Avoid These Common Mistakes in Your Next Construction Estimate

As a seasoned contractor with years of experience in the American residential construction scene, I’ve seen my fair share of estimating blunders. Whether you’re a fresh face in the industry or a veteran, the truth remains: a solid estimate can make or break your project. So, gentlemen, let’s dive into some common pitfalls and how to sidestep them, ensuring your next Construction Estimates are on point.

Overlooking Site-Specific Challenges

Remember that time we assumed the site was just like any other, only to find it sitting on a massive slab of bedrock? Site visits aren’t just formalities—they’re your first line of defense against unforeseen challenges. Don’t let the serene landscapes of America’s vast expanses fool you; each site has its own story, and it’s your job to listen.

Ignoring Historical Data

I’ll never forget my first project in downtown, where I ignored historical data and paid the price. Past projects are a goldmine of information. If you’re not looking back, you’re missing out. Tools like Bolster can help you track and analyze past data, turning your previous experiences into your future successes.

Failing to Account for Material Price Fluctuations

We’ve all been there—quoting a price, only to watch as material costs skyrocket. It’s not just about knowing current prices; it’s about predicting future ones. Stay connected with suppliers and use software that offers real-time pricing updates. Check out how Bolster handles this through their insightful blog posts.

Underestimating Labor Costs

Labor costs can be as unpredictable as the weather. Between the varying skill levels and the legal landscape across states, you need to be on your toes. Use detailed labor analyses and consider all factors, including overtime, benefits, and even morale. Yes, morale—happy workers are efficient workers.

Overlooking Contingencies

“A little extra” isn’t just a cushion—it’s a necessity. From sudden design changes to unexpected site conditions, contingencies save the day more often than not. The question isn’t if you’ll need it, but how much you’ll need. Aim for a sweet spot that covers potential risks without inflating costs beyond competitiveness.

Succumbing to Client Pressure

We all want to win that bid, but at what cost? Undercutting your estimate to please a client might win you the job, but it can also set you up for a financial fall. Be transparent with your clients about the costs and stand firm. Your integrity is worth more than any single project.

Leveraging Technology for Better Estimates

Gone are the days of pen and paper. Modern estimating software not only speeds up the process but also increases accuracy. Tools like Bolster integrate seamlessly with your workflow, ensuring that your estimates are backed by the latest tech.


Gentlemen, estimating is an art as much as it is a science. Each project presents a new canvas, and it’s our job to bring it to life accurately and efficiently. Let’s learn from our past, stay abreast of the present, and always look to the future. With the right tools and a keen eye, your next estimate could be your best yet. Don’t just take my word for it; dive into the wealth of resources available atBolster and see how you can elevate your estimating game. Remember, in the world of construction, knowledge isn’t just power—it’s profit.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button