will help your estimate to be as accurate as possible:

  • If using technology, be smart about how you’re using it – make sure you input all the right dimensions
  • A good knowledge of materials and construction methods is important.
  • The cost of labour is often an under-estimated part and this can result in reduced profits.
  • Optimise your costs – this will help you to use construction methods and materials which will allow the job to be completed well, but still keeping the costs low.


The many advantages of using an estimating service

There are a lot of reasons which point towards using a professional estimating service. HBXL’s estimating service, for example, produces accurate construction estimates for extensions, conversions, new builds and small housing developments – whether you are a builder, a developer, an architect or builders merchant. The reasons for using an estimating service doesn’t matter… it could be that you’ve got a back-log of construction estimates to produce, or you’ve come across a tricky one, or you simply want a break from it to get some of your time back!

HBXL’s estimating service can help you win more jobs, with fast and accurate estimates. Also, we can stop you spending hours of your own precious time going through processes which, ultimately, could create even more headaches if any issues arise in the estimate.

So, don’t hesitate to speak to one of our team today on 0117 916 7894. Or, if you’re ready to, you can upload your plans to us through our website. There’s absolutely no commitments to be made by requesting a price for completing the estimate. We look forward to helping you with your construction estimates!