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Precon Matters: The Importance of a Good Estimator

Published April 22, 2016

Precon Matters. It is the most important step in any commercial construction project. In the preconstruction phase, critical value engineering decisions can be made and directions can be changed, much easier than in later stages of the project. The decisions made during this stage can and will help you to determine the critical path of the project and the important aspects of the project’s overall plan. In preconstruction, the project objectives, schedules, costs, procedures, scope and logistical issues are ironed out. This saves time and money during the duration of the project.

During the preconstruction phase, plans and specifications will be looked at and constructability reviews will be done. Meetings are held to ensure that the project goals can be met and that the budget will be adhered to. If this crucial phase is overlooked or not given the attention it deserves, the entire project can become derailed.

Preconstruction services in a CM or CMAR delivery method depends on the Estimator. When it comes to estimating, it isn’t a guessing game…it truly is an art form. True they use fancy technology and software to make their jobs easier, but there are tried and true methods to incorporate into pricing out the work and preparing the budget or Guaranteed Maximum Price that technology won’t help them with. A good estimator has to have the relative experience to make judgement calls or recommendations for the project. This knowledge is gained by knowing the market, knowing the subcontractors and having good relationships with those subcontractors. The estimator has to understand the client’s goals, the constructability of the project and the materials being used. Without this knowledge, it does become a guessing game and can be a recipe for disaster. A good estimator can offer real-time pricing and valuable market specific knowledge that is detrimental to the success of the project.

When considering your next commercial project, be sure to hire a construction management firm that understands the importance of preconstruction. It can make or break your project.