You Have Better Things to Do than Estimate

By Michael Stone

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

Our last newsletter triggered a question on estimating labor.


Estimating Errors Cost Money

By Michael Stone

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


Business or Charity?

By Michael Stone

If you’re a business owner and take on a project out of the goodness of your heart, recognize you might not get paid and will be funding the project.


When Success Looks Impossible

By Michael Stone

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

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

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)


An Opinion on Itemized Estimates

By Michael Stone

A building owner challenges our statement that contractors shouldn’t itemize their estimates.


Strengthening Your Business

By Michael Stone

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

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

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

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

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


Surprises Aren’t

By Michael Stone

Estimate your jobs properly so surprises don’t happen.


Get a Commitment Before You Invest

By Michael Stone

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 Basics

By Michael Stone

When profits are down, missing the estimate on jobs is almost always part of the reason.


Estimating Blunders, Part 4

By Michael Stone

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


Estimating Blunders, Part 3

By Michael Stone

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


Estimating Blunders, Part 2

By Michael Stone

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


Estimating Blunders

By Michael Stone

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

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


Itemized Estimates

By Michael Stone

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


Estimating: How to Improve Your Profit Margin

By Michael Stone

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


Construction Estimating: The Basics

By Michael Stone

Estimating basics, with the goal of getting you back to the potential client quicker with a more accurate estimates.


Guidelines for Success

By Michael Stone

Guidelines to a more successful construction-related business.


Create Accurate Estimates

By Michael Stone

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


Consider Fuel Costs in Your Estimates

By Michael Stone

When you are estimating jobs, don't forget travel costs. One reader sent this note some time ago – it's even more true now.


Surprises on a Construction Job

By Michael Stone

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

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.


Profitable Selling

By Michael Stone

In an earlier blog post, I said lowering your price is financial suicide. If you can’t cover your overhead and make a profit, you’ll be out of business AND in debt soon.


Fixed Price Quotations or Itemization?

By Michael Stone

I read an article telling general and specialty contractors to give itemized estimates. Oh joy. It talks about goodwill, trust, comparing estimates, and other tripe.


Charging for Estimates

By Michael Stone

If you’ve been in construction sales very long, you’ve met potential customers who ask for an estimate, but after a lot of work you learn they were just shopping.


Estimated Time for a Construction Project

By Michael Stone

If your employees consistently take longer than you estimated, you need to change your method of estimating. The human body can only work so fast.


Getting Paid for Quotes – Part 2

By Michael Stone

Respect your time – get paid for the work you do.


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