When choosing an estimating service for your construction company or project, there are several key factors to consider in order to ensure reliability, qualifications, and trustworthiness. Asking the right questions during the selection process will help you make an informed decision. Here are some important points to consider:


Experience and Expertise

Experience and Expertise: Inquire about the estimating service’s experience in the construction industry and their specific expertise in estimating projects similar to yours. Ask for references and examples of past projects they have successfully estimated. Have they worked in the field or is the experience comprised of book knowledge only.


Qualifications and Certifications

Verify the qualifications and certifications held by the estimating service. Are they members of any professional organizations or industry associations? Do they possess certifications relevant to construction estimating, such as Certified Professional Estimator (CPE) or Certified Construction Estimator (CCE)? Have they owned a builders license or have they ever put together a construction estimate in real world form.


Methodology and Accuracy

Understand the estimating service’s methodology and approach to estimating. Inquire about the software tools and databases they utilize. Assess their track record of accuracy in estimating projects, as this directly impacts your company’s profitability and project success.


Understanding of Local Regulations

Construction estimating involves compliance with various local regulations and building codes. Ensure that the estimating service is well-versed in the specific regulations applicable to your project’s location. Ask about their process for staying up-to-date with regulatory changes.


Team and Resources

Inquire about the size and qualifications of the estimating service’s team. Do they have sufficient resources to handle your project within the required timeframe? Understanding the team’s experience and skill set will help assess their ability to meet your needs effectively.


Communication and Collaboration

Effective communication and collaboration are crucial for a successful partnership. Ask about their communication channels, frequency of updates, and their willingness to collaborate with your team throughout the estimating process. A reliable service will prioritize clear and open lines of communication.


Cost and Value

Discuss the pricing structure and payment terms with the estimating service. Ensure that their cost aligns with your budget and that there are no hidden fees. Remember to consider the value provided in terms of accuracy, efficiency, and their ability to deliver estimates in a timely manner.


Confidentiality and Data Security

Construction projects often involve sensitive information. It is important to ensure that the estimating service has robust measures in place to protect your data and maintain confidentiality. Inquire about their data security protocols and their approach to handling sensitive information.


Reputation and Client Feedback

Research the estimating service’s reputation within the industry. Look for testimonials or reviews from past clients. Additionally, ask the service to provide references from previous clients who can share their experience working with them.


Flexibility and Adaptability

Construction projects can be dynamic, with changes and adjustments occurring throughout the process. Assess the estimating service’s flexibility and ability to adapt to changes, such as adjustments in project scope or design modifications.

By considering these factors and asking the right questions, you can evaluate the reliability, qualifications, and trustworthiness of a construction estimating service. This will help you make an informed decision and select a service that aligns with your company’s needs and values, contributing to the success of your construction projects.

Tom is a construction estimator with over 35 years of experience in the industry from field work to general contracting.

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