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Another good method of estimating - use your schedule

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Quote Originally Posted by atuter View Post
If you have enough feel of the market, here is another good way of estimating a job approximately, without spending so much time on it: To have a detailed schedule. If you have a detailed enough work schedule, where all major items, plus the in between minor subtasks are covered, you can simply go through the item list in that schedule and assign your guess dollar amounts to each item. Of course we are assuming that you know the scope of the work here in a broad sense and have seen the drawings and or the site. Making it this way from a schedule has the advantage of guiding your estimates (or "guesstimates") better because now you see the durations and predecessors, successors of each activity and you will for sure be able to make more educated guess than just looking at an item list.

In other words, as soon as you have a detailed construction schedule, you should spend about another hour and just plug in numbers to each item, to see where you are. This is a method that does not require you to do takeoffs, get quotes etc.... so it is great thing to allow you to have approximate budgets for your projects.

Another advantage of having numbers assigned to each activity on your schedule is, that you can see your cumulative spending over time, by coming up with an S-Curve, where it will show you totally how much will you be spending throughout your project. This is called cost loading your schedule. You can find the details in another post under scheduling here. Later with these costs, you will be able to compare your actual performance and make an EVA (Earned Value Analysis). Again you will find the details of it in the same post mentioned.
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