A construction jobsite has a lot more going into it than simply the workers on-site doing the work. There is a ton of planning and preparation that goes on before the first block or brick is laid. The construction estimator is responsible for a fair amount of that planning, so much so that a construction project would likely not be done in time or under budget without a construction estimator. Explore the ins and outs of this important role.

The Importance of a Construction Estimator

A construction estimator determines the materials, machinery, and manpower a construction project will require and comes up with a total cost for the project, factoring in profit, overhead, and other costs. It’s a role that requires an eye for details, an analytical mind, a mathematical aptitude, considerable communication skills, and a deep understanding of many different types of construction.

A construction estimator would start out with reviewing a project’s Scope of Work. The Scope of Work lists all of the parts and phases of a construction project from start to finish. The construction estimator will use this document, along with plans, blueprints, specs, and possibly a trip to the worksite, to create a list of needed materials. This list is generally called a quantity takeoff.

The quantity takeoff lists, line-by-line, the materials needed to complete the construction project, including the amount needed and the cost of the materials. This can also include finding the best or most cost-effective materials to complete the job.

Additionally, the construction estimator will also calculate the equipment and machinery costs, labor costs, and any other cost or expenditure a construction project may have. Then, he or she will factor in things like overhead, profits, and other unforeseen costs to arrive at the total cost to complete a construction project. 

Once these calculations are complete, a construction estimator will then present the data to others involved in the planning of the project. Strong communication skills are a must, as a construction estimator must also communicate with many different people. They may need to communicate with vendors, contractors, labor unions, and other suppliers to factor in accurate prices; designers, engineers, and architects to get accurate project information; and others concerned with the construction project—such as clients, builders, contractors, managers, and others—to present the final cost estimates for a project.

In short, the details and costs of a construction project are nailed down by a construction estimator, helping the project to stay on-time and within budget.

Tucker Paving offers pre-construction services that utilize professional software and digitizing equipment to provide complete, accurate, and detailed site construction proposals to our customers. We have over 25 years of experience in construction, including land clearing, land preparation, and asphalt and concrete paving. Contact us online, or give us a call at (863) 299-2262, for assistance with your project!