When companies dream of expanding into a new facility or adding some square footage to their existing space, the budget isn’t always the first concern. Companies will eventually come up with some form of a budget of what they’re willing to spend, but knowing if this spending cap is enough to turn a dream into a reality can’t be done without an estimate.

In most cases, the client will get several bids from competing construction companies. Each company will give their estimate on how much they think the project will cost and how long it will take. Then the client will hire the company they feel is the best fit for the job and their budget. However, how can you be sure the estimate given in the bidding process is accurate? After all, an estimate isn’t much good if the contractor can’t stick to it. 

Some contractors have estimators on staff and others will use a third party. Whichever method is used, the estimator needs to be highly qualified for the job. A good estimator will need to have an in-depth knowledge of the blueprints and the costs of needed building materials and labor.

There are certainly legitimate reasons for going over the original estimate. Working in Oklahoma means mother nature can easily throw a wrench in the plans, for example. However, since the estimate is a major, if not the biggest, piece of criteria you’ll use to hire a contractor, it needs to be as accurate as possible.

When a project goes beyond the scope of an estimate, the client will either have to find a way to pay for the extra costs or decide to sacrifice a feature to save money. Neither option is particularly fun or easy to pick. This is why getting an accurate estimate is so important.

One way to investigate the accuracy of an estimate is to ask the company about their track record. They will likely have a few big projects they’ve completed in the past, so ask them about these projects and see if they were able to abide by the estimate.