Understanding the True Cost of Building Estimates: A Builder’s Insight

In building projects, people often overlook that builders have various business overheads. From vans and tools for solo builders to full offices for larger firms, running a building business isn’t cheap. One often overlooked expense is the time and effort spent on estimating project costs.

Builders typically work long hours juggling both manual labor and administrative tasks. Clients often push for quick quotes but then go silent once they receive them, despite the builder’s hours of work. A memorable example: I spent hours on a rough estimate without full plans, only to later receive detailed specs requiring a complete rework, costing me around £700-£800 in total. The client eventually chose another builder without much feedback.

These situations are common, with clients expecting fast, detailed quotes from minimal information and then opting for the cheapest offer without due diligence. Builders can sense when clients might be difficult and may choose not to engage.

To get the best out of your builder, plan your project thoroughly before seeking quotes:

– Ensure planning permissions and building regulations are sorted.

– Provide a detailed schedule of works.

– Choose three reputable builders, check their past work, and communicate clearly.

Remember, builders put a lot of effort into providing these estimates for free, so patience and preparation on your part can lead to better results. If you need any advice, feel free to ask.