Construction cost estimating tips for Ontario contractors

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Susan Lamalza

Special to Ontario Construction News

Getting an accurate project estimate is essential for the success of your construction business in Ontario. Whether you’re a general contractor, subcontractor, or supplier, estimating costs accurately can make or break a project. To help you improve your estimating process and win more jobs, here are ten valuable tips tailored specifically to contractors in Ontario:

  1. Seek expert insight: Don’t hesitate to seek help from experienced professionals or consultants in areas outside your expertise. Collaborating with subcontractors or consultants can ensure accurate estimates and prevent cost overruns.
  2. Be meticulous: Avoid relying solely on unit or square footage costs. Create a comprehensive list of all project items, including often overlooked expenses like permits and landscaping.
  3. Set clear rates: Consider all wage and benefit costs when determining hourly rates for specialty labor. Analyze past projects to identify potential margin killers and accurately assess risks and costs involved.
  4. Account for additional costs: Factor in equipment depreciation, inventory tracking, loan interest, project management expenses, health and safety consultations, and other potential costs specific to your project.
  5. Evaluate project risks: Construction insurance, emergency funds, and thorough risk assessment are crucial. Prepare for unexpected events like worker injuries, material damage, or labor setbacks.
  6. Stay informed about pricing: Be aware of material and product price fluctuations, especially for custom orders. Stay up to date with market conditions, demands, and potential delivery challenges.
  7. Use a master checklist: Maintain a comprehensive master checklist to ensure nothing is overlooked during the estimating process. It serves as a reference and helps track expenses accurately.
  8. Review subcontractor quotes: Give the same attention to reviewing subcontractor quotes as you do to your own estimates. Obtain multiple quotes for each trade and work with subs offering firm estimates based on the project scope. To streamline this process and find qualified subcontractors efficiently, utilize the powerful features of DataBid’s Company Directory. With this extensive database, you can search for active subcontractors, access key contact information, and gain insights into their current and past project activity. This invaluable resource helps you connect with reliable subcontractors who can provide accurate and competitive quotes, ensuring smooth collaboration and successful project outcomes.
  9. Bid to multiple general contractors: Don’t limit your chances of winning by relying on a single general contractor’s bid. Take advantage of DataBid’s complete bidders lists to reach all qualified general contractors who are planning to bid on the project. By expanding your opportunities and targeting the right people at the right time, you significantly increase your chances of securing the project. DataBid provides the valuable insights you need to make informed bidding decisions and stay ahead of the competition..
  10. Track competition: Gain a competitive advantage by closely monitoring your competitors and their bidding strategies. With DataBid’s Company Tracking Tool, you can stay updated on your competition’s activities and receive alerts whenever they show any signs of activity. This valuable insight enables you to make informed decisions, adjust your approach, and stay one step ahead in the competitive construction industry.

Accurate project estimates are crucial, but they are just the first step in the process. To ensure you never miss a project and increase your revenues, consider leveraging DataBid’s industry expertise and comprehensive services. DataBid offers public and private construction leads, complete bidders lists, bid results, and company tracking. Try DataBid for FREE and take your business to the next level.

Remember, accurate estimating sets the foundation for successful projects, and DataBid can help you stay ahead in the competitive construction market in Ontario.

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