There are several ways to organize estimates.

A very small project can be organized using one estimate, while a large project may require up to 10 or even 15 estimates.

In the case of 4Clicks’ Project Estimator users, most have multi-year contracts (3 to 5 years in duration). During a multi-year contract, many projects may be duplicates or at a minimum similar projects; we recommend multiple estimates.

Why look up line items on future projects? If you use a true cost estimating software program like Project Estimator, vs. an on-line electronic representation RSMeans cost data, or hardcopy RSMeans Cost Book and spreadsheets, you can easily copy and paste estimates from past projects to new projects!

When setting the project up you could organize the estimate from the ground up – literally! Start with the dirt and work your way up to the roof, if applicable.

In some cases there could be a requirement for building or renovating a multi-story structure. You can setup your estimates by floor. If reducing scope is necessary, it is very easy to remove a floor by omitting an estimate.

When you have a project that must be built by a section or phase, organizing your estimates by phase works well.

Bid Estimate
If your company has a Base Ordering Agreement (BOA) or a Multiple Award Construction Contract (MACC) type contract, you could organize your estimate as a Bid Estimate. A bid estimate may be a summary of work by trade. It could be a summary item with a brief description, unit of measure, and material, equipment, labor, and a total cost. This is a very simple way to organize an estimate.

Base Bid and Alternates
The base bid and alternates estimate is quite common. There are times a project requires you to breakout the estimate in this manner. This allows the Owner to easily review the pricing and may award the base bid and one or more of the Alternates.

You could organize your estimate by Discipline. This is also referred to as “by Sub-Contractor Quotes.” This is a very logical way to organize the estimate and makes it very easy to manage the process and buyout the jobs.

A very popular way to organize an estimate is by division. Again this could also be referred to as “by Sub-Contractor quote.” This makes it very easy to separate costs for your budgeting. Whether you sub-contract work out or perform the majority in-house, estimating by division is a great way to organize your estimates.

As we can see there is several ways to organize an estimate. There may be no right or wrong way; just like construction, it’s gray.

About the author