Free Resource

Free Construction Estimate Templates


We have designed these easy-to-use construction estimate templates to help contractors manage their budgets and job costs. Included in these free contractor estimate templates are tools to classify costs, apply margin and markups, manage actual costs, and create a budget dashboard.

The residential estimate template caters to home builders and remodelers, providing breakdowns for home fixtures and finishes. The commercial estimate template caters to general and specialty contractors and includes light and heavy commercial categories. The CSI 16 Division estimate template is categorized by cost code. These construction estimate templates are fully customizable in Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets.

What is a Construction Estimate?

A construction estimate is a prediction of the total cost to complete a construction project. Base cost, tax, and markup determine a line item’s estimated cost. Categories and subcategories organize the line items, and cost codes and cost databases classify them. Adding profit margin to these values generates the full estimate.

After the contractor estimates the job, he converts the estimate to a proposal for the client. If the client accepts the proposal, it becomes the contract for the project.

This contract is then the budget that the contractor attempts to keep for the project. Throughout the project, the contractor tracks job costs, or the actual cost to complete the work.

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What do the Construction Estimate Templates include?

  • Built-in formulas for calculating company overhead and profit margin

  • Calculator for construction allowances and overages

  • Budget dashboard for tracking cost breakdowns

  • Instructions for filling out the estimate fields

  • Single estimate form for budgeting and job costing

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Who is a Construction Estimate Template for?

  • Project Managers
  • Site Superintendents
  • General Contractors
  • Custom Home Builders
  • Multi-Family Developers
  • Commercial and Residential Remodelers
  • ERP Administrators
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Why should I use a Contractor Estimate Form?

Every construction project begins with a contract, but the estimate is the basis for the contract. A contractor estimate template simplifies your estimating workflow so that you can create budgets you can reasonably maintain. Thus, maximizing profit and ROI begin with an accurate estimate.

A construction estimate template is easy to replicate. For example, a single estimate template can quickly create many estimate sheets. For more specialty contractors, individual estimate categories can be quickly copied into new estimates.

Projects and businesses can live and die by effective construction estimating. That is why accurate estimating may be the most crucial portion of construction project management. It is also why easy-to-use financial tools come standard with ConstructionOnline. We provide every budgeting and job costing feature you need to ensure you maximize your profit.

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How can I improve my estimating?

Time and experience often lead to more accurate estimating. However, there are some steps you can take to improve your construction estimates now.

Use a Cost Database

A cost database, or costbook, is a list of your standard itemized costs. These costs are used to quickly create and update estimates. This speeds up the estimating process and keeps all of your estimates consistent.

Use a Consistent Naming Structure

Naming your line items with a consistent process makes it easier to find and track costs. It also makes it easier to update costs if you are using a cost database.

Cost codes are often used as a standard naming structure. Typically, cost codes are standard across the industry, such as the CSI MasterFormat. Consider using cost codes to name your cost database items.

Clearly Define your Allowances

Home selections frequently require allowances, although there are other situations. Be sure to properly communicate to the client the reason for the allowances. Explain if their options will fall within the allowance or if they will owe overages. Proper setup and management of allowances will increase a client’s trust and streamline your cash flow.

Choose a Consistent Profit Structure

Markup and margin are the primary methods for building profit into your job. However, the two are different, and are often used separately. Choosing the correct method for your business will ensure you truly receive the profits you estimate.


How can I better manage my project finances?

Creating accurate estimates is one major step to maximizing profit for a construction business. However, project financial management does not end with a signed contract. Financial management throughout a project’s life-cycle generates and maintains profit.

Financial management is executed through several means. Two primary means are change order management and financial reporting.

Most projects will encounter unexpected costs along the way. Thus, effective change order management is necessary for generating job profit. Change order software, especially one with a client portal, makes change management simple.

A financial reporting system is another great tool for managing project finances. Tracking a project’s finances throughout the project lifecycle leads to better budget management. It also leads to more accurate future budgets. You can check out our tips for financial reporting to learn how to best manage your construction estimate.


What other financial tools does ConstructionOnline offer?

Accurate estimates and finances are crucial to project success. To maximize contractor ROI, we have developed a suite of financial tools as part of our construction management software. Standard tools include estimating software, change orders, home selections and allowances, custom proposals and quote templates, and cost databases. QuickBooks integrations and our Redline Takeoff platform are available for total project management.

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What is Redline Takeoff?

Redline Takeoff is a complete takeoff software developed by ConstructionOnline. It includes the standard tools that would be available in a standalone takeoff software. However, estimating can also be done directly from Redline Takeoff. The takeoff software calculates measurements and their costs and then sends them directly to the construction estimate.

By creating estimates from takeoffs, contractors can generate more accurate estimates and increase their project profit. Take your next steps to maximizing your profit by trying ConstructionOnline for free, today.

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