Your Beginners’ Guide to Construction Estimating

For contractors and clients alike, everything you ever wanted to know about cost estimating.

When most people think of Quantity Surveyors, they typically think of the work carried out once a project gets underway, the budget management, project assessments, and other essential duties vital to ensuring a successful, cost effective job.

But did you know that, whether you’re a contractor or a client, you could start seeing savings long before anyone steps so much as a foot on site?

At Bhangals Construction Consultants, our Quantity Surveyors provide specialist cost estimating services, working with you to ensure maximum value for money right from the word go.

Whether you’re a private individual about to embark on your first self-build or renovation job, or a contractor considering outsourcing your estimating services for the first time, here’s everything you need to know about how a Cost Estimator can make a big difference to your next project.

 

What is a Construction Cost Estimate?

In its most basic sense, a construction cost estimate is exactly what it sounds like:

A calculated and carefully considered estimate of all the costs associated with a construction project.

Estimates are tailored to the individual project, and typically cover costs including:

  • Labour
  • Equipment
  • Materials

They may also include any other specialist requirements necessary for the successful completion of a project.

 

Why Are Estimates Used?

Typically, an estimate is used to assess the feasibility of a project, determine a long-term budget, and plan how that budget will be spent. This helps clients to gain an accurate idea of how much the work will cost them, and ensures that contractors can plan ahead when it comes to making a profit from their work.

As we’ll discuss later on, your Cost Estimator can also create documents such as Bills of Quantities, which help determine a fair and accurate tendering process.

 

What Makes a Good Estimate?

To be most effective, a good estimate should find a perfect balance between three major factors:

Accuracy

The very lynchpin holding the rest of your estimate together, accuracy is absolutely vital in ensuring appropriate budgets are set, and that clients do not encounter any expensive surprises once work commences.

Speed

Whilst achieving the highest possible levels of accuracy may seem like a painstaking process, that doesn’t mean that professional Cost Estimators can afford to take it slow.

With bid deadlines to meet and schedules to commit to, time is of the essence with any project. As such, it is vital that your Cost Estimator balances that high level accuracy with a fast turn around.

Competitiveness

For contractors, submitting a tender at just the right price can be a fine balancing act in itself.

Pitch too high, and you put yourself out of the running as your competitors submit a lower offer.

Aim too low however, and you either price yourself out of making a reasonable profit, or face compromising on the quality of materials and integrity of your work, the consequences of which don’t bare thinking about.

To get it right, a Cost Estimator combines their expert knowledge, network of contacts and wealth of innovative solutions created during their years in the industry.

By doing so, they can create an estimate that remains competitive whilst still guaranteeing a profit for the contractor, and maximum value for the end client.

 

Why Do Contractors Hire Construction Consultants to Work on Cost Estimating?

The main reason why any construction contractor undertakes estimating work at all is to guarantee success in winning that next big project.

Yet why outsource that work instead of going it alone?

The answers to this question are as many and varied as there are contractors, but typically, it all comes down to three main reasons.

Save time, hassle, and headaches

Contractors excel at their own specialist trade, and would much rather be out on site doing what they do best instead of being handcuffed to a desk and dealing with the complicated and time consuming process of creating an estimate.

Present the Same Professional Image as Larger Competitors

Many small businesses and sole traders simply lack the resources to compete with major building contractors, and that can be reflected in the tendering process.

But it doesn’t have to be.

Working with a Construction Cost Estimator empowers those contractors to compete with larger businesses in terms of the estimated costs and the overall presentation, and all for a single low cost fee well within the means of any small business.

 

Can Private Clients Benefit from Cost Estimating?

Yes, definitely.

As an individual, a cost estimate will play a key role in determining how financially viable your project is, and will form the very blueprint upon which your overall budget will be based.

That’s not all.

A Cost Estimator can also work with you to create a Bill of Quantities, which lays out the amount of materials and other essentials you’ll need to bring your big project to life.

By supplying this to potential contractors, you ensure a fair and accurate tendering process, with those contractors basing their prices on your original document. This ensures that you only receive like-for-like quotes based on your exact requirements.

 

How Easy is It to Get a Professional Cost Estimate from a Quantity Surveyor?

With Bhangals Construction Consultants, it couldn’t be easier.

Simply send us your drawings, logos, and company details via post or email, and let us do the rest.

To order your estimate, call us now on 03304 048 876, or contact us online for more details.

 

Contact Bhangals Construction Consultancy for the cheapest like-for-like quote