Estimating is the process of predicting the cost, time, and resources required to complete a project. It is an essential part of project management, as it allows project managers to make informed decisions about how to allocate resources and manage risks.

Why Estimating Is Important for Construction?

There are many reasons why accurate estimating is important. First, it helps to ensure that projects stay on budget. If a project is in low budget, it is likely to go over budget. This can be a major financial problem for businesses, as it can lead to lost profits or even bankruptcy.

Second, accurate estimating helps to ensure that projects are completed on time. If a project is underestimated, it is likely to take longer than expected. This can lead to missed deadlines, which can damage the reputation of the business.

Third, accurate estimating helps to minimize risks. By accurately estimating the cost, time, and resources required for a project, project managers can identify and mitigate risks. This can help to prevent project delays, cost overruns, and other problems.

Finally, accurate estimating helps to improve decision-making. Accurate estimates provide project managers with the information they need to make informed decisions about how to allocate resources and manage risks. This can help to ensure that projects are completed successfully.

Steps to do for accurate construction estimation

Steps to do for accurate construction estimation

We suppose you’re here because you want to learn construction estimation. For you, we’re going to explain the construction estimation in a few easy steps and we’ve separated each step for your clear understanding.

Reviewing a bid package

Reviewing a bid package is an important step in the bidding process. It allows you to understand the scope of work, the schedule, the budget, the risks, and the evaluation criteria for the project. This information will help you to develop your own bid and to increase your chances of winning the project.

To review a bid package, you should first read through the entire document carefully. This will give you a general understanding of the project and the requirements. Once you have a basic understanding of the project, you can then start to look at the specific details.

The first thing you should look at is the scope of work. This will tell you what tasks need to be completed and what materials and labor will be required. You should make sure that you understand the scope of work completely, as this will be the basis for your bid.

The budget is also an important factor to consider. You should make sure that your bid is realistic and that you can afford to complete the project. You should also factor in any potential risks, such as weather delays or unforeseen problems.

There are many other things to consider in the bid package that you should consider including the risks involved, project’s timeline, milestones and more. We can’t mention all the stuff here.


Conducting a site visit

Conducting a site visit is an important part of the construction process. It allows you to assess the condition of the site, identify any potential problems or risks, and gather information that will help you to make informed decisions about the project.

To conduct a site visit effectively, you should first prepare in advance. This means gathering all the necessary information, such as the project plans and specifications, and knowing what you are looking for. You should also be aware of the safety precautions that need to be taken, and be respectful of the property if you are visiting a private site.

Once you are on site, you should be organized and take notes and pictures to help you remember the details of your visit. You should also be safety-conscious and aware of your surroundings.

During your site visit, you should look for specific things, such as the condition of the site, the utilities, the environmental conditions, and the surrounding area. You should also ask questions if you have any, and be observant of the details of the site.


Perform Takeoff of the Materials

After you’ve done all the work and accepted the bid, the next thing you’ve to do is to perform the takeoff of the materials. Doing the material takeoff is essential as it helps you to identify which type of work you want to do and how much it will cost to complete the project. 

The material takeoff includes all the material requirements, their quantity type and the pricing of the material. Make sure to include all the number of materials. This involves counting the number of materials on the drawings, such as lumber, concrete, and roofing materials. You can use a variety of tools and software to help you with this process, such as AutoCAD or Revit.

The takeoff also includes the pricing of the material. You can check the pricing of each material in the local market. You can browse the internet, but we recommend doing the pricing survey offline for better accuracy. It’s because, majority of the buyers will use the local market to purchase the raw material for the construction.

For you ease, here’s the formula of finding the pricing of the materials in takeoff:

Pricing of materials = Quantity of materials * Unit cost of materials * Markup percentage

It is important to note that this is just a simplified equation. The actual pricing of materials may be more complex, depending on the specific project and the contractor’s business model.

Perform Takeoff of the Materials


What is cost estimating in construction?

Cost estimating is the process of forecasting the cost of a construction project. It involves identifying and quantifying all the costs associated with the project, such as labor, materials, equipment, and overhead, and then calculating the total cost.

Why is cost estimating important in construction?

Cost estimating is important in construction because it helps project managers and stakeholders make informed decisions about the project. By knowing the estimated cost of a project, they can decide whether to proceed with the project, adjust the scope or design of the project, or allocate resources more effectively.

What are some common methods of cost estimating in construction?

There are several methods of cost estimating in construction, including: 

  • Square footage method
  • Assembly method
  • Unit price method
  • Parametric estimating
  • Bottom-up estimating

How accurate are cost estimates in construction?

The accuracy of cost estimates in construction can vary depending on several factors, such as the level of detail in the estimate, the complexity of the project, and the availability of data. However, it is generally recommended to aim for an accuracy of +/10% for early estimates and +/5% for detailed estimates.

How can I improve my cost estimating skills in construction?

To improve your cost estimating skills in construction, you can: 

  • Learn about different cost estimating methods and when to use them
  • Gather and analyze data on past projects to improve accuracy
  • Work with experienced estimators and project managers to learn from their expertise
  • Stay up to date on industry trends and changes in materials, labor costs, and regulations.

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