Construction Estimating Secrets – Part 2
Construction Estimating is the lifeblood of your company. If you don’t estimate you don’t get work. Construction estimating may be the hardest part of your job because if you don’t estimate accurately, you’re in trouble no matter how well the job itself goes.
Organize Your Construction Estimating into Sections
Sections are also called tasks, classes and a number of other terms. Sections are a way of organizing your estimate into logical groups of items. They are groupings like: site preparation, foundations, framing, roofing, interior framing, electrical, etc.
Here’s why sections help you. They focus your estimating when you are doing your takeoffs. So, if you are working on foundations, for example, you focus on the items that are going into the foundation. Nothing else. If you are working on Framing, you focus on what is going into framing.
With that focus, you are much less likely to forget to add an item or duplicate an item. When you finish foundations, you move on to the next section.
By the way, you can have a list of sections for any trade, not just general contractors, when you are construction estimating.
Another advantage of sections is that you can easily review your estimate before you present it to your prospect checking for duplicate or missing items.
Finally, sections allow you to do a reality check on your estimate. Let’s say your project is a 1,000 foot room addition. Based on past experience you know that exterior wall framing should be about $10,000. If you look at the exterior wall framing section of your estimate and it’s $8,000 you look for missing items. If it’s $12,000 you look for duplicated items.
Construction Estimating and Job Cost
If you’re like a lot contractors I’ve talked with over the years, you know you should be doing job cost. Knowing and doing it are frequently two different issues.
Why is that? Frequently I’ve heard:
⇒ It’s too hard
⇒ It’s too time consuming
⇒ I don’t know how to do it
⇒ I don’t know how to get started
⇒ and hundreds of other excuses… reasons
Tracking Your Job Costs Doesn’t Have to be Hard!
If you use measurable items in your construction estimating, you can do job cost. It doesn’t have to be hard or time consuming or any of those other things.
It can save your company and your future!
If you’re not costing your jobs you’re probably making the same mistakes over and over. You can’t bid, you can only guess, if you don’t know what it costs to do the work!
Keeping track of your actual costs is absolutely essential to your long term success as a contractor. If you don’t know your costs for materials and time for labor, how can you estimate a job?
How to Make Job Cost Easy
One of the ways to make job cost as easy as it’s going to get is to simplify it. We will discuss that in Construction Estimating Secrets – Part 3
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