Tips for Getting Accurate Construction Estimates

Man on construction site with plans in hand

Getting accurate construction estimates seems like the toughest task in an entire construction project. If the estimates are too high, the bid might go to somebody else. On the other hand, the estimate can be too low and win you the bid. However, you may end up wishing that somebody else took it.

Nevertheless, it’s possible to get an accurate construction estimate. You just need to follow these tips.

Come up with a Precise and Detailed Plan

You can only bid for what you know. It’s therefore important that you come up with a precise and detailed plan of the construction process. This will enable you to know the most accurate bid for the construction process.

Watch Out Unit Cost Estimates

Estimating on the basis of magnitude order per square foot or unit cost can be a bad idea. That’s because there are several variables that are specific to every construction project. Therefore, use the available estimating guides as the ballpark estimates and nothing else.

Use the Master Checklist

You can easily forget important things like landscaping, permits, and hardscaping among others when estimating. To avoid this, use the master checklist. This will enable you to avoid forgetting necessary items and steps. You can also find online resources that provide formulas that will assist with the estimating process.

It’s also wise to consider using construction bid software. This will enable you to keep information together, tract costs and minimize errors.

Use Your Expertise Exhaustively

There are areas that you are extremely talented in. Make sure that you are extremely detailed in those areas. Simply put, take a task isolation approach. Consider the required materials and labor separately when estimating areas where you do not have expertise. Call a consultant or subcontractor to help in areas that need an extra eye.

Understand Materials and Products Prices and Fluctuations

Prices of construction materials change. Therefore, pay attention to different factors that may affect their prices when estimating the cost of your construction project.  

Generally, whether you are estimating the cost of your own construction or bidding for a construction project, these tips will enhance your chances of getting an accurate construction estimate.

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