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6 Types Of Estimates Every Contractor Should Know

Picture showing a list of types of estimates with the heading - types of estimates

Before knowing the types of estimates you must understand that what a construction estimate is? Construction estimates are used for the estimations of costs of a construction project so that contractors can execute the projects with smart planning of each and every activity. With the help of construction estimates contractors can make a plan of each and every activity, can predict the overall costing of the project by accurately preparing the cost estimates everything involved in the project.

One more thing which helps the contractors is that estimates helps the contractors in predicting their profit margins even before the starting of the project so that they can decide whether or not they should opt for the project.

Types of Construction Estimates

Different construction estimates are prepared at different levels of the construction process. For example if you have to work on a project and there is not much information and specifications available of that project then at this moment a “preliminary estimate” is prepared at the beginning of the project, however the accuracy of these estimates are not that high as these are prepared with minimal information whereas on the other hand if you have complete set of conditions and specifications of the project then a “detailed estimate” is prepared, the accuracy of these types of estimates are very high as these contains all the necessary documents and conditions.

Preliminary or Rough Estimate

A preliminary estimate is the approximate cost of the project that is calculated at the conceptual stage of the project. It forecasts the total budgeted cost of the specific construction project. Apart from new construction, It can also be prepared for demolition or renovation works.

The preliminary cost estimate of buildings is based on areas and length measurements of various elements of the structure. Moreover, the total square footage of the plot is also considered to get the approximate cost for building the house, plaza, or multi-story building.

Most of the clients require the preliminary budget estimate from contractors and It helps to get a rough idea about the total expenses for the completion of the project. Depending upon the type of infrastructure, the estimation technique and units may change.

Quantity Estimate

A quantity estimate includes a list of quantities for all materials needed to complete a project. Its purpose is to give the client a complete list of all the quantities required for the project and what the cost will be for each quantity.

It is a key estimating method in construction. This is a complete estimate or list of quantities for all work items required to complete the concerned project. The quantity of each item of work is worked out from the respective dimensions on the drawing of the structure.

Revised Estimate

A revised estimate is a detailed estimate of the revised quantities and rates of items of works originally provided in the estimate. When the sanctioned amount exceeds more than 5% either due to rates being found insufficient or due to some other reasons, a revised estimate is prepared.

A comparative statement is attached on the last page.It includes reasons for increase in cost in case of each item. Revised estimates should show the variation of each item of work, its quantity rate and cost under original and revised.

Supplementary Estimate

While a work is in progress, some additional works may become necessary for the development of the project which was not included when the original estimate was prepared. For this reason, a fresh detailed estimate in addition to the original sanctioned estimate prepared describing the additional work which we called as the supplementary estimate.

During the progress of the work, some modifications or additions due to material deviation of a structural nature from the design originally approved may be thought necessary for the development of a project. A supplementary estimate includes all such works.

Annual Maintenance or Repair Estimate

Repairing is done for structures to keep them in perfect condition. After completion of a work, it is necessary to keep the maintenance aspect in view for its proper functioning. For example, in the case of building white washing, oiling, painting, cement plaster repairs, repairing of floors etc. For these types of repairing, annual repair estimates are prepared for the items which require renewal, replacement, repairs, etc. for maintenance purposes. In no case, the annual repair amounts should be increased greater than 45% of the capital cost of building.

Detailed Estimate

These estimates are prepared when all the specifications and conditions of the projects are available .In case of government tenders which are released by PWD, CPWD, Irrigation or any other department then they release a NIT(Notice inviting tenders), In these NITs, all the specifications of projects are mentioned which can be used for preparing detailed estimates. The accuracy of detailed estimates are very high as compared to that of preliminary estimate because these are prepared with complete information about the projects.


Construction cost estimates are among the most critical components of your business’ profitability and winning new tenders. It’s essential to be as accurate as possible. This is why you need to do thorough construction estimating to make sure you don’t miss anything. A contractor or any construction worker should always be very much aware of the importance of construction estimates in the construction process in order to provide a successful bid.

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shikhar shukla
shikhar shukla
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