Unique Skills of a Great Construction Estimator

Construction estimators play a pivotal role in the success of your company, don’t they? Drawing from their skills and experience, they can provide accurate project costs in the minimal amount of time possible, thus optimizing the chances of you being awarded the project. An efficient cost estimator at the “helm” improves the chances of your success.

Qualities Construction Estimators Should Essentially Possess

Let’s have a look at characteristics of competent construction estimators:

  • “Inside- out” knowledge of digital takeoff and estimating
  • A Grasp on construction materials and methods
  • A systematic and organized approach towards work
  • Grasp of architectural and engineering drawings
  • A Knowledge of creating accurate estimates
  • Insight into various task processes of their own company regarding execution of construction projects
  • Good judgment ability
  • Ethics to ensure that the estimating serves the business efficiently
  • Fair treatment of subcontractors
  • An ability to structure an estimate in a way that assists with cost optimization
  • Knowledge of using and utilizing different construction methods and materials
  • Proficiency in evaluating bids from subcontractors
  • Research skills

Construction estimators need to continuously improve upon their techniques and processes to achieve better results. They need to be able, and capable, to do deep research into various aspects of construction estimation such as the success rate of the construction bids submitted, the number and background of a contractor providing estimates for given projects, bid details of the lowest bidder, and more.

Since the computer has almost replaced all manual work, construction estimators need to have the drive and dedication to hone their software skills and find better ways to improve the presentation of estimates.

Construction estimators’ are expected to take key calls when preparing bid documents and this is where their experience and judgment counts. They should know which construction materials to use for various clients. They should know how to frame the document so that it has the absolute maximum chance of winning a bid.

What To Look Out For: 

Here’re potential pitfalls estimators will do well to avoid:

  • Failure to take into account relevant project documents
  • Skipping job site visits.
  • Not double checking the final results

No matter how sophisticated the construction estimating software is, the accuracy of the estimate depends to a large extent, on the expertise and experience of the construction estimator. Software is like a car. Cars can get you where you need to go…. unless you drive it carelessly.

Arbitrary cost adjustments are another major mistake of construction estimators. Adjustments happen, but they must be driven by sound business decisions.

A construction estimator is a key position within your company and you need to select and hire  someone with experience and preferably formal training. Choose a professional or a team of professionals that have experience in construction. Recruit people well-versed in construction materials, costs, and various relevant procedures.

Start creating accurate construction takeoffs and estimates today