A construction estimation is the most critical aspect of completing a successful and profitable building project. A few incorrect estimates can ruin a construction company, not only can it impact the bottom-line, but it can ruin a builder’s reputation too. This makes the construction estimator the most crucial person in the construction industry.
What is a construction estimator?
A construction estimator is the person responsible for producing an estimate of the cost of building a construction project. They consider all the direct and indirect costs, the time it will take to complete, they also consider any future issues that may impact work or the costs. This information is then used to decide on the feasibility of a project and to produce a quote.
There are many tasks a construction estimator must do, long before building begins. Some of these tasks include:
- Visiting sites to assess any issues, like drainage or site access.
- Working with engineers, or architects, to ensure that the design is feasible and if any changes need to be made.
- Liaising with venders, contractors and unions.
- Making predictions on prices, labor costs, market trends, industry regulations and the weather.
- Performing risk assessments.
- Creating quantity takeoffs and predicting costs.
- Presenting reports.
If a construction estimator misses any of these steps their estimation can be way off, causing all problems for the construction company, and the project.
Since the construction estimation is so important to get right, an estimator must have some major skills. Including
- An analytical mind.
- Problem solving.
- Attention for detail and accuracy.
- Understand blueprints, Scope of Work reports, and other construction documents.
- Know how to read the land and understand the materials available in an area.
- Understand cost management.
- Good communication skills.
- Have good contacts.
- Understand risk assessment.
- Able to stand your ground and not cave to pressure.
- Years of experience in the construction industry.
Even with all these skills, construction estimating is time-consuming and prone to human error. It is a specialized field that only construction industry professionals have tried to enter.
Unless you are a small builder then being an estimator is just another hat you wear. Luckily, these days there is software to help you out.
Benefits of software
When you consider what does a construction estimator do, you’d be forgiven if “everything” came to mind. With so many tasks to attend, so many variables to assess and so many ways to make a costly mistake then anything that can decreases the risk of error can only be a good thing. Construction estimation software is 80% faster and more accurate. It can contain relevant information like price lists for different places, your historical work data and all the construction documents for the project.
If you are a small builder who wears the estimator hat from time to time, then why not take back your time and use construction estimating software. Build your reputation as a reliable, honest and competent builder. Win more bids and save time with construction estimating software.