Unit Cost Estimating

By Michael Stone – (May 12, 2021)

Unit cost estimating is breaking down a project to simple assemblies. It’s the best way to consistently acquire accurate estimates.

You Have Better Things to Do than Estimate

By Michael Stone – (Jul 22, 2020)

Getting a commitment from potential clients is critical if you want to save yourself a ton of time and work putting together an estimate that won’t go anywhere. You have better things to do with your time.

Estimating Labor in Construction

By Michael Stone – (May 13, 2020)

Our last newsletter triggered a question on estimating labor.

Estimating Errors Cost Money

By Michael Stone – (Apr 29, 2020)

Estimating the cost of a remodeling, renovation or specialty project accurately is critical if you want to be profitable.

When Success Looks Impossible

By Michael Stone – (Jun 19, 2019)

After reading our books and trying to do things right, why is he still not making any money?

Estimating, Labor Burden, and Cost of Goods Sold

By Devon Stone – (Apr 17, 2019)

When you own a small business you wear a lot of hats. Understanding the numbers might not be your favorite hat, but numbers are important because they show where you stand financially.

Stop Giving Free Estimates

By David Lupberger – (Jan 16, 2019)

You should stop providing free estimates. It’s called free consulting, and you won’t be successful giving away your time. (Guest Article from David Lupberger, Remodel Force)

Strengthening Your Business

By Michael Stone – (Apr 12, 2017)

I’ve been around the construction industry long enough to know that it isn’t always rosy. When a recession hits, construction is one of the early victims.

Estimating Incomplete or Conceptual Plans

By Michael Stone – (Mar 15, 2017)

To be blunt: projects like this are a waste of time. I’ve rarely if ever seen a request like this turn into a contract

Preparing to Estimate

By Michael Stone – (Aug 17, 2016)

Estimating is necessary, but it isn’t easy; it’s hard, tedious work. There are four basic things you need before you begin your estimate.

Your Labor Rate and Your Markup

By Michael Stone – (May 18, 2016)

Using the wrong labor rate, or using someone else’s markup when you don’t know their assumptions, is one of the biggest mistakes we see and the difference can be thousands of dollars.

Free Estimates

By Michael Stone – (Mar 23, 2016)

What you do has value. Respect your time and your knowledge.

Surprises Aren’t

By Michael Stone – (Apr 17, 2014)

Estimate your jobs properly so surprises don’t happen.

Get a Commitment Before You Invest

By Michael Stone – (Dec 18, 2013)

If you want to make the best use of your time and not allow others to waste your time, don’t estimate major projects without a design agreement.

Estimating Construction

By Michael Stone – (Dec 12, 2013)

Estimating construction isn’t easy. When profits are down, missing the estimate on jobs is almost always part of the reason.

Estimating Blunders, Part 4

By Michael Stone – (Oct 30, 2013)

Error factors, Superman complex, Demolition and Discovery agreements, hauling out the trash.

Estimating Blunders, Part 3

By Michael Stone – (Oct 23, 2013)

Know the inspectors required in your area and add an “inspector factor” to your estimates.

Estimating Blunders, Part 2

By Michael Stone – (Oct 16, 2013)

You have a choice in how you do your estimating. Some methods work well, but unfortunately, many don't.

Estimating Blunders

By Michael Stone – (Oct 9, 2013)

The purpose of an estimate is to price the job. If you want to be profitable, accuracy matters.

Making it Work, Profitably

By Michael Stone – (Sep 11, 2013)

My clients are constantly chiseling me down, everyone makes money on the jobs except me.

Itemized Estimates

By Michael Stone – (Jun 26, 2013)

Why clients request itemized estimates, and how you should respond.

How to Estimate Construction Costs

By Michael Stone – (May 8, 2013)

Estimating errors cost money. Lower your error factor by considering these common mistakes.

Construction Estimating: The Basics

By Michael Stone – (Oct 30, 2012)

The basics of construction estimating, so you can create more accurate estimates in a shorter time.

Create Accurate Estimates

By Michael Stone – (Sep 8, 2011)

If you forget to include the cost of insulation, you’ll be paying for it out of your own pocket.

Surprises on a Construction Job

By Michael Stone – (Jul 8, 2010)

A homeowner commented on a forum. He’d been told to add $3 – $5K to a job just to cover the extras that will come up. He was under the impression this is normal.

Price Fixing in Construction

By Michael Stone – (May 28, 2009)

During a recent survey, comments were made about price fixing. They referenced the Sherman Antitrust Act and association warnings about the appearance of price fixing.

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