How to Find the Right Construction Estimator: Tips for Builders
If you’re a builder in the UK planning a construction project, you know how crucial it is to have accurate cost estimates. Without a reliable construction estimator, your project could quickly spiral out of control, both in terms of budget and timeline. So, how do you find the right construction estimator to ensure your project’s success? In this guide, we’ll provide you with valuable tips and insights to help you make the right choice.
1. Define Your Project Scope:
Before you even start looking for a construction estimator, it’s essential to have a clear understanding of your project’s scope. Define your project’s goals, budget, and timeline. This clarity will not only help you communicate effectively with potential estimators but also assist you in evaluating their suitability for your project. Check that the estimating company you are choosing has experience of working within your field, for example a large commercial firm of quantity surveyors probably wont be interested in pricing a small domestic extension, that’s why at Osborne Estimating we work predominantly with domestic builders as we have extensive experience within the domestic construction market.
2. Seek Recommendations:
One of the best ways to find a reliable estimator is by seeking recommendations from other builders or industry professionals. Ask for referrals from trusted colleagues who have worked with estimators in the past. Personal recommendations can often lead you to experienced and reputable professionals. Over 90% of our client base are regular clients who we have built a close working relationship with.
3. Check Qualifications and Experience:
When evaluating potential construction estimators, be sure to check their qualifications and experience. Look for estimators who have a background in construction or relevant qualifications, such as a degree in construction management or quantity surveying. Experience is also vital, so consider how long the estimator has been in the industry and if they’ve worked on projects similar to yours. Check that the estimating company that you are sending your projects to are the ones who will actually be estimating the project, and not sending them out to be completed by inexperienced estimators who often have limited understanding of UK construction methods and regulations.
4. Review Their Portfolio:
Ask to see the estimator’s portfolio of previous projects. This can give you a good sense of their experience and the quality of their work. Pay attention to projects that are similar in size and scope to yours. If the estimator has a successful track record with comparable projects, it’s a positive sign. at Osborne Estimating we can always send across examples of our previous estimates to show you the format and structure.
5. Understand Their Estimation Methods:
Every construction estimator may have their unique approach to estimation. Discuss their estimation methods and tools. Do they use specialized software? Are they up-to-date with the latest industry standards and regulations in the UK? A good estimator should be well-versed in the latest technologies and methodologies. all of our estimates are structured in either SMM7, NRM2 or in a logical construction path format, that is transparent and easy to follow.
6. Assess Communication Skills:
Effective communication is crucial in any construction project. Ensure that the estimator can clearly and concisely convey their estimates, methodologies, and findings. This will help prevent misunderstandings and keep your project on track.
7. Discuss Fees and Payment Structure:
Transparency regarding fees and payment structures is essential. Make sure you understand how the estimator charges for their services, whether it’s a fixed fee, a percentage of the project cost, or an hourly rate. It’s crucial to have a clear agreement in place to avoid any financial surprises later on. we always work on a fixed fee basis, that is provided before commencing of works, so you will never pay more than our quoted fee. For payments we take 50% upfront to book in a project, with the balance due upon completion. Here’s a guide on our website that sets out our typical fee structure for projects
8. Assess Availability and Commitment:
Determine the estimator’s availability and commitment to your project. You’ll want someone who can dedicate sufficient time and attention to your project, ensuring that the estimates are accurate and timely. we typically work on a 5-10 working day turnaround, but we will advise of availability prior to accepting your order.
9. Evaluate Trust and Rapport:
The working relationship between you and your estimator is vital. Building trust and rapport is essential. You need to feel comfortable working with them and believe that they have your best interests in mind. If you have doubts about their professionalism or integrity, it’s best to explore other options.
10. Ask Questions:
Finally, don’t be afraid to ask questions. Inquire about the estimator’s approach to problem-solving, how they handle unexpected changes, and their experience with project management. The more you know about their work style and philosophy, the better you can determine if they’re the right fit for your project.
In conclusion, finding the right construction estimator is a crucial step in ensuring the success of your building project. By defining your project scope, seeking recommendations, checking qualifications and experience, reviewing portfolios, and assessing communication skills, you can make a well-informed decision. Remember to evaluate trust and rapport, ask questions. With these tips in mind, you’ll be well-equipped to choose the best construction estimator for your building project.
If you have any projects that you would like us to look at then please contact us here for a fixed fee quotation