Are you struggling to get your construction quotes on the money?
Being able to accurately cost construction jobs is essential if you want your business to succeed. An inaccurate quote could cost you a piece of business or your reputation. You need to be able to quickly estimate an accurate cost, but with so many factors, it can sometimes be a challenge.
Don’t worry, we are here to help. Read on for our guide on how to estimate construction jobs and get your prices just right.
In the Take-Off Process be Precise & Detailed
There is a fine art to construction estimating. The slightest miscalculation can have huge cost implications down the line. Consider things like:
- Each project stage
- How long each stage takes
- Materials needed
- Labor costs
- Specialist labor
Set this out for each stage as you break the project down and work out what this will cost for each part.
Avoid Unit Cost Estimating
Unit cost estimating is faster, but it’s not as accurate as other methods. Due to the many variables in a project, per square foot or per unit costing won’t be precise. You should only use it for rough estimates.
If you are going to use this method, start with a list of all the items you need for the job. Work out each piece of assembly needed and attach the unit cost. The sum of these unit costs will help get the most accurate estimate possible from this method.
Make Your Master Checklist
Staying organized from the start will help you keep projects on track. It’ll also help prevent construction estimating mistakes too. Landscaping, hardscaping, and permits are easy to forget in the excitement of a new project.
This is where construction estimation software can help with your project software setup. Benefits of construction estimating software include a master checklist so you don’t miss important steps.
There are formulas that will help organize, break down, and put together estimates too. Check out this software to have all that information in one place.
Confirm Subcontractor Quotes
With most projects, you’re going to subcontract some of that work out. When checking subcontractors’ quotes, use the same thorough list you use for your own.
Get estimates from more than one subcontractor, even if you have someone you always use. Make sure you’re comparing like for like quotes, as this is the best way to make sure to avoid pitfalls.
Never accept a cost-plus bid, as there is too much room for price jumps. Choose a subcontractor who can give you a firm estimate based on the unique details of the project.
Get Accurate Hourly Rates For Specialty Labor
Craftsmen and specialty labor will have normal benefits and wages. They’ll also have state and federal payroll costs. When setting their hourly rate, make sure you’re factoring in all the associated costs. Once the specialty rate is set, work out what other crew members you need and build up a crew rate.
Set Out the Risks and Budget Their Costs
When you estimate construction costs factor in possible things that could go wrong. Think of the mishaps that could happen and work them into the budget and timeline.
Use previous projects and worker experience to work out the most common risks. While you can’t predict the future, having the budget to deal with issues as they happen will be a huge help. And if it all goes well, the client will feel more value for money when it comes in under budget.
How to Estimate Construction Jobs Made Easy
Getting your quote right is vital if you want your business to succeed. Too low and you won’t be profitable, or may even lose money. Too high and you’ll put off clients. But now you know how to estimate construction jobs, you’re ready to get out those accurate quotes.
If you found this article helpful, be sure to check out our other blog posts for more!