flexiblefullpage - default
interstitial1 - interstitial
Currently Reading

Why We Hired an In-House Estimator

Advertisement
billboard -
Business

Why We Hired an In-House Estimator

Bringing an estimator into your remodeling company creates sweeping benefits.


By Stephan Sardone January 31, 2022
remodeling estimates
construction estimate
This article first appeared in the February 2022 issue of Pro Remodeler.

Over time, business owners take on additional responsibilities—especially in this industry—and when we finally hire a professional who can do it faster and better, we wonder why we didn’t do it years ago.

The same goes for our recent welcoming of a dedicated in-house estimator. It may sound unusual because many contractors give away estimates for free, but the short version is you get what you pay for.

And if you’re considering axing free estimates, it’s easier today than five years ago.


RELATED: 3 Tips for Charging for Estimates


Really? You’re Still Giving Away Estimates?

We see our projects only increase about 1% to 2% in change orders because we spend a lot of time estimating and planning. It’s been several years since I’ve received pushback, but when I do, I ask, “Do you think a couple of hours is worth basing this massive investment that you’re thinking about making on your home?”

If you have enough work but not a dedicated estimator, then that means something is suffering.

All free estimates really mean is the people who actually sign contracts pay the overhead and time associated with the free estimates that never got signed. We’re compensated for our time, but we’re also setting a standard of expectations, teaching homeowners how to do business with us and be good clients.

Often the health of the relationship is much more important than short-term monetary gain. I think this helps clients see this as a partnership.

The Downfalls You’re Not Seeing

If you have enough work but not a dedicated estimator, then that means something is suffering. Maybe that means you can squeeze in one more project a year. Maybe it means you’re working your people to death.

If you have somebody whose job is project manager but also have them doing anywhere from 10 to 20 hours a week of estimating, it’s not fair. You’re going to burn them out. They’re going to make more mistakes.


READ MORE: A Merger and Acquisition Approach to Remodeling


Not having one limited how much I could build and how quickly I could get my contracts ready to sign. It’s now two to three weeks versus waiting two whole months—that’s a big deal. If an estimator buys me a whole month and a half of construction that I couldn’t get in a normal year, that might be another $300,000 to $400,000 I can build.

The Benefits We’re Reaping

What we’re finding out is that it’s coming out better than we ever thought it could be. In-house estimators can do other things besides estimating: order tracking and budget managing to build more and deliver a better experience—and go home to their partner and have that person not hate you, the owner.

What’s nice about this is we can take someone with any sort of construction estimating experience and quickly get them onboarded. We didn’t want them to understand construction principles but needed them to know how construction works and how estimating in construction works.

Welcoming this new team member has already helped hold us to a higher standard. For example, after reviewing our plans, they provided feedback we didn’t know we needed. They’ve already helped us improve our plans and become even more specific, helping drive efficiency.

An in-house estimator needs to be profitable, but it pays for itself. It’s billable like a designer, and you simultaneously get a better product and get more projects ready for construction sooner. 


written by

Stephan Sardone

Stephan Sardone is co-owner of design-build firm Sardone Construction in Dallas, TX.


Add new comment

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and email addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
leaderboard2 - default

Related Stories

10 Remodeling Sales Techniques for 2024

Mark Richardson explains the benefits of visual selling, strategic questioning, intentional messaging, and more on this episode of Remodeling Mastery

3 Ways to Start and Operate a Successful Handyman Division

So, you want to start a small projects division? Three successful remodelers lay out their winning approaches and hard-learned lessons

6 Tips for Software Adoption in a Remodeling Company

A design-build owner shares how he successfully implemented new softwares into his processes

6 Results-Proven Marketing and Sales Tips for Contractors

The Pinnacle Experience’s keynote speaker, author of "They Ask, You Answer" offers results-driven tips contractors can start today for improved leads

Forty Under 40 Remodeling Trendsetters

The new ideas embraced by our Forty Under 40 winners are examples of forward-thinking leadership in remodeling

 

How to Create a World-Class Remodeling Team

Great remodeling companies position themselves for the future with the right players

How to Increase Your Odds of Closing Remodeling Sales

Use these tips to hone your sales process and grow close ratio

Everyone Should Have a Number: KPIs for Your Design Build Team

Measuring key performance indicators guides your team to success while creating accountability and ownership

Becoming Profitable in Your Remodeling Niche

The 2023 NAHB Remodelers Chair shares insights and advice for contractors in our 2024 Thought Leader predictions series

 

Combat Remodeling Market Pullback with Increased Marketing

Mosby Building Arts' president shares his expert predictions and approaches to remodeling in 2024 for Pro Remodeler's Thought Leader predictions series

Advertisement
boombox2 -
Advertisement
halfpage2 -
Advertisement
native1 -

More in Category




Advertisement
native2 -
Advertisement
halfpage1 -
Advertisement
leaderboard1 -