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 to gather all your labor and material costs and make a better budget!
What Is a Construction Estimate Template?
A construction estimate template collects the data you get when researching the cost of your construction project. 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 contractors. The construction estimate notes all direct and indirect costs for the project, and the closer these estimates are to the actual costs will be, the more workable your budget will be.
What Are 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.
What Are Indirect Costs?
Indirect costs are those that are not allocated for a specific construction activity, such as quality control, security, admin, temporary structures, etc.
Why You Need a Construction Estimate Template
A construction estimate template lets you get right to work—there’s no need to create a spreadsheet. It’s all there already laid out for you, which saves time. Time is one of your most valuable assets when managing a construction project. You don’t want to waste it!
Project live or die by their budgets. The more accurate you can predict what you’ll spend, the more likely you’re going to successfully complete your build. If not, the builder is going to lose money. Continuing on that road is not sustainable for any business. Therefore, having a process of construction estimating and the tool of a thorough construction estimate template is critical.
Construction projects are set on timelines that are linked to paying back lenders and generating revenue quickly. Public movies are involved in civic projects. Any miscalculations can be multiplied and devastated a project. Using an accurate construction estimate provides greater accountability.
When to Use a Construction Estimate Template
The construction estimate is started at the planning stage of a 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.
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.
Set a Baseline
The last stage is when all the 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 Uses the Construction Estimate Template?
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 other administrator.
Whoever is tasked with filling out the construction 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 to Use ProjectManager.com’s Construction Estimate Template
Download our free construction estimate template to get started on making more accurate forecasts for your project. The free template has everything you need, and it’s fully customizable. All you have to do is fill in the blanks to begin controlling your costs and expenses.
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, it’s 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 reference when you’re looking for historic data.
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.
For example, the pre-construction phase will have expenses for creating the design, getting permits, looking into zoning regulation, 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.
Every section 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 format, you should be able to capture all your expenses and throughout the planning process hone your findings to as close to accurate as possible.
How ProjectManager.com 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.com is a cloud-based software that gives you live data to make better decisions.
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.
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.
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 reports to show just the data you want to see and then share them with stakeholders to keep them updated.
What Other Templates Can Help With Construction?
Our free construction estimate template is only one of dozens of free project management templates for Excel you can download on our site. If you’re looking for more construction-related templates, we cherry-picked a few and listed them below.
Once you start the execution phase of your project there’s 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.
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.
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 service that fit your budget.
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 guide books for both the novice and experienced professional. Here is a selection of some content that will help your construction estimate.
- How to Make a Construction Schedule
- The Ultimate Guide to Construction Plans
- A Quick Guide to Punch Lists: Checklist & Items Included
ProjectManager.com is an 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.