Is your construction project budget getting out of the boundaries? Are you unable to manage your business activities efficiently? It is so because your duties differ from what you do during work hours. You are actually performing the duties of a construction estimator.
However, you must understand your responsibilities and should focus on them besides wasting your time in activities you are not an expert at. Calculating the budget of a construction project, managing material and labor, negotiating with suppliers, etc, are linked to someone else. You are made for only following the instructions to keep your construction project on the right track.
But who is responsible for all these activities? It is a construction estimator. Who is he, and what responsibilities he is answerable for? This detailed blog post will discuss all these points: What Does an Estimator Do for a Construction Company? Let’s have a cup of coffee and explore the duties of a construction estimator!
Who Is a Construction Estimator?
Estimator has roots in the word “Estimation.” He is an expert who calculates the budget of construction projects. During estimation, he considers each construction element and adds its expense to the budget calculation sheet.
Today, around 111,438 are offering construction estimating services in the US. The figure shows the demand for an estimator in the US construction industry. Similarly, it indicates that estimators add a significant value to a construction project. But how do they do that?
Estimators are responsible for boosting the value of a construction project.
Actually, estimators perform multiple duties that have become essential for a construction project. In fact, the quality of their duties decides whether the project will succeed.
Construction Estimator Responsibilities
Following are the responsibilities or duties of a construction estimator. They perform all these duties well to meet the expectations of contractors, builders, engineers, architects, and their other clients.
Primary Responsibility: Cost Estimation
One of the most significant construction estimator responsibilities is estimating the project cost. They perform their duty by assessing the project blueprints and understanding the project scope.
After noting project details and specifications, they break down the complete project into easy-to-handle components. Then, they make an Excel sheet containing material and labor details. These details indicate the number of materials and labor required for a construction project.
After that, estimators contact different suppliers and use digital data to identify current market rates. They negotiate rates with reliable suppliers and enter the rates of elements in the sheet.
Furthermore, estimators consider contingencies in estimation to manage sudden expenses during construction. Ultimately, they add all the costs and calculate the total budget required for a construction project.
Construction Project Analysis
Construction estimators are responsible for conducting project analysis and equipping the project with reliable estimates. They analyze the plan by scanning project drawings, measuring dimensions, understanding the project scope, and highlighting construction complexities.
Simply put, they know that understanding the question precisely is essential to give the most accurate answer in the paper. Therefore, they continually assess the construction plan properly to deliver the best estimates possible.
Identifying Materials and Labor Costs
During estimating the construction project cost, estimators are responsible for identifying material and labor costs. While doing so, they consider all those factors that can influence the material cost and labor wages.
Additionally, they choose the suppliers with high concerns. Supplier loyalty and reliability are essential to enter an estimator’s dictionary. Not only do estimators calculate the material and labor costs, but they also redefine the calculations using industry benchmarks, historical data, and local market conditions. They also ensure the accuracy of their calculations using software and tools.
Determining Equipment and Machinery Costs
Construction is unprocessable without helping equipment and machinery. Mostly, constructors take it as a side expense. But actually, it adds a significant cost to the overall construction budget. Therefore, estimators also contact equipment and machinery suppliers, fix rates, and provide contractors with detailed budget reports.
Additionally, estimators factor in all kinds of construction machinery and equipment. The most common ones they always consider include:
- Dragline Excavator
- Wheel Tractor Scraper
- Dump Trucks
- Tower Cranes
- Feller Bunchers
- Pile Boring Machine
- Pile Driving Machine
Considering Overhead Expenses
Construction budget estimations are incomplete without overhead expenses. They seem to be extra expenses, but every contractor experiences them during construction. Furthermore, they hold a significant percentage (approximately 5% to 10%) of the construction budget. Therefore, estimators note it down in their responsibilities list.
Additionally, the following are the overhead expenses that every construction estimator considers in his estimation duties:
- Utility bills
- Transportation expenses
- Office rent and related facilities
- Construction licensing and fees
- Employee salaries, bonuses, and benefits
- People and equipment insurance coverage
Besides calculating the construction project budget, estimators are also responsible for preparing bids for contractors. They understand what to add to the proposal to impress the contractors’ customers. But how do estimators create winning bids? Let’s explore the answer in the next section!
How Estimators Create Bids
Estimators make and implement customized strategies to create competitive bids since it is one of their significant responsibilities:
- Accuracy and Precision: Firstly, they consistently hit accurate and precise budget estimates.
- Value Engineering: Second, they do value engineering to optimize project budgets and timelines without affecting the project quality.
- Excellent Supplier and Subcontractor Selection: Similarly, they always refer to engaging competitive suppliers and subcontractors in a construction project.
- Optimize Labor Efficiency: Furthermore, they boost labor efficiency by detecting their expertise, experience, rates, and skills.
- Risk Assessment: Moreover, they do risk assessments to create an error-free bid for their clients.
- Market Analysis: Besides these, they do market research to stay updated with the latest trends.
- Utilize Technology: They also use technology in estimation and creating bid formats to increase the winning chances of their clients.
- Competitive Profit Margins: Likewise, estimators set competitive profit margins to maintain their worth in the respective field.
- Client-centric Approach: Above all, they remain committed to their clients and always equip them with tailored solutions.
Qualities of Competitive Bids
Whatever estimators deliver to their clients, they always ensure the quality of their bids. What is meant by competitive bid quality? A competitive bid quality satisfies the following features:
- Risk Mitigation
- Client Alignment
- Value Proposition
- Competitive Pricing
- Legal and Ethical Compliance
Updating Knowledge of Construction Materials and Methods
Construction estimators are also responsible for keeping their knowledge updated with the latest industry trends and modern estimating techniques. They keep themselves updated with industry knowledge by engaging in different valuable practices.
Estimators attend industry meetings. Similarly, they go to conferences and seminars. Moreover, they get updated information through workshops and industry get-togethers. Additionally, they show interest in professional associations and keep themselves updated with the latest publications.
Besides these, estimators expand and strengthen their connections with industry experts and suppliers to get updated data from the market. Simply put, they fulfill their responsibility with loyalty and furnish their clients with the best outcomes.
Running Estimating Tools and Software
Estimators not only keep themselves updated with industry knowledge, but they also learn how to use estimating and takeoff software. They run accuracy tests on construction estimates to ensure accuracy and preciseness. Therefore, they use helping protocols to understand how to use the helpful software.
Contributing to Project Profitability
In the construction industry, estimators significantly contribute to project profitability. They use different tactics and techniques to do so. For example:
- Hitting accurate estimates
- Reducing waste production
- Minimizing unexpected expenses
- Implementing cost-saving strategies
- Value engineering the project budget
- Controlling project budget and timelines
Using all these approaches, they keep the project’s financial box of train on the right track. Furthermore, they consider contingencies to eliminate useless delays and extra expenses from the project budget and enhance the profit margins.
Last, estimators are responsible for reducing financial risk in a construction project. Therefore, all experienced and reliable estimators always identify financial flaws in a construction plan. They not only do so but also mitigate them with reliable and cost-effective budgeting solutions.
Benefits of Hiring a Professional Construction Estimator
Hiring reliable construction estimators is necessary for every contractor. Estimators can benefit you and your construction project in the following ways:
- They define a construction project’s requirements and essential features.
- Secondly, they equip you with accurate takeoffs so you can allocate resources efficiently.
- Similarly, estimators provide comprehensive estimates that help you keep your budget under control.
- You can plan and manage your construction activities efficiently with the assistance of professional construction cost estimators.
- Moreover, you can create high-quality bids by engaging an estimator in your construction project.
- The estimator you hire will enable you to submit high-quality bids and increase your win-bid chances.
- Above all, estimators enable you to win more projects simultaneously and boost your business revenue.
You can avail yourself of all these benefits by hiring a reliable estimator for your construction project. To do so, you must know the qualities a trustworthy estimator must have.
How to Choose a Trustworthy Estimator for Your Construction Project?
First, ensure the estimator you are targeting is highly qualified and has 5+ years of experience in the construction estimating industry. He must be a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree holder in a related field. You can also choose an estimator with a Diploma or simple certificates, but Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree holders are preferable.
Once you have analyzed their education and experience, focus on the abovementioned expertise and skills. This way, you can choose the best estimator for your construction project. An estimator selected considering these factors will definitely bring your construction to the next level efficiently.
In today’s modern and innovative construction industry, engaging estimators for calculating the project budget has become essential for contractors. They perform different duties to make a construction project successful. The most prominent responsibility they perform is estimating the accurate construction budget.
While performing this primary duty, they fulfill multiple sub-duties: quantifying material, identifying labor wages, negotiating rates with suppliers, considering overhead expenses, controlling project budget, value engineering, increasing time efficiency, etc. All these factors help contractors confidently bring their construction project to sky height. You only need to choose a trustworthy and reliable estimator for your construction. Consider qualifications, experience, and expertise to select the best estimating partner. So, save your time and get started with experienced estimators today!
How do construction estimators calculate project costs?
A construction estimator calculates a project budget using estimating and takeoff software. He understands project scope, identifies material and labor needs, factors in overhead expenses, determines the cost of each construction element, and ultimately sum up all costs to get the final value required for the construction project.
How do estimators identify potential challenges and risks in a project?
Estimators do detailed analyses of a construction plan. They use historical data and industry knowledge to identify potential challenges and threats in the project.
How do estimators ensure that their bids are both competitive and accurate?
Estimators run accuracy tests on construction estimates to ensure their proposals are competitive and accurate. Moreover, they compare the bis quality with their competitors and make modifications accordingly. The approach helps them submit highly profitable bids to their clients.
How can estimators support strategic decision-making in construction projects?
Estimators calculate accurate estimates, effectively allocate resources, and control the budget to support strategic decision-making in a construction project.
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