What is a estimate? #

Estimate is a challenging word in construction, since it can refer to so many different things. An estimate can mean a quote for a project. It can also be an internal cost budget prepared by the estimator. It can even be a ‘best guess at final cost’ in a Time and Materials contract. If you’re hearing the word “Estimate”, be sure you’re clear on whether you’re hearing a cost or revenue-side item!

Also known as: Proposal, Bid, Quote, Budget

Estimates in different scenarios #

As a proposal or quote #

A contractor submits a fixed price estimate to the client establishing the total cost of the job if the client chooses to proceed.

As an approximate cost on a T+M job #

A contractor presents a time and materials contract, along with an estimate of total cost. Note that this estimate is non-binding!

As cost budget #

The estimator puts together an estimate of the total cost of the job based on the takeoff sheets, then adds the markup when she/he goes to prepare the bid.

Estimates in Knowify #

We do not use the term estimate in Knowify, given that it has so many potential meanings.

  • For quotes/proposals, we use the word bid.
  • Cost estimates are managed through Plan & Track.