Proper Estimating is Critical

Many problems can be overcome by good project managers and superintendents. However, nothing can overcome a poor estimate.

An extremely important component of the estimating process is the material takeoff or what is commonly referred to as the “takeoff”— defined as a process that contractors use to figure out the exact quantity of materials needed for a specific project. Because no work day or project goes flawlessly, determining “the exact quantity of materials” that will be needed to complete a job can be nearly impossible. Therefore, certain assumptions and contingencies must be “built-in” to takeoffs. The complexity of the project in relation to the potential for material loss or waste and the potential for weather-related damage to materials are two examples of several factors that should be considered when creating every takeoff.

Another important element of determining takeoffs is whether the specified or desired materials are readily available or are subject to large price fluctuations. In both of these cases, we frequently provide estimates as specified as well as estimates utilizing an alternate material that often has the potential to provide more client benefits while reducing material and labor installation costs (sometimes substantially).

Ultimately, by meticulously considering these factors and embracing flexibility in our estimating processes, we can mitigate risks and ensure more accurate project outcomes. As we strive for excellence in our craft, we remember the fundamental importance of a well-calibrated estimate—one that serves as the bedrock upon which successful construction endeavors are built.


If you have any questions or comments, please email me, Pete Taylor, CEO and Chairman of the Board at Standard, at:

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