By: Adam Ioannidis

Hiring a professional to assess your construction plans and estimate each element accordingly is an advantageous service that could end up saving you time and money in the long run. It can also help your tender shine above the rest if you’re a builder or contractor bidding on a job. But what exactly is the process of our Melbourne-based estimating service? Read on to find out.

Compiling the drawings

The first thing we do is compile all the associated drawings and plans into a single workable PDF document. Since we require all the drawings and plans associated with the construction project to make a proper assessment – combining them into this single document works to avoid confusion or overlapping when we’re reviewing all the details (referring to the depicted measurements and structural works etc.). This also makes it easier to write notes where necessary.


First – let’s talk about what a takeoff actually is. Simply put, a takeoff is when you estimate for all the materials required to actually complete the project. It is possibly the most crucial and largest part of an estimating service. Every single material and tool is listed, quantified and priced accurately – right down to the last screw. We consult several up-to-date resources and databases to ensure that the prices are accurately estimated and reflective of the current market. As any good estimator knows, it’s not about achieving the lowest estimation – but the most accurate one. This is a key aspect of a takeoff process.

  • We usually start with the materials – estimating the structural components (steel, concrete, timber etc.) first as they’ll offer the foundation of the project before moving on towards other aspects. Remember, every aspect must not only be quantified and priced – but specifically identified and listed. That means finding the most ideal type of steel product (for example) that will suit the job at the best price without sacrificing quality.
  • The next aspect we estimate are the schedules – which are for components such as windows and doors. We take into consideration window openings as well as the width and heights of both external and internal doors. We also consider elements such as single or double glazed, aluminium or timber frames, residential or commercial grade, local or European brand system and flyscreens.
  • Our attention is then directed to the carpentrywall/floor finishes and the joinery. Again, every last material must be listed to ensure an accurate and detailed estimation.

Estimating preliminaries

Once the takeoff is complete, we can start to get a better idea of the breadth of the project. With this in mind, we move on to the preliminaries and estimate how long the construction phase will actually take. This includes accounting for labour costs and related elements such as public holidays and cleanup time. We’ll work with contractors, builders and trusted resources to accurately estimate the correct costs and draw up a comprehensive report detailing all the aspects.

We also apply mark-ups in this stage to ensure our client stands to make a profit from the job. As a premium estimating service in Melbourne, we understand that mark-ups should be both competitive (so when tenders are being reviewed it seems attractive) as well as profitable if our client is a builder or contractor. Following the labour costs, services such as electricals (lighting, power outlets etc.), plumbing and air conditioning are factored in to complete the initial estimation process.

Reviewing the estimations

Before anything is finalised or sent to the client, it must be meticulously reviewed to ensure that all numbers and calculations are accurate. Essentially, it’s like doing the process again but all the information has already been filled out so it’s just to ensure that everything is in order. The takeoffs, preliminaries and profit margins are all revised in this phase. Once we’re satisfied with everything, we can move on to the final step in our estimating service.

Summary and submission

The estimation report is exported into a single, detailed PDF file and accompanied by a written summary that explains everything and the reasoning behind them if necessary. This file is sent to the client who can include it with their tender letter.

Are you looking for an estimating service in Melbourne?

Accent Estimating provides quality and accurate estimating services in Melbourne and all over Australia. We have the capacity to work remotely giving us a distinct advantage and flexibility to provide you with excellent and precise construction estimations wherever you are in the country for both residential and commercial projects. With years of experience under our belts and an extensive portfolio behind us – you can rest assured knowing you’re in safe and trusted hands.

If you’d like to enquire about our estimating service, then please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us by filling out the contact form on our website or calling 0413 953 869.