Knowing how to construction estimate and putting together a quality construction estimate can be the difference between landing lots of new business and finding yourself facing a quiet period. Because of this, you need to know to write a construction estimate effectively if you want to keep the work coming in.
This means taking the time to get to know what you need to include and how to make it look professional.
But if you’re not sure how to do this, don’t panic.
In this guide, we’re going to take you through how to write a construction estimate in eight steps. Let’s start by looking at what you need to include.
What to include in a construction estimate:
In order to create the best possible estimate fora potential customer, you need to include all the right elements. By providing as much relevant information as possible, you can help them to make an informed decision.
This means, at the very least, you need to include:
• A comprehensive description of the job and the work that you’ll be doing
• An overview of the estimated materials and labor that will be involved
• The total cost of the project
• The payment terms and conditions, particularly if you require money upfront for materials
• You company’s contact information, including phone number, email, and address
There may be other things you wish to include in your estimate, and that’s fine, but just be sure that you’ve covered at least these five things first.
How to Write a Construction Estimate:
Now you have a better understanding of what needs to be included in your construction estimate; it’s time to put it together. To help you do this, we’ve put together a step-by-step guide below.
The first thing you need to do is to review the scope of the project. You can’t start writing your estimate until you fully understand it.
This is because you might find that the client isn’t 100% set on what they want yet, and you need to get this information from them first. You also need to determine:
• The types of services you have to offer and if you’ll need to subcontract
• What the costs will be
• Whether they want a complete breakdown of the costs or just the total
• The completion date
• What expectations you have for the project, and what the client’s expectations are
In order to determine this, you might need todo a site visit and see what will be involved. This is also a great chance to start building a relationship with the client.
Your estimate needs to outline an approximate timeline that gives the client a rough completion date. This is important to give your client an idea of how long they can expect the work to go on for, but also so you can estimate labor costs.
It’s always best to be a bit liberal with your dates so you can manage the client’s expectations without giving an exact date.After all, things change, and you don’t want to find yourself under huge pressure to get the job done in impossible circumstances.
You might not be able to take on all the work yourself. For example, you might need an electrician or a plumber to help you complete the project. In this case, you’re going to need to subcontract in workers to take on these roles.
You need to factor this into your cost and timeline estimate.
It’s important to remember that costs fluctuate, especially with more expensive or harder-to-get materials. So you need to shop around and put together a good idea of the costs and quantities of materials.
But again, be a bit flexible about this without vastly over-estimating and putting the client off.
When putting together your estimated price, it’s a good idea to look at your competition and do some research to see what others are costing their work and materials at. This will help you to remain competitive and could help to land you more clients.
Just be careful that you’re not charging far too little and only making a small profit margin - or worse, actually losing money.
Your estimate also needs to include the terms and conditions of your services, aswell as any exclusions and inclusions. This is important to ensure there are nonasty surprises for you or the client further down the line.
Make sure that your construction estimate terms and conditions are as specific as possible and that the client can easily understand them.
Now you know how to write a construction estimate; it’s time to make it look good. You need to make sure that you use professional wording for your estimate and don’t use any industry jargon or abbreviations that customers won’t understand.
You should also avoid writing these out by hand. With so many tools at your disposal, it’s best to use a word processing document of design software that creates a clear and professional-looking estimate. This will reflect better on your business.
Once you’ve completed all the seven steps above, it’s time to submit your estimate. And for future projects, it can be a good idea to save this as a template so that you can simply edit it each time you need to create a new estimate.
It’s also important to stay in touch with the client and follow up if you don't hear back within a few days. This can increase your chances of getting the job and also helps with relationship building.
Now you know how to write a construction estimate; you can get started right away! Follow the eight steps above, and you’ll not only increase the likelihood of landing new work but also help to build a professional and successful brand for your business.