how to outsource estimating services

Are you missing out on bids because you don’t have enough time?


Do you have to skip over some projects because you don’t know how to create a construction estimate?


Many contractors deal with the same enemy, lack of time. And surprisingly, there’s a perfect solution to this that goes right under the nose of most construction professionals.


And I’m going to prove to you why outsourcing your estimating is that solution.


Can hiring another company to take care of your estimating help you grow your business and free up your time?


Let’s find out.




Why Would You Need an Estimating Service?


Do you know how to estimate construction projects?


If you don’t, don’t worry, you’re not alone. Many contractors don’t know how to create a professional estimate and bid for their company.


Other contractors do know how, but they just don’t have the time to.


And other contractors have a big enough company where they can hire an in-house estimator, but they often find themselves working above capacity.


The Main Point

Estimating projects is an obstacle that many contractors have to “deal with”, and without it in the way, they’d be able to focus on growing their business.





How Do Construction Estimating Services Work?


Here’s how estimating services would work with a professional company.


First, you’d send your plans with your scope of work and any details you feel necessary.


Here’s an example of a basic scope of work:



scope of work estimating


And attached are the drawings:


email project plans


Once you send this over, you should receive either a phone call and/or a quote with the price for your estimate.


If it makes sense to get started, you’d then send your payment. Once your payment goes through, your project will get scheduled and you’ll receive a cost estimate within their turnaround time.


Here’s an example of a complete estimate (made by us):



i am builders example estimate

For more examples of estimates we’ve done for clients, check out our Featured Estimates.


Once you have your estimate, you’d ideally take about 10-15 minutes to review and then submit.


That’s a typical estimating process, now let’s see if it would work for you.




How Outsourcing Estimating Actually Saves You Money


You might be surprised to hear that hiring a professional estimating service is actually much less expensive than hiring an estimator in-house.


Here are the numbers.


Let’s say you hire an estimator at $84,648/yr, which is the average salary for estimators in US.


$84,648/yr is around $7,054 per month.


$7,054/mo is around $1,763 per week.


Now let’s take a look at how many projects subcontractors are bidding per month on average.


Small-Sized Companies 2 – 10 projects
Medium-Sized Companies 10 – 30 projects
Large-Sized Companies 30 – 60 projects
Extra Large-Size Companies 60+ projects


Let’s assume you’re a medium-sized drywall company and you want to be bidding 10 projects per month. Your estimator costs $7,054/mo so you’re effectively paying $705 per estimate.


And when you take into account taxes, fees, insurance, etc., the real number it amounts to is $800 – $850 per estimate…


And that’s assuming you’ll always have a project that you’re estimating!


Compare this to hiring an estimating service that only charges per project. Meaning if you don’t have a job you want to bid at the moment, you don’t need to worry about wasting payroll.


The cost of an estimate with a professional firm is based on the scope and complexity of the project.


For example, a simple project with only a flooring scope will cost much less than a complicated building with all trades being done.


So instead of paying the same amount for your estimator no matter what trade or how complex the project is, when you hire an estimating firm your costs are relative to the specific job.


And that’s why you end up saving money when you outsource your estimating.




How to Know if You’re a Good Fit for an Estimating Company


It usually begins with someone that has too much on their plate and they don’t have the time to estimate new projects.


Or someone that has too many projects for their estimating team and they need help covering the overflow.


Usually, once you hit the point where you look like this.


construction stress


It’s probably time for you to get some help.


If you have more work than you can handle and you don’t have an in-house construction estimator, you’re one of the most ideal candidates for construction estimating services.




Who Should You Outsource Your Estimating Too?


No other estimating company has the same level of professionalism and expertise as I AM Builders.


We’re a team of seasoned veterans in the construction industry and we have a ton of game-changing benefits to working with us.


Here’s our process.


     1. First, go to and look to the top right where it says, “Upload Now”.


upload construction projects


     2. Next, you’ll be redirected to Dropbox, where you should see instructions on your screen.


upload projects to I am builders


Click the plus symbol to open up your computer documents where you can select the:


  • Drawings
  • Scope of work
  • Specs


And any other project files for your project.


If logged into Dropbox


If you have a Dropbox account and you’re logged in when you upload your plans, you’ll be able to upload without adding any extra info.


Just upload and send, and that’s it.


If not logged into Dropbox


If you don’t have a Dropbox account or you’re not logged in, you’ll receive a request to put your full name and your email address.


uploading plans on dropbox


Once you put in the necessary info, you should be good to go.



     3. Wait about 12-24 hours for our sales team to review and send you a quote.


You should receive a quote within 24 hours detailing the cost and scope of work for your project.


It’ll come in through the email you used in Dropbox, or the email you’re logged into Dropbox in.


IMPORTANT: There’s a lot of freelancers online willing to perform your takeoffs for you. From our personal experience as a general contractor and as an estimating firm, it’s best to hire a professional service that can guarantee results and is US-based.





Tying It All Together


Using all the info in this post, here’s a pros and cons list for outsourcing your estimating services.




Ends up being cheaper than having an in-house estimator. Is more expensive than if you’d complete the estimate yourself.
Frees up your time to focus on growing your construction business. If working with an inexperienced estimating firm, can take time to fix poorly done estimate.
Don’t have to miss out on bid dates because you don’t have time to estimate. You depend on a group of veteran estimators to get your bid done on time.


Gabriel Perez

Gabriel Perez

Marketing Manager at I AM Builders