What Is Included in a Construction Estimate Template?

Expense management
Zaid Rahman
October 26, 2021
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A construction estimate template is important for any project — big or small. 

Creating, managing, and customizing a blank construction estimate template can seem overwhelming and time-consuming. 

But it doesn’t have to be. 

We share all you need to know to help you best use a construction estimate template so you can better focus your time on your projects and your clients. 

Flexbase: Manage Your Construction Estimate Template With Our Automated Payment Platform

Flexbase saves you time with integration. 

Flexbase integrates things like:

  • AIA forms
  • Schedule of values
  • Lien waivers
  • Notarizations
  • Prevailing wage
  • Insurance documents
  • And more

By automating the construction estimate template process, that information will now automatically be available and integrated into the invoice. 

There’s no reason to work over and over just to provide the same information again, and again.

Flexbase manages your templates and cash flow so you can focus on growing your construction business. 

What Is a Construction Estimate Template?

A construction estimate template is used to provide an estimation of costs to the client. This helps the client understand what the costs should be, as well as factors associated with the costs.

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5 Types of Construction Estimate Templates

Since one of the most important steps in the construction bid process is estimating the cost of the project, it’s just as important to know and understand the type of construction estimate template you’ll need for the project. 

There are many more types of  construction estimate templates available online. We'll highlight five common types below. If you find yourself overwhelmed with all the choices, Flexbase can help send paperwork to your clients in two minutes — and you’ll know it’s the right template for the job

#1: Construction Proposal Contract Template

This construction estimate template offers your client a basic outline of the construction project and the estimated cost. It doesn’t provide a detailed breakdown of the project. This type of template can also be used as a basic contract between you and your client. 

#2: Construction Work Quote Template

This construction estimate template is more detailed. It lets you describe the labor and material costs required to complete the job. This can also be used as a legally binding document between you and the client. This template also allows for automatic calculations for discounts and any taxes added.

#3: Construction Soft vs. Hard Costs Template

This construction estimate template separates project expenses into soft and hard costs. Hard costs are for things such as materials and labor. Soft costs are for administrative work like accounting fees, legal charges, insurance, and any permits required. This helps to avoid any surprises for the clients when the final invoice is generated. 

#4: Construction Estimating and Budgeting Template

This construction estimate template allows you to track cost estimates against budget utilization. Meaning, you can check the estimated cost against the actual cost for each line item (job costing) as well as payments due to your vendors and subcontractors. 

#5: Construction Bid Tabulation Template

This final construction estimate template lets you organize and compare the bid items that are submitted by your subcontractors. It allows you to compare the amount quoted to you by different contractors in this bid proposal. It’s useful for spotting errors that can happen when you view many bid items at a time. 

Importance of Using a Construction Estimate Template

Estimating can be one of the most difficult jobs in construction. But it’s one of the most important.

A construction estimate template can impact the image of your business. A well-constructed and accurate estimate offers confidence and trust for your clients. Poor estimates can lead to financial problems and expensive payment disputes.  

It’s important that the construction estimates you make from the start of your project be as close to accurate as possible. 

To offer the most accurate costs to your clients using a construction estimate template, consider these practices:

  • Conduct a site visit 
  • Establish a relationship with laborers 
  • Establish a relationship with suppliers
  • Calculate takeoff using a software vs. manually 
  • Assess risks and create contingencies 
  • Review your work
  • Review any subcontractors’ work

Understanding which template to use and how to provide the most accurate information on your construction estimate template can be overwhelming — as well as time-consuming. 

Flexbase’s automation and integration resources can help make this process a breeze. Plus, it’s entirely free to use.

What Should Be Included in a Contractor's Estimate?

A contractor’s estimate should include:

  • Itemized costs of materials 
  • All labor costs
  • Costs of hiring any subcontractors
  • Estimated total before taxes and fees
  • Taxes and fees
  • Profit and overhead 

Skipping any of the aspects listed takes value away from your construction estimate. The more information you include in an estimate, the more trust you will build with your clients. 

What Should Be Included in a General Contractor Construction Estimate Template?

Using a construction estimate template can help set you up for success. 

Templates allow you to make sure everything your client could possibly need is always included in every construction estimate. Nothing will be overlooked if your template has fields for all possible estimation needs.

In addition to the cost estimate, your general contractor construction estimate template should include:

  • The client’s contact information
  • Vendor tracking
  • Status tracking
  • Work description
  • Exclusions 
  • Start, duration, and completion dates 
  • Insurance information

It’s helpful to clearly state the total amounts for estimated and known actual costs in the estimate, too.

What Should Be Included in a Commercial Construction Estimate Template?

Obtaining a good cost estimate will be crucial to a commercial business. In addition to the basic information that’s included in a residential construction estimate template, there are factors to be considered before providing a commercial construction estimate template.

You should consider these variables before completing a template:

  • Market conditions
  • Environmental review 
  • Costs of equipment rental, labor, and materials based on environment and codes
  • Cost per square foot of each item listed
  • The size and scope of the project
  • The accuracy of the estimated cost
  • The experience of your estimator (if you hire-out)
  • How you will define the project
  • The specific industry you’re being contracted for
  • The level of quality of your tools and procedures included
  • The level of quality of your templates through-out the process 

How Do You Write a Construction Estimate?

Write a construction estimate by following a few basic steps:

  1. Review the project scope
  2. Estimate a timeline
  3. Price out subcontractors 
  4. Estimate material costs
  5. Scope out the competition 
  6. Add the information to a blank construction estimate template

Should I Use a Construction Estimate Template?

A construction estimate template is a must-have for any project for several reasons as we discussed above. 

While you can create a construction estimate template from scratch, it’s not the best practice. It’s time-consuming and well, reinventing the wheel. 

You’d have to make a new one for different estimating requirements, new types of jobs, etc.

Save yourself the time and headache, and use a pre-made construction estimate template. Most are free to use. Flexbase offers a multitude of free templates

Where Can I Find a Free Construction Estimate Template?

Ready to find a free construction estimate template?

The good news is that the internet is filled with them. 

Simply turn to Google with searches such as . . .

  • ‘Construction estimate template excel’
  • ‘Free construction estimate excel’
  • ‘Online construction estimate template’

. . . and you’ll quickly be bombarded with hundreds to thousands of free templates to choose from. 

But how do you choose the best template for each specific situation? You want easy to use, but also professional and well organized. 

When choosing a template, you’ll need to consider:

  • Automation capabilities 
  • Organization 
  • Ease of use and readability 
  • State laws for compliance 

Flexbase will provide you (for free) forms populated with your information and project details — everything needed on a professional construction estimate template. Flexbase’s templates are also compliant with any state laws.

Customize Your Construction Estimate Template With Flexbase

Project estimates are dependent on the actual project being done. 

Flexbase automatically pulls all of the correct forms for you so you never have to worry about human errors or wasting time creating a new one from scratch for each new client or project.

You also have the option to create custom templates if your estimate is specific to your project.

Worry less and save time. Always be cash flow positive with Flexbase.

Schedule a free demo today.

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