Business Growth

The Builders Guide to the Perfect Construction Quote

Every job throws you a curveball. So nailing that perfect quote isn't just about crunching numbers - it's a balance of skill and savvy. Whether or not you're a seasoned pro, getting construction quoting down pat is the first step to a successful job outcome. And this all comes with putting in a little research and using your head, so rather than just give you a construction quote example, we're taking you on a deep dive into crafting killer quotes for yourself. Trust us, learning how to quote a construction job from scratch construction quote example might need a little more time invested, but the outcome is you are so well-versed in construction quoting that you're ready to tackle any project curveball that comes your way.

Step-by-Step Guide to Writing a Construction Quote

Construction quoting isn't just about numbers; it's the foundation of any project. It's about demonstrating your understanding of the job, anticipating challenges, and proving your value to clients. Leveraging advanced construction software can streamline the process, allowing for accurate cost estimation, efficient project management, and seamless communication with clients and subcontractors. 

A good quote for construction work isn't just a list of costs; it's a clear guide through the project and a commitment to quality work and service from start to finish. It's the sign of a true professional.

1. Assess project requirements

Before getting stuck into the nitty-gritty of putting together a construction quote, start with a solid assessment of what the project needs.

  • Scope of work: define project tasks and responsibilities.
  • Materials: specify required materials and quantities.
  • Labour: assess the labour needs and skills of workers.
  • Timeline: set a realistic completion schedule, factoring in potential delays.
  • Site conditions: evaluate site accessibility, terrain, and existing structures.
  • Regulations and permits: research and comply with local codes and permits.
  • Equipment and tools: identify necessary equipment and tools.
  • Subcontractors: determine subcontractor needs and associated costs.
  • Contingencies: plan for risks and unforeseen expenses.
  • Client preferences: consider client requests impacting the project.

By doing this legwork from the get-go, you're figuring out how to write a quote for a construction job that's spot-on, tailored to the job, and ticks all the right boxes for the client while still making sure you're covering your own back. See, you don’t need a construction quote example from us; you’ll be writing your own in no time!

2. Break down project into tasks

Once you've got a good grasp of the project's details, it's time to dive into the specifics and break it down into smaller tasks. This step is about organising the project into manageable pieces. By breaking it down like this, you make it easier to quote for construction work by understanding the project's scope and ensuring that nothing important gets overlooked. This structured list of tasks could look something like this:

1. Demolition

2. Excavation

3. Foundation work

4. Structural framing

5. Roofing

6. Electrical work

7. Plumbing installation

8. HVAC installation

9. Interior finishing

10. Exterior finishing

11. Landscaping

12. Final inspections

13. Cleanup and site restoration

As far as we’ve looked, and we’ve dug deep, there’s no construction quote example online that covers off breaking down projects into smaller pieces, but it’s a step we’ve found vital in hitting the nail on the head. Things get lost when you look at the whole picture. By breaking it down, you can dig into the nitty-gritty and uncover hidden costs.

3. Itemise materials, labour, and time required

Now that we've scoped out the project and broken it down into manageable tasks, it's time to get down to the nuts and bolts: itemising the materials, labour, and time needed to bring this quote for construction work to life. From bricks and beams to skilled hands and hours on the clock, every aspect counts. So, by meticulously itemising these elements, you ensure you've got everything you need to get the job done. 

4. Calculate material costs

Time to crunch the numbers. When you’re quoting for construction, you need to know exactly how much each item on your list is going to set you back - everything. Not just the big materials, but the bricks and cement to screws, nails and plaster, every little bit adds up. By meticulously calculating these costs, you ensure that your quote for construction work reflects the true cost of materials without any surprises down the line.

5. Estimate labour costs

With the materials sorted, it's time to turn our attention to the workforce that'll bring your project to life. Now, we’re guessing you’re pretty seasoned at knowing how long a job will take and how many of your crew it’ll take to do it, but we want to explore other factors that can bump up those labour costs faster than a jackhammer gets through concrete (well, depending on who’s operating it, right?). Of course, but you’ve also got to factor in the potential for unexpected costs when learning how to write a quote for a construction job.

Sometimes, you're dealing with challenging terrain or tight spaces that require extra effort and time from your workers. Then there's the weather factor. Working in extreme heat or cold can slow down productivity and might even require additional safety measures, impacting labour costs. And what about project scheduling? Tight deadlines might mean working overtime or weekends, which can significantly increase labour expenses. 

6. Include overhead and additional costs

Now that we've got the materials and labour costs tallied up, it's time to factor the overheads and any additional expenses into your quote for construction work. Think things like:

  • Insurance
  • Permits
  • Office
  • Maintenance
  • Safety
  • Training
  • Vehicles
  • Taxes
  • Marketing
  • Legal
  • Storage
  • Utilities
  • Waste
  • Transportation

7. Sum up all costs and apply profit margin

With all the puzzle pieces laid out, it's time to consider your pricing strategy (which is essentially the old markup vs margin debate) to consider how you add healthy profit to the mix. This step is what keeps the lights on and the business thriving. By applying a fair and competitive profit, you ensure that your quote not only covers costs but also leaves room for growth and sustainability. 

8. Prepare quote document

Now that we've meticulously calculated all the costs and applied a fair profit margin, it's time to bring it all together and prepare the quote for construction work in an easy-to-consume outline for the client. 

9. Share the quote with the client and follow up

It's time for you to share your proposal with the client and follow up to ensure clarity and address any questions or concerns they may have. Following up allows you to build rapport with the client, address any hesitations, and ultimately secure their confidence in your ability to deliver.

Common Mistakes to Avoid in Construction Quotes

Navigating construction quoting isn't simple. Couldn’t be with that many steps, right? So if it’s not something you’ve ever done before, let us put you right at ease - you’re absolutely going to make mistakes. Lots of them. Sorry to break it to you. 

But mistakes are fine as long as you’re learning from them. And if accidentally overlooking site accessibility once pouts you back thousands when you need to hire a crane, oh well - you’ll never do it again!

1. Not accounting for unexpected expenses

When you first start learning how to quote a construction job, you’ll learn that construction is full of surprises. So always leave a little wiggle room for the unexpected, like anything from weather delays and unforeseen structural issues to supply chain disruptions, subcontractor availability and even design changes. Trust us - you'll thank yourself later.

2. Inaccurate material and labour estimates

Precision is key when it comes to estimating materials and labour. Get it wrong, and you could be in for a world of hurt. Double check. Everything.

3. Ignoring market rates and competition

Always do your homework - you don’t work in a bubble. Keep an eye on the competition and adjust your pricing strategies accordingly.

4. Lack of personalisation

A generic quote for construction work is a one-way ticket to the reject pile. Instead of providing a standard boilerplate quote, take the time to understand each client's unique requirements and preferences. Listen to your clients and tailor each quote to the client's needs.

5. Not specifying terms and conditions

Terms and conditions aren't just for show. Spell out the details - payment schedules, timelines, warranties - so everyone's on the same page.

Streamline your construction quoting with AroFlo

Now, this is a little awkward - we’re fully ready to admit this whole article might be entirely redundant and a waste of your time. No, we’re not about to take you to see a construction quote example. Drum roll…we’ve got software that does ALL that for you! Yes, here’s the plug. 

AroFlo's construction and building estimating software is designed to simplify and streamline the quoting process, allowing you to create professional quotes quickly and accurately. With features such as client templates, online acceptance, integrated suppliers, and real-time syncing, AroFlo takes the guesswork out of construction quoting, allowing you to focus on what you do best: building.

By leveraging AroFlo's estimator software, you can eliminate paper-based workflows, reduce errors, and increase efficiency, ultimately leading to more profitable projects and happier clients.

Ok, plug over. But seriously, if construction quoting just isn’t your thing, book a free demo of our job estimating software today.

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