Estimate Or Consultation? What’s The Difference?

You are likely to have asked for estimates for repairs to your business or home. Most estimates are free and quick. If your project involves drainage or grading issues, building a wall, or excavating for foundations, an estimate is not enough. A consultation with a civil engineering professional is necessary to ensure your project runs smoothly and safely.

What is an estimate?

The owner of many projects at home and business will request estimates from contractors. The owner gives a brief, often informal description of the work. The owner will provide an informal description of the work, often verbal, such as “repaint the house” or “replace my roof.” A contractor will then be able to give an estimate for materials and labor. In most cases, estimates come at no charge.

What is a consultation?

Before requesting an estimate for excavation, drainage, or grading, the owner should consult with an engineer. The engineer will help define the project and provide a scope.

  • The engineer will measure the area accurately, determine the current drainage, and assess the soil.
  • Next, the engineer creates a plan that will outline the work to be done. The plan will include a timeline for the project and safety parameters that reduce the chance of an accident on your site.
  • This plan is then called a scope, and contractors can use it to estimate the cost of their work.

What is a “Scope of Work” and how does it work?

Scope of Work outlines all tasks, duties, limitations, and other information necessary to achieve the desired results. Usually, the scope of work (SOW), the document contains the following components.

Overview of the project

A brief description of the project’s need and a brief description of the project.

Project deliverables

This section should contain all expected outcomes that will be achieved during the project. This section should include all information necessary to help contractors understand the requirements of the project.

Project scope

This section should include the budget and technical information as well as the project’s quantifiable objectives. These are the scopes of a project:

  1. Technical considerations: The contractor must consider specific technical measures or methods.
  2. Tasks: Tasks that are specific to meet project objectives. These tasks should include detailed milestones and the results you need.

Project schedule

This is a summary of the project schedule, including completion dates for all tasks and estimated project duration.

Project management

The SOW’s management section contains a description of:

  • What payment methods will be used
  • Controlling the change process
  • Specific legal and contract requirements
  • The stages of the project
  • Limitations of the project.

An engineer consultation is required if the scope of work is to be more complex than an estimate. Complex SOWs can take time, so they are usually not free. If you need to estimate for excavation, drainage, grading, or any other major landscaping project, it is not enough to start with an estimate. To request an expert consultation, contact Greenbar Excavation. Greenbar Excavation has years of experience in landscaping and excavation. We will ensure that your project goes smoothly, from the initial consultation through to the final completion.

This post was written by Tanner Brown. Tanner is the Owner and operator of Greenbar Excavation. is a fully licensed, insured, and accredited Excavation company based in Prineville, Oregon. Greenbar Excavation is one of the top Excavation companies in Central Oregon. Don’t look further, go with the company with your best interest in mind!

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