It's a great time to be in construction. There will always be a demand for skilled professionals in this field. Whether you're building private homes or working on commercial infrastructure, you want to provide your customers with accurate, detailed estimates. This ensures they know what to expect when you invoice them — and that you get paid promptly.

While it's possible to create a basic estimate using Microsoft Word or Microsoft Excel, Skynova's estimate template lets you create more professional-looking construction estimates even faster. You can start personalizing the template immediately, adding your business details, the types of services provided, and more.

You then have the option to print the estimate, download it as a PDF, or even send it directly to your potential customer's email address. You can send it right away via Skynova — no download needed. Finally, you can use the free cost estimate template along with Skynova's invoice and accounting tools to keep all your paperwork in one place and enjoy even more efficiency. If you're in construction, check out the template we've made below just for your business:

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Estimate #
Item Description Unit Price Quantity Amount
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Amount Paid
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How to Create a Construction Estimate

An accurate cost estimation tells customers what they can expect to pay for your services and essential details like the deadline for payment. This clarity benefits you and your customer. They will understand their financial obligations upfront, and you can be confident that they can afford the construction services they are contracting you for.

The details in each cost estimating form, such as the customer name and construction services performed, will vary. That said, all estimates should cover a few key elements. Skynova's estimate template includes the essential points. You can personalize the estimate contract template quickly and easily. Just follow these steps.

  1. Add Your Business Address and the Customer's Address

    Add your company's name, address, and contact information. Your potential customer will know exactly how to reach you if they have questions about the estimate. Make sure to use a name that the customer is familiar with so that they don't overlook or discard the estimate. For example, if the customer knows you by a nickname, include this in parentheses after your name.

    Even a simple estimate needs to be addressed to somebody. In this case, put in the customer's name and address. Alternatively, you can just add their email address or phone. If the customer accepts your estimate, you can later use Skynova's estimate conversion to transfer such essential details to the invoice.

  2. Input Your Business Logo

    Adding a business logo to your construction estimate makes it look more professional and boosts your brand. With Skynova's estimate form, you can easily upload an image file containing your logo. Just click under the customization options at the top of the estimate template page and click the logo option.

  3. Automate Your Estimate Number

    Each estimate should have a unique identifying number, allowing you to easily track and refer to the paperwork later. Skynova gives you the option of adding an associated purchase order (P.O.) number.

    Click on the customization option on the estimate template page to get started. If you later use Skynova to automatically convert estimates into final invoices once they are accepted, you can refer to the P.O. number.

  4. Select Your Estimate Date

    Add a date to your project estimate. This is another point of reference and also makes it easy to know when you should follow up with the customer about the estimate. You can simply date the document with the same date that you create and send it.

  5. Calculate and Enter Supply Costs

    As a construction professional, you will incur materials costs, like cement, bricks, and scaffolding. You can include materials costs in the Skynova construction cost estimate template. Input a work description that the customer will understand (avoid overly technical terminology) and input the unit and quantity in the respective fields in the estimate. For example, if you need 20 pounds of concrete at $6 per pound, the template will calculate $120.

  6. Calculate and Enter Labor Costs

    For every construction project, you should also provide an estimate of labor costs. This includes the costs of your own labor and any workers on your team. Also, keep in mind that some projects may require specialty subcontractors — such as electricians to handle wiring in a new build.

    The customer should also be aware of these construction costs. Skynova construction estimate templates let you input labor costs on an hourly basis or as a fixed price.

    If you use hourly rates, enter the cost per hour under "Unit Price" and the number of hours anticipated under "Quantity." If you use a fixed price rate — for example, for subcontractors performing limited services — select "Product" under the "Item" menu. In either case, make sure to describe the services performed for a complete construction budget.

  7. Input Any Customer Discounts

    In some cases, you may decide to offer a customer discount. For example, you could be performing maintenance work on a construction job you previously did. Select "Discount" from the "Item" menu and input the amount of the discount under "Unit Price." Make sure to give a description so that the customer understands why they are getting the discount. The discount line items will automatically be subtracted from the total cost for an accurate estimate.

  8. Add a Note About Your Work and Provide Additional Information

    Skynova's free estimate templates include a handy "Notes" section where you can add additional details if needed. Use this space to provide a timeline estimate for how long the project will take overall. Alert customers to the fact that this estimate is just that — an estimate. Total timelines and costs could be more or less. The fact is that it's impossible to predict exactly how a construction project will play out. Unexpected incidents like a burst pipe can slow things down.

Tips and Best Practices for Construction Estimates

The Skynova construction estimate template simplifies and streamlines your paperwork processes. You can take a few additional steps to ensure a positive customer experience as you personalize your construction job estimate template.

  • Understand Building Codes Before Creating an Estimate

    Before you create a construction estimate template, check local zoning and building codes for the project you've been asked to quote. You want to make sure any building project is legal. Further, if there are licensing fees to take into account, these should be included in the estimate.

  • Research the Costs of Specialty Subcontractors

    Most construction professionals work with specialty subcontractors at some point. Building a house from scratch could mean collaborating with electricians, plumber, and stonemasons, to name just a few. You likely have a regular crew of people you trust and work with. Check their project costs and include these estimates under labor costs in your estimate.

  • Stay Up to Date on Current Materials Costs

    Before you input materials costs, do your research. Materials costs change over time, for example, due to supply and demand or inflation. The price of goods, like steel, has fluctuated over the years. Check with your materials suppliers to see what actual costs are so that you can include this information accurately in your estimate template.

  • Discuss Possible Pitfalls in Advance

    Whether you're new to the construction business or have decades of experience, you can't plan for every possibility in the construction estimating process. Say a customer wants you to build an addition to their home, for example. As you begin, you discover a crack in the property's foundation. For safety reasons, they will want to fix this before proceeding with further construction. Construction companies should always flag such possible pitfalls with customers beforehand.

  • Include a Proposed Project Timeline With Your Estimate

    Construction is disruptive. Customers appreciate having some idea of how long a project will take. This is especially important for commercial initiatives. If your customer is planning to start a business like a hotel or a restaurant, they need to have some idea of when they might be able to open the doors. Use the "Notes" section of the Skynova estimate template to provide a project management timeline (but also emphasize that pitfalls like those noted above can result in delays).

  • Make It Easy for Customers to Accept Your Estimate

    Skynova lets potential customers review and accept your construction estimate online. This saves them time and effort. You can rest easy knowing that you won't lose any construction bids simply because a customer doesn't feel like dealing with the hassle of extra paperwork.

Skynova Makes It Easier to Run Your Construction Business

Skynova's free construction estimate template will help you run your construction business more professionally. To make your day-to-day operations even more efficient, you can combine the template with Skynova's invoice and accounting options to help you create expense and financial reports. This keeps your important business documentation in one place, streamlining your administrative paperwork.

Discover how Skynova can simplify paperwork for your construction business today.

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