Do you need your construction estimate ‘yesterday’? Is the material take-off list imperative for your bid, and the bid opening is due tomorrow? As you know, this situation happens more frequently than we’d like.
Calling an outsource construction estimating service is a convenient way to go to assist you when these predicaments arise. You’ve seen their advertisements promising your completed estimate in one day, no matter if your plans or drawings consist of 1 page or 30. Whether your company is large or small, the ‘bottom line’ will usually guide your decisions to get the job done. Calling them seems the right way to go. But before you do…know who you’re dealing with, read the fine print. Generally, people learn that what sounds ‘too good to be true’, usually is!
As a contractor you need an outsource estimator that, not only has the numbers, but also has your back. This process is not like buying a hammer at a hardware store. Establishing a relationship with the outsource estimator of your choice, requires learning to “dance” with one another. They should be prepared to work with your company as a teammate, following your lead on projects, and working together. Communication is key, and being able to go over a job with you and explain important points of the estimate with you is a major part of the process. Achieving this requires a construction estimator that is qualified to examine your plans thoroughly, making sure that they are ‘all inclusive”, and that the scope of the job and the specifications are clearly understood.
Taking off plans can be as easy as putting measurements in an estimating program. But when construction estimators can not explain how and why the calculations work in your specific project, it can lead to errors, leaving you scrambling for information and the correct numbers to win the job for your business. Ever hear of the old saying, ‘cheap is expensive’? Inadequate estimating can lead to many unforeseen on-the-job difficulties and problems. Although many construction jobs require legitimate change orders, a comprehensive original bid package can sometimes help to cut down on ‘in-the-field’ alterations and possible misunderstandings on the job. Having a construction estimator that understands a defined scope of work for a job, and can prepare project schedules that work for you and your company. This can ultimately save you money in materials and prevent an owner or contractor from facing costly work stoppages or delays, while resolutions to the problems can be found.
So how do you get it right the 1st time?? Stay true to your own high standards as a contractor.
- The construction estimating company you choose should have a keen eye for reading construction Drawings and Specifications.
- Find the construction estimator that best reflects your own standards, qualities, and integrity.
- Make sure they have ‘on the job’ experience, which gives them a deeper understanding surrounding the scope of a job and timely scheduling to save you time and money.
- Be sure that the outsource estimator is someone you can the build a relationship with; this makes future projects easier to navigate, leading to positive results.
Most of all, as you keep an eye on your ‘bottom line’, remember that you need the information that is crucial to winning the job bids you want. In this case, practice DOES NOT make perfect. The ‘practice’ only costs more money in the long run. The right construction outsource estimator can help you get it right the 1st time.