The Benefits of Conceptual Estimating

July 19, 2021 11:38 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

The number one question clients ask is, “How much is this going to cost me?” When a project is in its early stages, it’s not always easy to give a concrete number. Enter conceptual estimates in construction projects. It’s a way to give the client a fixed cost before detailed structural plans have been created.

If you’re a client, working with a firm that does conceptual estimating can be a great help. Not only will you have a baseline budget for your steel costs, but it will let you know whether you need to scale the project up or down.

Here’s an overview of the benefits of conceptual estimating.

What is a conceptual estimate in construction?

A conceptual estimate can take the bare bones of a project and create an estimate of the steel cost. This takes a good deal of skill—the contractor has to be able to estimate the price of steel (including fluctuations) throughout the construction period, and come up with a number. The price has to include everything pertaining to construction, from steel fabrication to transportation and erection.

Conceptual estimates aren’t just “good guesses”—they’re very complicated calculations based on the information a client provides. On one hand, it’s a good opportunity for steel fabricators to get their foot in the door with new clients and provide a valuable service. On the other hand, a full estimate can take 40 hours of work or more to put together. The fabricator has to be prepared to clearly define the scope of their work as well as what they’re willing to charge.

While a conceptual estimate doesn’t necessarily have to be a fixed cost, clients generally aren’t happy when the price goes up later. All of these factors need to be considered when providing an estimate.

Why should you use conceptual estimating?

Here’s a closer look at some of the key benefits of using conceptual estimating for your project:

  • Allows you to develop relationships with fabricators from the beginning: As a client, conceptual estimates are an excellent way to get to know your steel fabricators. They’ll provide you with a detailed estimate—and part of that is working closely with you to understand your goals and plans. You’re bound to have a better idea of what your project requires when you work with your fabricator from the beginning.
  • Get tailored estimates based on your current and future plans: When you ask for a conceptual estimate, you’ll get as detailed an estimate as you need. Sometimes a client has a basic napkin sketch and broad details to share, while others will have a much clearer picture of what they hope to accomplish.
  • Get quicker results from your steel fabricator: When you know exactly what to expect from your project, including the costs, you’re bound to save time throughout its entirety.

Working with conceptual estimates benefits both steel fabricators and clients alike. Most importantly, both of you will have a full picture of what your project will entail.

For conceptual estimates, call Benchmark Fabricated Steel today.

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