Building a Strong Foundation: Key Steps in the Construction Estimation Process

Construction tasks of big commercial or small private buildings are to be performed with sound planning and estimation for their successful execution. Financial estimates are important tools to allow contractors to estimate accurately and be able to compete at the same time with all costs covered and a profit made. These crucial steps will serve as a guide to you as you move forward to build the next construction estimation.

Start With The Plans

Your construction estimating services plan will be at the heart of everything that informs the types and amounts of your estimated items. Carefully review all plans and drawings marking material types, building size, and any special or custom features highlighted. The outline plans at the concept stage may be a little different from the detailed plans at later phases; therefore, you may have to make a relative assumption on the unknown information using your previous experience. In case you miss the details that have a greater priority, reach out to the designer or the client to request clarification. Comprehending the objects to be constructed, according to the plan, will determine what will be built and how.

Quantify Materials

Next, you need to do the bill of quantities for all the materials you want, you can use the plans and count each item and generate specific line item lists in which you specify the description, quantity, and unit of measure. Not to mention organization plays a significant role in slowing things down – materials must be put into categories with every quantity listed down.

Research Costs

The second big research step is unraveling up-to-date price data for all the necessary items and building the total cost from the quantities. Such parties as material suppliers, home improvement stores, and online resources can supply you with details on material pricing where you are. Include charges incurred through ordered customized items and comparison to stocked-up material. You can do more than just include basic material cost figures. You should factor in additional costs like taxes, shipping and delivery, and the supporting material cost which may include things like fasteners and adhesives. Calculate waste factors – the extra materials that unavoidably are listed due to off-cuts and errors in calculations.

Labor Estimates

A job site can be thought of as much more than a group of supplies. And the cost of employing such professionals will undoubtedly be the biggest one. Ensure smooth estimation companies in USA with the help of a logical plan and a clear sequence of works. Estimate the number of hours for the working and the rates payable as well as the team size for framing, roofing, plumbing, electrical, drywall, concrete work, finish carpentry, and more. Realizing the amount of work required as well as the amount that it will cost you concerning your market is essential. Are you prepared for scalability? Employ an auxiliary labor force such as site cleanup and dumpster rentals.

Equipment Costs

Whether it is on-site rental or purchase by the contractor, specially specialized tools and equipment will be needed based on the size and details of a particular construction job. Tank Reservoir: Within the water tank reservoir, there are pumps and towers to carry water from the city’s main supply or boreholes. Estimate the hours required for a rental or internal ownership and the rates for it. Who will be the one or the ones who will be in charge of covering deliveries and picking up the rented stuff from the customers? The rent fee is inclusive of fuel as well? Will I be expected to pay for power separately?

Overhead & Profit

All businesses hold overhead so all such businesses need to know the rules they should take regarding permits, insurance, office administrative work, vehicles, staff training, etc. How much profitable margin above all the costs do they want to achieve or how much margin do they usually get? Profit margins of between 10-20% for industries that depend on the economy and market conditions.


It is like an impossibility to calculate the full list of all the costs that will appear during a project, so experienced planners include in the budget a contingency sum that will be eaten for unpredicted expenses. As for a typical contingency budget, it may amount to approximately 5-10 percent of costs to cover unsatisfied gaps of estimation. Such issues as the materials price spikes, unfavorable weather conditions, redoing work as a result of errors or design changes, subcontractor’s issues, etc. associated with risks should be also taken into account.

Compare Against Historical Data

Lastly, compare your extended estimate with the current project of the same size and field of work accomplished by your company. When results are far away from your averages, then look up your assumptions that need modifications. Historical data can be a powerful reference that can confirm the estimated values of the common project in a sane manner.


The experience acquired from the whole certainty of each construction estimating companies process stage is apprenticed to the generation of reliable estimation of the overall project cost and work time as well as the avoidance of cost-draining surprises. ‘Highly detailed estimates’ are the product of a seasoned expert’s observation as well as the successful ability to conceptualize the full scope of a project in one’s head. Employing such a strategy will enable contractors to achieve accurate bids and further their projects.

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