Best Practices For An Accurate Hendersonville Construction Estimate

Dunlap Construction has been working commercial projects for over 40 years, and we know the ins and outs of estimation challenges. Determining an estimate for a bid plays an important role in the success or failure of a job – and whether you even get the job at all. The community in Western NC has come to trust our process to provide an accurate Hendersonville construction estimate for any commercial project that comes our way. Here are some of our best practices in the estimating process.

Be Specific In The Take-Off Process 

During the take-off, we use drawings and plans to estimate portions of the work like lighting, electrical, and flooring for example. Especially in large commercial projects, missing important details at this first stage can add up to huge unexpected costs down the line. 

Account For Specialty Labor

Consider any work outside the scope of your own team and subcontractors, like ornate mill or stone work for example. Determine an hourly wage for these craftsmen that includes normal wage, benefits, and federal and state payroll costs. 

Double Check Subcontractor Quotes

Your estimate is only as good as your subcontractor’s. In other words, perform due diligence on your subcontractor quotes, getting more than one to compare. Firm estimates based on the scope of work are preferable to “cost-plus” bids. 

Avoid Unit Cost Estimating Guides

While it can be quicker, unit cost estimating guides often don’t give you a complete picture and can lead to unexpected higher costs. Each job has different variables that affect unit cost. It’s more accurate to estimate your costs for each aspect of a specific job.

Establish Equipment Needs

Take inventory of what equipment will be needed to complete the job and what you have. In addition, consider that it may be more cost effective to rent equipment, rather than purchase, depending on the job site and needs. 

Connect With Materials Suppliers

After collecting a list of materials, contact your suppliers to ensure they have stock and also to confirm pricing. Do this early, so you’ll know if there are any issues with securing materials on your large scale commercial projects. We have developed excellent working relationships with our suppliers and consult them during the bidding process so that everyone is on the same page. 

Understand Industry Fluctuations

An established commercial builder understands the industry fluctuations. Supply and demand for certain materials ebbs and flows depending on many factors. It’s important to be aware of the status of common building materials and parts at any given time. We have found that it’s one of the best prevention methods for avoiding costly quoting mistakes. 

Account For Operations

The cost of a project is not limited to materials and labor. An estimate must account for operational costs like administrative overhead, engineering, architectural and legal services, utilities, on-site temporary offices, and more. 

Identify Project Risks

Try to stay ahead of problems by assessing common risks. Fortunately, we have experience in all types of commercial projects which makes it easier to identify areas where things could go wrong. When you know the challenges ahead of time, you can develop contingencies to keep the project on track.

Use A Checklist

At Dunlap, we are detail oriented during every step of the construction process. Estimation is no different, and we utilize checklists to ensure we are handling all necessary items on time. 

Dunlap Construction has spent years honing their skills to provide the most accurate estimates. If you’re in need of a Hendersonville construction estimate, contact us today. We would be happy to discuss your project and start the bidding process.




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