An estimate is a calculation of the quantities of various items of work, and the expenses likely to be incurred there on. The total of these probable expenses to be incurred on the work is known as estimated cost of the work. The estimated cost of a work is a close approximation of its actual cost.
The agreement of the estimated cost with the actual cost will depend on accurate use of estimating methods and correct visualization of the work, as it will be done. Importance of correct estimating is obvious. Under-estimating may result in the client getting an unpleasant shock when tenders are opened and drastically modifying or abandoning the work at that stage. Over-estimating may lose the engineer or estimator his client or his job, or in any case his confidence.
Estimating is the most important of the practical aspects of construction management, and the subject deserves the closest attention of one aspiring to a career in the profession. It is a comparatively simple subject to understand; however, as it brings one up against practical work, methods and procedure, knowledge of it cannot be acquired without close application.
.Purpose of Estimating:
To give a reasonably accurate idea of the cost
An estimate is necessary to give the owner a reasonably accurate idea of the cost to help him decide whether the work can be undertaken as proposed or needs to be curtailed or abandoned, depending upon the availability of funds and prospective direct and indirect benefits. For government works proper sanction has to be obtained for allocating the required amount. Works are often let out on a lump sum basis, in which case the Estimator must be in a position to know exactly how much expenditure he is going to incur on them
1. Estimating Materials
From the estimate of a work it is possible to determine what materials and in what quantities will be required for the work so that the arrangements to procure them can be made.
2. Estimating Labor
The number and kind of workers of different categories who will have to be employed to complete the work in the specified time can be found out from the estimate.
3. Estimating Plant
An estimate will help in determining amount and kind of equipment needed to complete the work.
4. Estimating Time
The estimate of a work and the past experience enable one to estimate quite closely the length of time required to complete an item of work or the work as a whole.
Whereas the importance of knowing the probable cost needs no emphasis, estimating materials, labor, plant and time is immensely useful in planning and execution of any work.