Time To Read: 3 minutes

Put your best foot forward with our free contractor estimate template! Providing an estimate is a crucial step for many field service businesses and serves as a chance to leave potential customers with a positive impression of your business. A clean, concise and informative estimate showcases your business’s professionalism, making you a more attractive option.

What does this free contractor estimate template do?

In short, this template helps you to make sure you’re not missing any important information when providing customers with estimates for your work. Using a template also ensures consistency across your estimates, helping you to present a professional, cohesive brand to prospects and customers.

What should an estimate include?

Business information, including:

  • Business name
  • Address
  • Website
  • Phone number

Customer information, including:

  • Name
  • Address
  • Phone number

And, of course, the estimate! Fields should include:

  • Service or product
  • Description
  • Quantity
  • Unit cost
  • Line total
  • Estimate total

It’s also a good idea to include space in your estimate for any notes. These can be added before printing, or if you’re filling out the estimate in real-time in the field, you can handwrite any notes or details that should be included.

How do I estimate the cost of a job?

Creating an estimate for a contracting job is a meticulous process that involves a thorough evaluation of various factors to provide an accurate projection of the project’s costs. The initial step typically entails reviewing customer expectations before diving into a comprehensive review of project specifications. Depending on the scope of the work, this might include blueprints, technical drawings and any client-provided documentation. This helps you gain a clear understanding of the scope and requirements of the job.

From here, you can begin to get an idea of the labor and materials that will go into completing the job. Labor costs are a critical consideration, involving an assessment of the skill sets and hours required for the workforce. Material costs, including the quantity and quality of materials needed, are also scrutinized. In addition to these direct costs, indirect costs such as equipment rentals, permits and insurance must be factored in.

Experienced contractors often account for potential risks and contingencies, incorporating a buffer into the estimate to accommodate unforeseen circumstances. This can also help to improve customer satisfaction in the long run by minimizing surprises and price increases down the road.

How long does it take to make an estimate?

The time spent putting together an estimate for a contracting job can vary widely depending on the specifics of the task at hand. For fairly routine jobs with similar circumstances, you may be able to provide an accurate estimate fairly quickly using past experience as an accurate guide. For instance, if you work in an area that has many similarly sized homes — perhaps even with common issues that homeowners tend to encounter — you probably already know how much to charge for those common problems based on past jobs.

For more extensive work, though, it can take time to get an estimate together. You may need to complete a number of additional tasks just to form an estimate, such as taking additional measurements or looking up costs for particular parts or materials. In these situations, it can also be beneficial —for both your business and the customer — to provide multiple estimates covering varying degrees of work. By providing good/better/best options, you can provide customers with transparency, build trust and avoid potentially losing their business with an estimate that’s either too expensive or too bare bones for their expectations. Of course, the downside is that creating multiple estimates can take up more time.

Free Contractor Estimate Template

Need a contractor estimate template? Our free template is designed to help you accurately estimate project costs and win more contracts.

What is estimating software?

Estimating software has shifted the way contractors approach estimating jobs, providing a streamlined and efficient solution for the intricate task of creating accurate estimates. The right software can play a pivotal role in automating and optimizing the estimation process, offering a range of functionalities that significantly enhance a contractor’s workflow.

By drawing from established, regularly updated price books, estimating software like ServMan by WorkWave eliminates the need for contractors to manually calculate labor hours and material costs when putting together estimates. This streamlines estimates and eliminates one of the most time-intensive steps of the process entirely, and also ensures more accurate and consistent pricing. The end result is the ability for users to provide customers with the needed estimate — or estimates, as we discussed above — more quickly, saving labor hours and ensuring things move along quickly enough to keep customers happy.

Armed with our free contractor template, you’ll be ready to present customers with a professional estimate that highlights your business’s dedication to professionalism and transparency. Learn more about how to price your contracting estimates or how ServMan by WorkWave can help you provide a stellar customer service experience during every interaction with a free demo!

Author

Brett is a Content Specialist at WorkWave with over a decade of professional writing experience. When he's not glued to his keyboard, he enjoys playing music, reading, playing video games, and just about anything that takes him outdoors.