If you're a contractor, creating quotes for construction projects is just part of the business. It's important that your quotes be complete and look professional. Whipping something up in a Microsoft Word or Microsoft Excel template last minute isn't going to cut it.

The good news is that Skynova has a free quote template that you can easily adapt to fit your needs. Skynova's quote software not only allows you to create professional quotes in just minutes, but it's also easy to use, exportable in multiple formats, including PDF, and allows you to print or send your quotes via email with no need to download. Customers can also view the estimate sheet in a private URL, allowing them to accept or decline quotes on the spot.

You will receive an immediate notification of accepted quotes sent electronically, and Skynova can quickly turn that quote into an invoice when the job is complete. That means more time to focus on completing your projects and making a profit. If you're a contractor, check out the template we've made below just for your business:

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Quote #
Item Description Unit Price Quantity Amount
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How to Create a Contractor Quote

No one becomes a contractor because they enjoy writing quotes. Luckily, Skynova is here to help make the process as painless as possible with no need to spend hours playing with formatting or hiring a graphic designer.

Using Skynova's free job quote templates will allow you to create a quote in just minutes. Simply follow the steps outlined below.

  1. Add the Addresses of Your Contractor Business and Customer

    Complete contact information is important for a variety of reasons. People have very little patience when it comes to wading through emails or letters that appear ambiguous. If you don't want your quote relegated to the spam folder, make sure your company name and address are prominently displayed so that it is clear to the customer immediately upon opening where this quote came from.

    Including your customer's full name and information are essential, as well. It will better allow you to respond to replies and track and organize quotes if the customer's contact information is also clearly displayed. It's always a good idea to keep as much information associated with a quote for a potential customer on the same document to avoid mix-ups and problems down the road.

    If you are submitting the cost estimate electronically and expect all contact to remain electronic, you'll also want to include an email address in the address section. Additionally, you may wish to add phone numbers. Including your phone number gives the customer a way to immediately reach out to you with any questions, and attaching your customer's phone number to the estimate form makes it easy for you to return answers or follow up as necessary.

    Before moving on from the address section, double-check the entries for any errors. Not only can typos look unprofessional - especially when it comes to misspelling a customer's name - but you also don't want anything to get lost due to inaccuracies in contact information.

  2. Upload Your Contractor Business Logo to the Template

    Construction companies can add a professional flair to a service quote template by including a logo. If your business is up and running, you likely already have a logo on your business cards, advertisements, company trucks, or elsewhere. Add this same design to your construction estimate template.

    Just as a prominent name and address make it clear to a customer who has sent them the price quote, so too does a logo associated with your business. They can see it and immediately recognize who it's from.

    Skynova's price quote template makes it simple to upload the image file of your choice. Under the customization options at the top of the quote template page, check the "Logo" option. You can then select "Browse" and find the image file where you've saved it on your computer.

  3. Assign a Quote Number for Each Construction Job

    A quote number is a number chosen by you that allows you to index and track the quote form. The quote number should be unique to the quote in question so that it serves to distinguish it from other similar quotes, including quotes for the same customer.

    The customer's full name and address alone are not usually enough to serve as an identifier because you may write several quotes for the same customer over time. Having a number unique to the quote makes it much easier to reference later. For example, if you are discussing details with the customer, you can ask them which quote number they want to discuss to make sure you are on the same page and referring to the same job.

    The numbering system you choose is up to you. You can simply assign the number "1" to your first quote and number each additional quote accordingly. However, if you are just starting and would prefer it not to be so obvious to the customer, you could alternatively start your quote numbering from a different value, such as "1001."

    There is also an option in Skynova to add an associated purchase order (P.O.) number. Under the customization options at the top of the quote template page, select the option to do so. Adding a P.O. number can come in handy when you want to convert the quote into an invoice later. Note that Skynova customers can automatically convert quotes to invoices once they are accepted for added convenience.

  4. Enter the Quote Date for Each Construction Job

    The next item to enter is the quote date. This is typically the date the sales quote is created. However, if you are creating a quote ahead of time, it might make more sense for this to be the date you plan to send the quote to the customer.

  5. Compute and Enter the Estimated Cost of Construction Materials

    You want to be as thorough and as accurate as possible when creating a list of materials you expect to use for a project and provide a detailed breakdown for potential customers. Depending on what information you have received from the customer, your ability to be accurate may vary, and you should note this in the "Notes" section described later.

    If you have had the opportunity to visit the customer, take any necessary measurements, and have a very clear sense of what they are expecting, this process is pretty straightforward. If you are basing the estimate off a job description the customer has provided via email or telephone, it may prove more challenging. You should make it clear upfront that the final cost may deviate from the initial quote sheet.

    In the "Items" list, you can select "Product" from the drop-down menu. Then, enter the description of the item. Be as specific as possible. For example, instead of simply saying "gypsum wallboard," you should include the brand name, dimensions, and for good measure, the associated SKU.

    You want to make sure that the customer can tell what the item is (which is why the description should be written out instead of just entered as an item code), but also make sure that you can identify what materials you are referring to, so you can order the right items if the quote is accepted.

  6. Include Estimated Labor Costs

    The next step, of course, is to estimate the labor cost. For some jobs, this may be a flat, fixed fee. For other types of work, you may prefer to charge an hourly rate. You may also have both - with an initial flat fee for the job that covers the first hour of labor, and then additional, lower charges for the subsequent hours.

    Select the "Item" (such as "Hours") from the drop-down menu in the "Item" column. Then, add the description, whether flat fee or hourly or a specific type of skilled labor. If the work is done as a flat fee, the unit price should be set to that fee, and the quantity should be set to "1." The amount will then populate in the "Amount" field.

    If the work is hourly, the unit price should be the hourly rate, and the quantity should be the number of hours. Again, the final amount will automatically be calculated and populated in the "Amount" field.

    Note that if you have several employees with different specializations, you may wish to charge different hourly rates, depending on the type of skilled labor required. Make sure this is clear in the quote and specify the type of labor being performed, with a new line entry for each type.

  7. Add Any Discounts Being Offered to the Customer

    Offering discounts can be a great way to attract and keep customers. When these discounts appear as line items on a quote, it can give the customer a clear sense of how much money they will save by hiring you for the job at hand.

    There are many types of discounts you may wish to offer, such as new customer discounts, referral discounts, loyalty discounts, and so on. To add discounts as line items, select "Discount" under "Item," and enter a description of the discount.

    If it's a simple, fixed amount discount, enter the amount in the "Unit Price" cell, and the quantity and total discount will be calculated. If the discount is a percentage discount, you may need to calculate the percentage of the current total first and then enter this amount in the "Unit Price" cell along with a quantity of "1."

  8. Add a Note to Clarify Anything in the Quote or Provide Additional Information

    If there were any line items that you think might still be unclear, or perhaps if you think the customer might wonder if they are necessary, you can add further explanations in the "Note" section. There may also be contingencies - for example, the quoted price might be contingent on securing a code exemption from the city. If so, this should be stated in the "Note" section. You may also want to include details of payment terms here.

    The "Note" section is also a great place to indicate any possible margins of error in the quote. If the quote is a rougher estimate based on limited information, state that here and indicate how much a customer might reasonably expect the final amount to differ by and what factors may affect this number.

    You can also use the "Note" section to connect with the customer. Let them know you're happy to discuss further, or you look forward to working with them. A little warmth can go a long way.

Tips and Best Practices for Contractor Quotes

There are other factors to keep in mind as you create a quote using the Skynova quotation template. Consider the tips below for additional insights.

  • Don't Forget to Include Material Waste

    As you likely know, it is never a good idea to plan to buy the exact amount of material needed for a particular job. Because boards or stone must be cut, or some parts of lumber may be unusable, it is always prudent to add approximately 10% to the exact amount of any particular material you expect to use to account for waste.

  • It's Always Better to Underpromise and Overdeliver

    If a particular quote is requiring a lot of ballpark figures and rough estimation on your part, it's better to give the customer what may end up being an overestimate instead of an underestimate on the total cost. This is called underpromising because you are promising/quoting in such a way that lowers expectations upfront.

    By keeping initial expectations lower, then more often than not, when the final job is complete, you will exceed the initial promise and come in underbudget, which always makes a customer much happier than the reverse. This is called overdelivering.

  • Don't Forget to Research Building Codes

    Look up any and all local building codes that might be related to a particular job. Not only is it important to determine if permits need to be filed, but it's also important to make sure that you account for all costs required to complete the job to code.

Skynova Makes Contractor Quoting Easy

Skynova's free contractor and construction quote template can help you send professional quotes quickly and efficiently. Not only can this streamline your workflow, but it can also simplify the process of receiving and accepting quotes for your customers.

Skynova also offers estimate templates, invoice templates, and additional accounting software to help you manage your company or small business's finances. Get started simplifying your quote creation today and spend more time working and getting paid and less time filling out paperwork.

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