One of the most important activities before any construction can get underway is to prepare an estimation of the costs involved. The reasons why an estimate is required are simple. No one is willing to spend money without a clear idea of how much money is required, whether it is as simple as putting up a wall or a complex multi-storied building. When it comes to large-scale construction, estimation of costs is a separate job by itself, with special qualifications and training required to do an estimator’s job. That said, it is not necessary for you to be a qualified estimator to write simple construction estimate forms.
As with other things, help is at hand with standard templates and forms available online (see our list of construction estimate form templates below). There is also specialized software available for making estimations. This article explores how you can write simple construction estimate forms without too much difficulty. Just follow the instructions listed here.
- Headings. The top of each page should contain the name of the project in the center, your name on one side, and the name of the potential client on the other side.
- Subheadings. Break each aspect of your project down into its own section, and separate them with appropriate estimate subheadings. The subheading should be short but descriptive. Include words that describe what is being described on that page. For example, you can use words such as “electrical schematics” to describe what work is being estimated.
- Quantity. On the left hand side should be enough space to include a quantity for each item needed. This can be crucial for an accurate estimate.
- Sum it all up. Place a section at the bottom for the total amount for the job. You can include a subtotal if you need to add tax or labor charges.
Basic purpose - First, have a clear idea of the construction project in question. For example, let’s say you’re building a new brick wall around a property. Take a sheet of paper and pen or pencil to list the basic requirements you need to cover to build this wall.
Components of the estimate form - Continuing with the brick wall example, you will need to set down individual specifications as below:
- Materials. Prepare an estimate of the materials required to build this wall. This will include bricks, mortar, tools and equipment, other related hardware, etc. In this set of rows, list the exact quantities of material required. Make note of the number of bricks, how many bags of cement, sand, etc. along with the unit price and total cost for all the materials. For example, one brick costs $5 and you need a total of 1,000 bricks, so the total cost will be $5,000 for the bricks.
- Permits. Detailed plans and permissions required. Under this section, write down the price or fees that will need to be paid for securing approval for the construction plan. Also include the city or county fees to be paid for securing permission to allow the construction to go ahead.
- Extra. When it comes to estimating the quantity of material required, always add an additional 10%-15% to make allowance for wastage, etc.
- Labor. The next item of specification will be the cost of labor to build your brick wall. This item must take into account the number of laborers, number of hours per day they will work, and the rate per laborer per hour. To finish, calculate a total for the full project.
It’s quite possible that your initial estimates on the construction project may be incorrect. In such a case, you may need to prepare a new estimate midway through the project when your costs increase. To avoid some of these cost over-runs, at the outset be sure to consult with any professionals such as a builder or construction contractor that you may be collaborating with when putting together your construction estimate. To make it simpler and easier to calculate costs, use a basic spreadsheet where you can enter various formulas for calculation. Armed with this information, you are now ready to prepare your own construction estimate forms.