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Building Projects – The Importance Of Not Guesstimating

By Mark Walters

Are you regularly running out of building supplies in the middle of a job? If so, you need to take the time to come up with proper, thought out estimates, instead of just guesstimating. Guesstimating might save you some time to start with it, but it causes you to lose out in the long run. It’s not difficult to teach yourself how to estimate properly, so why not take the time to learn?

If you want your construction projects to be a success then you need to be able to correctly estimate that materials that will be needed and the amount of time the work will take. A correct estimation of the work and cost involved should be established before you start knocking anything down or building. For example, say that you have a wall that you need to put a door frame in. It’s impossible to say how much the job will cost by just looking at the wall. You need to thoroughly assess the wall, take measurements and check prices.

If you continually guess instead of making careful estimates you are going to lose money on jobs. When you guess too high, the job is going to go to the guy who estimates correctly. If you have serious competition, the more successful contractors are going to be estimating, not guesstimating.

Yes, you can look at a job and guess what the labor, building supplies, time, etc., will cost. But every job is different and there are different needs for every job. Even if a job is similar to one you’ve done before, chances are pretty good that there will be differences. No two jobs are exactly alike. And even if the new job is extremely similar to a previous job, it’s just too dangerous to make an assumption that the needs will be the same as the previous job. Don’t disregard all of your past experiences but don’t make decisions solely on your past experiences. You need to focus on the job before you.

So, don’t let any of it be a guesstimate. Use scientific methods and mathematical techniques. Maybe you need to find a mentor who has more experience making estimates than you do. No matter how frustrated you may get, no guessing! In the long run, you’ll be laughing all the way to the bank. You will have won the job, had enough supplies to finish the job, and won’t be borrowing from the current job to pay for a past job.

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Article Citation
MLA Style Citation:
Walters, Mark "Building Projects – The Importance Of Not Guesstimating." Building Projects – The Importance Of Not Guesstimating. 2 Jul. 2010. 13 Feb 2016 <>.

APA Style Citation:
Walters, M (2010, July 2). Building Projects – The Importance Of Not Guesstimating. Retrieved February 13, 2016, from

Chicago Style Citation:
Walters, Mark "Building Projects – The Importance Of Not Guesstimating"

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