Accurate Square Foot Estimating is Key
Square foot estimating is the bedrock of many contracting projects. If you can’t accurately estimate square footage, you won’t know how much material to buy, and you won’t know how to gauge your labor costs. After all, you have to know how long it takes per square foot for a certain project so that you can estimate how many work hours will be spent to complete the job. Most small to medium size contractors make the mistake of eyeballing the job and coming up with a best “guesstimate.” Unfortunately, this “best-guess” type of estimating does nothing to improve a contractor’s bottom line.
Risks of Inaccurate Estimates
Why is accuracy so important? If your estimates aren’t accurate, you’re doing one of two things. You’re either leaving money on the table, or, you are overbidding and risking losing projects to contractors with more accurate, reasonable bids.
Think about what happens when you underbid a project. If you underestimate the cost of materials and labor, your customer is likely to balk at paying the additional amount after the project is over. You’ll have some wiggle room to negotiate, but if the amount is way off the mark from the original estimate, you’ll have one angry and obstinate customer on your hands. And you can’t really blame them either. You’ll have to finagle more money out of your customer to make the job profitable, or settle for less than the job is worth to make the customer happy and preserve your reputation.
But what about overbidding? Can’t you just overestimate a bit so that the customer will actually be happy when he ends up paying less than the original estimate? The problem with this approach is that the customer will probably not hire you if your bid is much higher than other contractors’ bids. There’s no point in creating a bid that maximizes your profit if you won’t get the job in the first place.
What’s the Solution?
So what is the solution for accurate square foot estimating? The answer is a virtual estimating center – a construction estimation program that can accurately estimate the cost of a job based on square footage. But how can this type of software help you produce accurate estimates?
What it does is standardizes your bidding practices and takes the guesswork out of square foot estimating. A good estimation software program will record all kinds of data about past jobs, including the costs of labor and materials, size of the job, and other factors that will easily allow you to perform accurate square foot estimating.
Get It Just Right
When you do everything in measurable units instead of just making your best guess, you are more likely to be on target with your square foot estimating. This serves a variety of useful purposes for any contracting business. First, you’ll improve your profit margin. Second, your client will be impressed with your professionalism. This means more word of mouth advertising for you and an advantage over your competitors. Finally, you’ll be more likely to get the bid – every time. No more disappointing losses to competitors with lower, more accurate bids.
The bottom line: accurate square foot estimating ensures increased profitability and customer satisfaction, giving you the edge over your competitors and helping you stay active in a competetive market.