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5 Key Factors to Consider for Accurate Construction Estimates

The deadline for the Tender is approaching, and it's crucial to ensure that your numbers are accurate. Unfortunately, many construction owners are unaware of their true business costs, which can result in unsuccessful bids even with a backlog of work. Inaccurate estimates can expose your construction business to unnecessary risk, and even if you count quantities correctly, you may still end up on the wrong end of a low bid if you haven't fully assessed the project scope and requirements.

Estimating challenges such as incomplete plans and requests for alternates can make it difficult to prepare a professional tender. To win the most profitable project for your construction business, it's crucial to be diligent when estimating. Here are five crucial items to double-check in your final bid:

  1. Equipment needed: Account for each piece of equipment, including rental equipment, and calculate an accurate cost based on lifetime ownership divided by billable hours.

  2. Excavated material: Inspect the site and calculate the number of cubic meters of material to be excavated, as the cost of removing soil could be significant.

  3. Long lead times: Plan for long-lead items that may impact deadlines, such as cladding and glazing systems, escalators, and steel frames.

  4. Safety rules: Ensure you factor in the cost of ensuring public safety, including cones, barricades, locks, and gates, and comply with laws regarding hazardous waste disposal.

  5. Site conditions: Visit the site to be aware of all physical conditions, such as working in a tight urban space, which could prove more costly and reduce profits.

It's also crucial to double-check your labor rates and factor in accurate hourly rates for specialty labor or craftsmen. By going over labor records weekly, you can spot issues early in the project.

To avoid repeating mistakes, fine-tune your estimating workflow and track progress against your original estimate. Embrace digital takeoff and estimating tools to save on costs, as printing, shipping, organizing, and storing paper plans can be expensive. Additionally, using digital tools allows for historical calculations and more accurate data analysis. Integrating your digital tools can result in even more savings, and greater accuracy in estimating and construction timelines can deliver significant cost savings for subcontractors and general contractors.


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