What is Construction Estimating?
Construction projects don’t come with a price tag attached. The materials needed, the cost of labor, the building site’s market volatility and other hidden expenses can fluctuate throughout the construction process.
Preparing for these expenses can be tedious and time-consuming and requires a high degree of expertise. It’s up to a construction estimator to determine the estimated cost of a construction project.
What Does a Construction Estimator Do?
Construction estimators minimize the likelihood of a financial catastrophe by considering various expense factors that will come into play before and after takeoff. This is called quantity takeoff, which is at the heart of construction estimating.
To come up with a sound estimate, estimators must analyze each construction project on a case-by-case basis. During the quantity takeoff, estimators account for materials and labor costs, starting with the building’s foundation and moving upward. Estimators adjust costs from the project’s start to finish to account for potential profit, overhead and indirect costs.
Since estimating requires extreme attention to detail, accuracy and adaptability, most estimators have experience in fields like engineering, architecture and construction design. Estimators are meticulous planners who can keep track of several demanding factors when determining material and labor costs, including:
- The type of materials being used.
- The specific measurements for the materials being used.
- The count of each item.
- The average cost of materials in the site’s local market.
- The weather, climate and time of year.
- The landscape.
The above list only covers a fraction of a project’s possible material and labor costs. Estimators often visit the construction site before making their estimates because there are so many factors to consider.
What is the Purpose of Cost Estimation?
Contractors in the bid estimation phase need accurate yet competitive estimates to win new projects. Getting a sound approximation on job costs (material and labor costs) is the most surefire way to win bids.
Contractors, builders and other potential stakeholders want an accurate and reliable approximation of the price of the project because the financial impact of an inaccurate estimate can be costly for all parties.
An experienced estimator might not be able to eliminate the project’s financial risks with 100% accuracy, but they can provide sound estimates from start to finish, dramatically increasing the project’s likelihood of success.