Since 1999, we’ve helped thousands of construction-related businesses building stronger, more profitable businesses.

How do I price a construction job?

We recommend calculating the correct markup for your business and applying it to your estimated job costs. That will give you a fixed price you can quote your potential client. A firm fixed price quote gives them the security of knowing what the job will cost.

We wrote a book on the topic: Markup & Profit; A Contractor’s Guide Revisited. And there’s a category on our website dedicated to Pricing Jobs.

What’s the difference between markup and margin?

Markup is a percent of cost, and is applied to your estimated job costs by multiplying. Margin is a percent of price, and is applied to your estimated job costs by division.

It’s easy to get confused. We have a number of articles that explain more on the differences between markup and margin, and the pros and cons of using markup vs margin.

How do I estimate job costs accurately?

Estimating the cost of a construction project job is a skill, and skills can be learned. We discuss the basics in our article Construction Estimating: The Basics. We also have a 12-part course that teaches estimating, available on DVD and online. You can read about it here: Profitable Estimating Training.

What should be included in a construction contract?

We receive many calls from contractors who don’t write a detailed contract (or any contract) and have clients who won’t pay their bill. Our advice is to leave everything out of your contract that you can afford to pay for yourself, twice.

We dealing with contract issues here: Contracts; start with this article titled Why Do You Need a Written Construction Contract?

How do I find more clients?

Marketing. Continually. You need a website; if you don’t have one already, read our article that outlines how to get started.

As a construction business, your website needs to be optimized and marketed locally. That’s where MyOnlineToolbox comes in, showing you the finer points of getting leads from your website without having to pay a lead generation company for the same leads.

We also have articles about Marketing and Lead Generation.

How do I turn a lead into a sale?

If you find yourself trying to be the lowest bid on a project in the hope of making the sale, you’ll go right out of business. You can’t just make the sale. The price needs to be high enough to cover all your job costs, pay your overhead expenses, and make a reasonable profit. Our book, Profitable Sales, A Contractor’s Guide is focused on residential remodeling and specialty sales.

Check out our articles on sales: Sales.

Do you have advice on hiring or managing employees?

Some of our articles on employees are available here: Employees. Whether you have 1 or 200 employees, you need an employee manual. Our Employee Manual includes policies specific to the construction industry and is an excellent starting point for any construction-related business.

What about working with subcontractors (or general contractors)?

The general contractor / subcontractor relationship needs to be win-win. Michael discusses the general/subcontractor relationship often throughout the book Markup & Profit; A Contractor’s Guide Revisited. Articles on the topic are available here: Subcontractor/General Contractor Relationships.

We recommend putting your business relationship down on paper. Check out our Subcontractor Manual.

How do I start a construction business?

Many contractors start a construction business with all the skills necessary to do the trade. But when you become a business owner you need more than trade skills. We recommend Markup & Profit; A Contractor’s Guide Revisited for starters; there are many, many articles available on our website. Start here: How to Be Profitable.

Scroll to Top