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What is Estimating?

An estimate is just that, an estimate. If an estimator could provide the perfect estimate, he probably would never have the lowest price. Sometimes, mistakes are made during the estimating process. The goal should be to minimize mistakes and properly account for all risks in the project. Our desire should be at the end of the project, that you had enough material dollars and labor hours to complete the project and make a profit.

Estimating . . . . is what the estimator does when he performs take-offs and getting quotations on all the materials for a complete project estimate. The estimator’s main objective is to quantify the work in the contract documents.

The estimator should have all the information that his chief estimator needs for the bidding process. One of the estimator’s main goals should be to inform his chief estimator where the “risks” are in the project.

Bidding . . . . is what the estimator and chief estimator do together on bid day. They make labor and material adjustments and include all direct and indirect costs to arrive at the final price for the project. Your objective is to have a bid price that you can make a profit. You should be in business to make money, not to win bids.

The chief estimator must know the current trends in his market. Studying previous bids results will prove to be helpful.