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.
Our last newsletter triggered a question on estimating labor.
Estimating the cost of a remodeling, renovation or specialty project accurately is critical if you want to be profitable.
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.
After reading our books and trying to do things right, why is he still not making any money?
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.
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)
A building owner challenges our statement that contractors shouldn’t itemize their estimates.
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.
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
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.
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.
What you do has value. Respect your time and your knowledge.
Estimate your jobs properly so surprises don’t happen.
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.
When profits are down, missing the estimate on jobs is almost always part of the reason.
Error factors, Superman complex, Demolition and Discovery agreements, hauling out the trash.
Know the inspectors required in your area and add an “inspector factor” to your estimates.
You have a choice in how you do your estimating. Some methods work well, but unfortunately, many don't.
The purpose of an estimate is to price the job. If you want to be profitable, accuracy matters.
My clients are constantly chiseling me down, everyone makes money on the jobs except me.
Why clients request itemized estimates, and how you should respond.
Estimating errors cost money. Lower your error factor but considering these common mistakes.
Estimating basics, with the goal of getting you back to the potential client quicker with a more accurate estimates.
Guidelines to a more successful construction-related business.
If you forget to include the cost of insulation, you’ll be paying for it out of your own pocket.
When you are estimating jobs, don't forget travel costs. One reader sent this note some time ago – it's even more true now.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Respect your time – get paid for the work you do.