By: Adam Ioannidis

When engaging a building cost consultant for your next construction project or tender application, a top priority should be ensuring that they are not only qualified but also professional, trustworthy and capable of providing the most desirable results. To help you choose the best estimator, we have decided to put together this guide detailing the five key qualities you should look for.

1.     Experience — ask to see their portfolio

Experience is something that is always highly sought after; an industry-veteran will generally give you more confidence compared to a newcomer. Asking to see an estimator’s portfolio or curation of case studies will give you a glimpse into the calibre of projects they have worked with in the past and will help you to see if they have worked on similar projects. 

Depending on the type of project you are scheduled to commence or are looking to bid on, a wide array of project types may be more favourable/impressive as it showcases the versatility of the estimator and their ability to handle small, mid and large-scale construction projects.

2.     Knowledgeable — do they know the trades in detail?

It is easy to throw out numbers and call them estimates but a true building cost consultant will always strive to give you the most accurate numbers, not the cheapest, and that is the best result you can ask for. The cheapest may not always win, especially if it turns out that they were inaccurate.

Whilst it is an unfair expectation that the estimator will know everything (like all fields they are also constantly learning and improving their skill set as they progress) a great estimator will have a solid idea regarding the cost of labour and materials with resources to refer to for greater detail. They will also know how to read and interpret technical structural and architectural plans with ease; construction analysis is effortless for them.

The other aspect to an estimator’s knowledge base is how familiar they are with different types of construction projects (which looking at their prior experience can also help with) as well as the intricacies of each trade. Preferably, you would like to hire a cost consultant who is familiar with how to build and the individual components in construction to avoid any future complications.

3.     Reliability — are they there when they need to be?

Obviously, a building cost consultant cannot be in multiple places at once, and they will potentially be juggling multiple clients simultaneously, but they still need to live up to their word. You want an estimator who will submit tenders on time and not delay submissions by days due to prior commitments. This can say a lot about an estimator’s character and the way they perform business. You want someone who you can rely on to submit a tender when they say they will; a great estimator will multitask with ease.

4.     Communication — are they clear and transparent?

If reliability was one side of a coin, then communication would be the other. A great estimator will be able to communicate effectively, succinctly and professionally; they should not be afraid to tell you directly if there are errors in the documentation, or if they do not know the cost of a certain material and would need to discuss or conduct further research.  Honest and transparent communication is what you want as the alternative could yield inadequate results in the long term.

5.     Looking ahead — do they see the big picture?

Construction estimation is not about going with the flow; if you engage the services of an estimator, you should expect them to perform a feasibility study to assess every specified item of the project and not miss any detail in the design. There is no point in submitting a tender with missing or incorrect information. Our second point plays a big part here as an estimator’s knowledge of materials, labour costs etc. will make this a straightforward process for them.

Are you looking for building cost consultants in Australia?

There is a difference between being a good estimator and a great estimator. Accent Estimating employs great estimators with over a decade of experience providing accurate and reliable estimations to a variety of different construction projects all over Australia.

We are uniquely positioned to provide high-quality remote services regardless of your location and utilise the best industry resources to ensure the optimal result is achieved across the board.

If you would like to find out more about our estimating services, you may give us a call on 0413 953 869 or fill out the contact form on our website.