What it Takes to Put Together a Construction Estimate

Before you seek construction bids for your next project, it’s important to have a construction cost estimator calculate what your expenses will be. Otherwise, you could end up over budget and out of cash to finish your project.


Accurate construction cost estimating is one of the most important aspects of any successful construction project. A good estimator can accurately forecast how much it will cost to build your project, taking into account construction takeoffs as well as other factors such as:


  • Labor cost.
  • Fluctuations in building materials and construction prices.
  • How different types of delays could impact the final budget.

The first step is to provide a thorough set of plans for the estimator to review. Without accurate plans, it is virtually impossible to estimate a project with any degree of accuracy.  Next, the estimator will need to review any variables unique to your project. These could range from the site of the building, to how tight the labor pool is for construction workers in your area. For example, if there is a shortage of available carpenters, you may need to boost the budget in that area to attract qualified workers.


While accurate estimating is important on any project, it is even more critical on large civil projects involving public money, or development projects that require revenue to start being generated as quickly as possible, such as for retail projects. One small error on projects of these sizes can have serious consequences, since even a small mistake could be significantly magnified and cause budgets to balloon rapidly.

The Preferred Construction Management Difference


At Preferred Construction Management (PCM), we work hard to weigh every aspect of a project in order to provide an estimate that is accurate based on your parameters. We do this with the assistance of our proprietary database, which is updated weekly based on subcontractor and vendor pricing. All estimates are then thoroughly vetted to ensure the full scope is captured and pricing is accurate.

We can provide estimates for your whole project, or simply one component, such as:


  • Site.
  • Structural.
  • Architectural
  • Mechanical, electrical and plumbing (MEPs).

We can prepare estimates broken out by unit pricing, labor and materials or separated by phases of work, whichever works best for your project.


PCM is experienced in preparing construction prices across multiple sectors, from housing to education to healthcare, and can estimate everything from new construction to historical restorations. We also provide scheduling services for every phase of your project, from the planning stages through construction completion, and will provide regular updates during construction.


Our experienced schedulers will explain any potential risks and opportunities that we see in the proposed schedule, and provide a review of the critical path.  They are also skilled at time impact analysis and forensic schedule analysis and can provide a comprehensive report if you ever need to request an extension.


Give the PCM team a call today at (973) 853-6060 and let us know how we can help estimate your next project.