The Basics of Construction Estimating: A Guide for Construction Company Owners
The Basics of Construction Estimating: A Guide for Construction Company Owners

The Basics of Construction Estimating: A Guide for Construction Company Owners

As a construction company owner, one of the most important skills you need is construction estimating. Accurate project estimation is critical to the success of any construction business, as it ensures that you deliver projects on time, within budget, and to the satisfaction of your clients. In this blog post, we will discuss the basics of construction estimating, from preparing a project estimate to predicting the cost of materials to determining a project’s duration.

Preparing a Project Estimate

The first step in construction estimating is preparing a project estimate. This involves analyzing the project requirements and developing a comprehensive plan for the construction project. You will need to identify what tools, equipment, and materials you will need to get the job done. You should also consider any additional labor costs, safety equipment and measures, and any permits and licenses that will be required. Keeping accurate records of your labor and material costs is crucial for construction estimating.

Predicting the Cost of Materials

Once you have prepared a project estimate, it is time to predict the cost of materials. You can base this estimate on the cost of materials you have used in the past, or you can research current prices in your region. It is important to remember that the cost of materials can fluctuate depending on market changes, so you should always have a contingency plan in place if prices rise unexpectedly. In addition, you may want to consider shopping around for the best deals on construction materials to maximize your profit margins.

Determining a Project’s Duration

The next step in construction estimating is determining a project’s duration. This involves analyzing the project requirements and your workforce’s productivity to predict how long it will take to complete the project. You will need to factor in any weather conditions, potential road closures, and other influences that could impact the project’s timeline. You may also need to make adjustments to your workforce’s schedule to ensure that they are available when needed. When estimating the project’s duration, it’s always best to allow some wiggle room for unforeseen circumstances that could delay the project’s completion.

Using Technology to Improve Construction Estimating

In recent years, technology has revolutionized construction estimating. There are now a variety of software programs and apps available to help construction companies make more accurate estimates. These programs can help you keep track of your labor and material costs, as well as calculate accurate project timelines. By using these tools, construction company owners can reduce errors, improve the accuracy of their estimates, and ultimately increase their profit margins.

Hiring Professional Estimators

Finally, if you find that you don’t have the skills or experience to prepare construction estimates, it may be worth considering hiring a professional estimator. Professional estimators have the knowledge and expertise needed to accurately predict the cost of materials and predict project timelines, alleviating some of the stress from business owners. Although it may be an added expense, it can ultimately save you time and money in the long run.


In conclusion, construction estimating is a critical skill for any construction company owner. By preparing accurate project estimates, predicting the cost of materials, determining a project’s duration, using technology, and potentially hiring professional estimators, construction companies can improve their profit margins and ensure the success of their projects. As you begin your journey into construction estimating, remember to always keep accurate records, factor in unexpected circumstances, and use every tool at your disposal to make the most accurate estimates possible.