A building estimating service is a great way to cut down on overhead costs and allow your company to focus on other aspects of your business. This unique type of service provides cost estimates for a wide variety of projects, including commercial, residential and industrial buildings.
Estimating services are staffed by professionals who make it their job to stay up to date on estimating software and unit pricing. This means you can save money by outsourcing this service to your construction estimating firm.
Scope of Work
Cost estimates are a key part of defining a project’s scope and evaluating its feasibility. They are also an essential tool for comparing bids and choosing contractors. The best way to make an accurate estimate is by preparing a detailed quantity takeoff, which provides line-by-line costs for the types and amounts of materials needed to build a structure. Using local resources can be a smart way to save money on construction costs, as some materials may be more economical in certain areas, such as wood in regions close to lumber mills.
A construction estimating service can provide a range of services to contractors, builders and project owners involved in a building project. These include providing estimates based on project plans, performing material quantity takeoffs and creating cost models and assemblies in Sage Timberline software. In addition, they can provide labor and equipment pricing benchmarks based on location. These benchmarks can be used to calculate unit prices for various construction materials such as concrete, drywall and steel framing.
The work of a construction estimator is complex and requires a great deal of attention to detail. Inaccurate estimates can be the reason a company loses a bid or causes costly cost overruns on a project. Inaccurate estimating is often the result of outdated or inaccurate pricing data. Construction estimating services use the latest pricing data to provide precise and accurate estimates.
Construction estimating services are invaluable for the success of every construction project. They help to eliminate unforeseen expenses and ensure projects are completed on time and within budget. They also help to minimize the amount of overhead, which means that more money can be channeled into other parts of the business.
The job of a construction estimator is challenging because the prices for materials are always changing. In addition, the price changes may not be reflected in the finished product for six to 18 months or more. This makes it difficult to create an accurate estimate unless the estimator can closely monitor the market for price and availability of materials and labor. Moreover, it is essential that the estimator has a good knowledge of building design, engineering and architecture.
Quantity takeoffs are a critical part of construction estimating and a key component to building a cost estimate. They involve examining the blueprints of a project and measuring quantities on them. This helps the contractor determine the necessary materials and supplies needed for the project. These measurements are then used to determine the overall cost of the project.
Quantities takeoffs are essential for accurate estimating, especially on complex projects. The smallest errors in this step can snowball into costly mistakes later on, which can impact the entire project. Luckily, there are software tools available that can help streamline this process. These tools provide a more efficient way to perform quantity takeoffs and save time by reducing manual labor. They also offer a wide variety of functionality, including linear, area and volume measurement.
When choosing a building estimating service, be sure to select one with experience in the industry. They should be familiar with the latest construction methods and have a strong understanding of local market conditions. This will ensure that they can give you the most accurate estimates possible. In addition, they should be able to identify potential issues early on and prevent costly mistakes during the bidding process.
Often, the term “quantity takeoff” is confused with “materials takeoff”. While they sound similar, they are two different processes. A quantity takeoff measures the physical quantities of work items on a set of project plans, while a material takeoff only calculates the quantities of materials needed for the construction.
A quantity takeoff is a vital part of the estimating process, and it is crucial to the success of any project. This is because it provides the estimater with all the information they need to accurately bid on a job. It also helps to reduce waste and avoid expensive errors. In addition, it can help contractors win more jobs by ensuring they are bidding on the correct scope of work. It can also reduce the time it takes to submit a bid. This is especially important in a competitive marketplace. It also helps to improve communication between contractors and clients.
When building a project, it is important to have an accurate estimate of the costs of all the materials needed to build the structure. If this is not done, it can lead to many problems down the road including cost overruns, change orders and overall project delays. This is why using a professional construction estimating service is so vital. Construction estimating services are experts at building a detailed estimate, and they have access to up-to-date construction unit pricing as well as a variety of estimating software programs. They are also able to streamline the process of building an estimate and quantity takeoff so that it is more efficient than trying to handle these tasks in-house.
The first step in the estimating process is to validate the project’s Scope of Work, which is a document that outlines the entirety of the work that needs to be completed for a project. This, along with the project plans and specifications, give the estimator a good starting point to begin compiling a list of materials, known as the Quantity Takeoff, that is necessary for constructing the building.
Once a quantity takeoff is complete, the estimator will use the quantities for all of the major structural systems, production equipment and other items in the project to create a detailed estimate for each item. This estimate includes the direct construction cost, field supervision and a markup for profit and overhead. It can be used for either budget control purposes by the engineer or the contractor, and it is often the basis for planning long term project financing.
This is a very time-consuming and labor-intensive task, which is why it is so critical to use a professional construction estimating service. They are able to work more efficiently than an in-house estimating team and have years of experience with construction estimating software and local cost data. They will also be able to keep up with changes in the construction market so that they can quickly adapt their estimating methods when necessary. In addition, they can save contractors the expensive overhead of maintaining their own estimating team and help them to grow their business by increasing the amount of bids they win.
Construction estimators are an invaluable part of the building process. Their work is a cornerstone to every project that comes in on schedule and budget. However, even the best estimation teams can face challenges in a number of areas.
For example, many owners are implementing Design-Build and other project delivery methods which require greater estimator capability than traditional design bidding processes. In addition, escalating material prices and market conditions make it difficult to keep up with the latest pricing changes. Adding to these issues, many estimating departments are being asked to perform multiple levels of estimates.
This includes Order of Magnitude, Preliminary or Schematic, and Design Development Estimates (EDE, PD). In addition to these levels of estimate, many projects are required to be bid on in lump sum. These types of estimates typically have a short, intense bid period that may only last two to four weeks. This puts a great amount of pressure on the estimating team to accurately report costs while trying to maintain an acceptable level of accuracy and still provide a competitive estimate.
It is not uncommon for general contractors to have a wide array of subcontractors to choose from, making the process of comparing and selecting tradesman and their pricing an overwhelming one. Using a professional estimating service can help eliminate this burden by allowing a contractor to focus on what they do best and leave the cost estimating to the pros.
ESNY can assist by performing comprehensive trade-by-trade analyses of a project and creating a unbiased, competitve subcontractor bid list that is ready to go out to tender. This service will help reduce the time and resources a general contractor has to spend on creating an estimate while providing a more accurate estimate that can be bid on in a short period of time.
Our estimating services use On-Screen Takeoff, the industry’s leading paperless quantity capture software and RSMeans Construction Cost Data to produce high-quality cost and quantity estimates. We have a team of experienced estimators that are skilled in residential, low-rise and high-rise commercial, retail, medical, institutional, mining and industrial estimating. Each estimate is generated using an Excel file which allows for easy customization to fit your company’s pricing.