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Construction Estimate Template

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Getting an accurate figure on how much a build is going to cost is fundamental to a successful construction project. Making such a forecast requires a place to collect all your research to help you come up with a realistic price tag. Use our construction estimate template for Excel to gather all your labor and material costs and make a reliable budget for your construction projects.

But, if you open ProjectManager’s free construction estimate template instead, you’ll be able to make your estimates even more detailed and comprehensive. Use a dynamic Gantt chart to build your construction estimate with timelines, planned start dates, planned resource costs, planned effort, milestones and more.

The best part? Once the project kicks off you can turn that estimate into a schedule and execute your work in five different views: Gantt, spreadsheet, kanban, task list and calendar. Plus, you can track construction progress along the way with dashboards and instant status reports. Get started with ProjectManager for free today and make a better construction estimate.

construction estimate template on a Gantt chart
ProjectManager’s construction estimate template is free to use and more powerful than Excel. Try it now

What Is a Construction Estimate?

A construction estimate is a document that details the direct, indirect, labor and material costs associated with a construction project. Construction estimates are used by project owners and contractors during the construction bidding process.

Construction Estimate Template for Excel

This free construction estimate template collects the data you get when researching the cost of your construction project, whether you’re a construction project manager, project owner or general contractor. It is used during the construction estimating process to anticipate expenses for the project moving forward.

The more accurate the estimate, the better the profit margins for general building contractors and project owners. This construction estimate notes all labor, material, direct and indirect costs for your construction projects.

ProjectManager's free construction estimate template
ProjectManager’s free construction estimate template for Excel.

What’s Included in this Construction Estimate Template?

  • Labor Costs: The costs associated with the human resources needed for the construction project.
  • Material Costs: The costs of raw materials needed to build structures.
  • Direct Costs: Direct costs are those that are directly related to an activity in the project, such as the materials used, the labor employed and the equipment either bought or rented.
  • Indirect Costs: Indirect costs are those that are not allocated for specific construction activity, such as quality control, security, admin, temporary structures, etc.

How to Use ProjectManager’s Construction Estimate Template

Download our free construction estimate template to get started on making more accurate cost estimates for your projects. This free Excel template has everything you need, and it’s fully customizable. All you have to do is fill in the blanks to begin controlling your construction costs. Follow these steps to use this construction estimate form.

1. Identify the Project

First, you need to identify the project. At the top of the page is a section to name your company, the project, its number (if there is one), followed by the client, location, architect, date of the document and project manager on the site. This is helpful for companies running more than one project at a time or as a reference when you’re looking for historic data.

2. List Activities

After that, the template is broken into the three main stages of any construction project: pre-construction, construction and post-construction. Our template lists the general activities that would occur during these phases, followed by the vendor or subcontractor responsible for it, the labor and material costs, a line item total and a cell to add any notes if necessary.

Related: Free Construction Schedule Template

For example, the pre-construction phase will have expenses for creating the design, getting permits, looking into zoning regulations, survey costs, insurance and more. Construction will concern itself with demolition, digging a foundation, pouring concrete, structural work, adding electrical, plumbing and heating, ventilation and air conditioning, etc.

Post-production will have smaller fixes captured by the punch list, trash removal and the closure of all construction documentation.

3. Additional Costs

Every section in the template has a row for any additional costs. Each section has a subtotal to tally those costs, with a grand total added up at the very bottom. With this construction estimate format, you should be able to capture all your expenses throughout the planning process

ProjectManager's Gantt chart with task info
Keep track of the time and costs associated with your tasks with ProjectManager’s online Gantt chart Try It Free!

The best part of this construction estimate template is that it can be imported into ProjectManager, so you can use robust construction project management software to manage your project.

When to Use a Construction Estimate Template

The construction estimate is started at the planning stage of a construction project. There are usually four stages to this process:

1. Order of Magnitude

The first is called an order of magnitude, which is done before the project is initiated. It’s like a rough sketch. It takes a general look at the project’s goals and objectives and comes up with a ballpark figure. This is helpful to determine if the project is even feasible.

2. Refine the Figure

Next, that figure is refined once a schematic design has been created. With more data, the number moves towards greater accuracy. This continues as the design for the project is developed.

Related: 8 Free Excel Construction Templates

3. Define Costs with Greater Accuracy

Once the construction drawings and specifications are drawn up, the construction estimate can continue and define the costs with greater accuracy. By this time in the planning stage, there is a set of deliverables that can be analyzed for costs.

4. Set a Baseline

The last stage is when all the construction costs are known. This is when the construction estimate can be used for creating bids and setting a cost baseline. Of course, the construction estimate is never really put aside. As changes occur during the execution of the project, the document will have to be updated and costs or scheduling will need adjusting to keep the project on track.

Who Is This Construction Estimate Template for?

This construction estimate form can be used by:

  • General building contractors: Clear cost estimates help general contractors create competitive bids.
  • Project owners: Accurate cost estimates allow project owners to find the best bid for their construction projects.
  • Construction project managers: Cost estimates are essential for construction project managers because they need to be aware of all project costs.
  • Construction companies: Construction companies use cost estimates during the cost estimating and bidding process.

Larger construction projects might have a dedicated estimator who is responsible for filling out the template. Sometimes, it’s the project manager who will compile the construction estimate template—or perhaps an assistant project manager or another administrator.

Whoever is tasked with filling out the construction estimate template, they’ll need to do the research. That includes looking up similar construction projects and using that historic data as a rule by which to measure the one they’re working on now.

How ProjectManager Manages Your Construction Budget

Once you’ve completed the construction estimate template, you need to make sure your budget sticks to it. That can be a problem if you’re not able to monitor and track your expenses in real time. ProjectManager is online project management software that gives you live data to make better decisions for your construction projects.

Track Budgets in Real Time

Changes happen on a construction site. If you’re not getting up-to-the-minute data on your progress and performance you’re going to get off track. Our real-time dashboard gives you a high-level view of progress, automatically calculating time, cost and more like an instant status report. When you see an issue, you have time to resolve it before it becomes a problem.

ProjectManager’s dashboard view, which shows six key metrics on a project

Build Construction Schedules

Lenders, sponsors and other stakeholders are always breathing down your back, wanting to know if you’re progressing as planned. Once you set your budget and schedule on our online Gantt chart, just click a button and you’ve saved the baseline. This means you have a ruler to measure your project against your actual process and always can see if you’re on target or not.

Project management training video (t8k47kt3r5)

Report on Progress

Not only that, we have one-click reporting features that can provide you with details on your construction project or portfolio, if you’re responsible for more than one. You can filter these project management reports to show just the data you want to see and then share them with stakeholders to keep them updated.

screenshot of reporting feature in ProjectManager

More Free Construction Project Management Templates

Our free construction estimate template is only one of dozens of free project management templates for Excel you can download on our site. We picked some of our construction templates below:

Construction Daily Report

Once you start the execution phase of your project there are a lot of things to keep track of. Using our free construction daily report is a great way to capture the activities, issues, tools and anything else on the job site so you can pick up right where you left off the next day.

Punch List Template

To make sure everything has been done on your construction project to meet the expectations of your client as defined by the plan, you need a punch list. Our free punch list template helps you record any fixes or items that need to be finished so you can close the job and get paid.

Request for Quote Template

The free request for quote template can help you fine-tune your construction estimate. You can send it to vendors and have them competitively bid on your construction project. That way you can choose the materials and/or services that fit your budget.

Related Content

If you’re looking for more to read on estimating and construction project management, you’re in the right place. Our site is the online hub for all things project management. There’re free blogs, video tutorials and guidebooks for both the novice and experienced professional. Here is a selection of some content that will help your construction estimate.

ProjectManager is award-winning software that organizes your budget, teams, tasks and projects. Our cloud-based tool gives you real-time data to better lead your project to a successful end. See how we can help manage your costs, time and scope by taking this free 30-day trial today.

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