Project Management

5 ways to balance speed and accuracy when creating construction estimates

Balanced scale with speed on one side and accuracy on the other side.

When it comes to any kind of work, we all try to strike the perfect balance between speed and accuracy. This is especially true for builders who create construction estimates.  

You want to get your project off the ground, but you need time to ensure your estimates are as accurate as possible. You want to be thoughtful in providing your client with a correct estimate, but they’re eager to see how much their project will cost. We get it. 

Between the inevitable obstacles of project management and fluctuating industry costs, why add more stress to an already full plate?

We’ve compiled a few tips to help you balance speed and accuracy in creating construction estimates – because you’re far too busy to be doing it all by hand.

1. Stick to strict time management

For the success of your projects, your profits and your people, it’s vital to have a well-structured timeline. Figure out how long it takes you to produce an estimate, and set up your deadlines based on your past processes.

Additionally, when you create a strong timeline for your business, you can better estimate how long each project will take – and subsequently, what fixed expenses will need to be allocated in your estimate.

Keeping in mind standard delays, calculate and communicate time management expectations and stick to your deadlines.

To do this, you’ll need clear specifications from your client, well-versed subs who can reliably meet deadlines and built-in time for errors and recounted takeoffs.

2. Simplify your estimating process

Using tools in Buildertrend, work to simplify your estimating processes. Try the centralized Customer Portal, easy-to-create change orders and efficient To-Do’s to embrace your tried-and-true project management in a whole new way.

By organizing with these tools, you can rely on automated checklists, simplified client communications and transparent documentation to improve accuracy from the get-go.

Buildertrend can take your expert estimating skills to a whole new level – and save you time and money in one fell swoop.

3. Be knowledgeable about material costs

Material costs vary from project to project, so having a working knowledge of industry standard costs and construction inflation is key. When you create accurate estimates, you save on material costs, keeping you on track to order what you need – and nothing more.

Plus, when you know what to expect from suppliers, you can move with speed and calculate your material costs faster. Stay on top of it all in Buildertrend’s construction software and watch as your speed and accuracy improve with each estimate.

4. Build good relationships

Transparency, reliable communication and authentic networking skills are vital to an accurate and speedy estimate. You’ll be better off when it comes time for takeoff if you get to know your subs, connect with your clients and understand evolving industry changes.

When you have the context and clarity of a well-connected builder, construction estimating is a breeze. Relying on your subs and knowing the latest on material costs creates a simple and strategic estimating process you can depend on.

5. Invest in estimating and takeoff software

Cut out the manual calculations and invest in takeoff software. Although you might be savvy at estimating by hand, there are now tools available to save you time and headaches.

Takeoff software like Buildertrend Takeoff allows you to automate your digital blueprints so you can measure and calculate to scale using cutting-edge technology. You’ll be able to keep your measurements accounted for and your calculations accurate, all while reducing risk and streamlining your process.

Additionally, takeoff software tools keep up with ever-changing supplier prices, allowing you to fast-track what would otherwise take hours and keep all your vital information secure and easy to access.

The takeoff process is 33% faster with software, according to our internal data. Save time and money with less errors and give yourself the competitive advantage of offering a digital takeoff process.

Automate the rest of your building processes in Buildertrend, the leading construction software for residential builders. Lead tracking, project management, financial control – it all happens in this platform. It’s the best partner a builder could have.

If you’re ready to make the jump to construction software and enjoy speedy, accurate estimates, we’re here to help. Schedule a demo with Buildertrend today to get started.

About The Author

Kamrin Baker

Kamrin Baker Kamrin Baker is a freelance copywriter for Buildertrend.

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