A wise and aging builder once told me that one should ‘Never Seek the Answer to a Simple Problem by Employing a Difficult or Complex Solution' - this proved to be excellent advice. 


At the time I was given this advice I was struggling to build a business for myself in the very competitive house building industry.

I was also told:

  • Be sure of where you are headed;
  • Always be aware of where you are at any point in time; and
  • Learn from where you have been. 

Simply put - always do a good and thorough estimate, always do meticulous job costing and always keep accurate and accessible historical records.

It became evident to me very early in my contracting years that a quick and accurate method of producing an estimate and subsequent quotation was most important if one was to remain in control.

The three most important things about an estimate are as follows:

  1. It must be quick to produce;
  2. It must be accurate in result; and
  3. It must be universally understood.


Speed is necessary because sadly builders are not successful with each and every tender or bid they submit. You may complete several estimates and quotations without winning a single project.

Accuracy is essential just in case your tender or bid is successful. After all, making a reasonable profit is the whole purpose of the exercise.

The estimate detail must be universally understood because the information contained within the estimate may need to be accessed and understood by several different individuals during the course of the project.

My Buildercost Software provides ALL of these necessities in one simple-to-use package.

John F Hurren