Writing a quotation for a construction company

In construction, the objective is not only to build, but to do so on budget and on time. Developing an accurate and detailed estimate is a necessary step. This article gives you tips for writing effectively and in line with legal expectations.

Posted on
Last updated on
Writing a quotation for a construction company

In construction, the objective is not only to build, but to do so on budget and on time. Developing an accurate and detailed estimate is a necessary step. This article gives you tips for writing effectively and in line with legal expectations.

Our advice for writing a building estimate correctly

The quotation is an important element of project management by construction professionals. In addition to legislative aspects, it serves as a basis for the success of the work, in the event that the case is won by the company. Hence the importance of writing it well.

It all starts with a good understanding of the customer's needs

The first step in creating a detailed quote is talking to the customer. It allows understand your needs : this will result in the choice of materials, the calculation of the budget and deadlines, or the planning of the site.

This appointment benefits from being conducted by an experienced project manager or design office technician who is able to:

  • To identify and ask relevant questions,
  • To anticipate potential problems,
  • To gather all the necessary information.

The objective is also to establish a favorable climate with the customer and above all toavoid unnecessary back and forth, which cost the company.

Calculate the construction site correctly

Before signing an estimate, which constitutes a legal commitment, it is necessary to properly quantify the work. This prevents mistakes that can have serious consequences. Start by carefully evaluating your costs for each work. Taking into account:

  • The materials,
  • The workforce,
  • The equipment.

The sum of these expenses for each work corresponds to the dry outlay, which is an element of the cost of production. As a reminder:

  • Dry disbursement + Construction costs = Total disbursement.
  • Total disbursement + Structure costs = Cost of production.
  • Cost + Gross margin = Sales price excluding taxes.

Encryption should not be underestimated. If the calculations are wrong after signing, you will have to assume the consequences. An error may have significant repercussions upon The profitability of a construction site.

Detail each of the planned benefits

Carefully detailing each service contributes to the clarity and precision of your quotes, especially for major projects. A document rich in information, which includes the costs, the duration of the work and a detailed description of each service, can improve:

  • Understanding your customers,
  • The organization of the work supervisor.

In particular, the construction manager relies on the estimate to plan the tasks of the journeymen. The use of a digital tool can simplify this process (Learn more).

Detailing VAT

The professionals concerned must include VAT in their quotation. It is mandatory to include:

  • The intra-community VAT number,
  • The unit cost excluding taxes (HT) of each service,
  • The total excluding tax of the quotation,
  • The applicable VAT rates,
  • The total including all taxes (TTC).

Professionals not subject to VAT must list the prices excluding VAT, indicate the total and add the mention” VAT not applicable - article 293B of the General Tax Code ”.

Show mandatory information

The estimate must respect strict standards, similar to those in the invoices. Be sure to include all mandatory information (see list below).

Invoicing software can make it easier for you.

Make quotations that are pleasant to read and clear

The presentation of a professional and clear quotation is important for several reasons:

  • First impression: a careful estimate lays the foundations for a relationship of trust with the project owner.
  • Professionalism: the precision of your quotation underlines your seriousness and the care you take in your work.
  • Customer commitment: An attractive document encourages the customer to become more involved and to look at your proposal with interest.
  • Reduced risk of errors: clarity prevents misunderstandings and mistakes. It avoids costly corrections.
  • Better understanding: a structured document makes it easier for the customer to understand and choose.
  • Added value: a detailed quote highlights the value of your services. It can justify your pricing.

A well-designed quote is a customer communication tool. It facilitates the transition of the project from its conception to its implementation.

A well-written estimate prepares the site well

A detailed quote does not only benefit customers. It is also useful for Prepare a construction site well. It serves as a road map for construction managers and team leaders. Here are a few examples:

  • Precision of the work: detailing each intervention makes it possible to avoid unforeseen events and facilitates the monitoring of the site (Learn more).
  • Resource Management: simply identifying needs makes it easier to manage equipment and labor (Learn more).
  • Financial follow-up: Breaking down the budget by expense item makes it possible to monitor costs as closely as possible.
  • Respect of deadlines: a detailed estimate makes it possible to anticipate the duration of the various tasks and helps to establish a schedule of interventions (Learn more).

Dedicating time to the detailed drafting of the estimate is beneficial both for planning and for the execution of the site. It is a small investment of time that contributes to savings later.

Some legal reminders about estimates in the building

As mentioned earlier, it is necessary to follow the rules regarding quotations. Here are a few things to keep in mind.

In the construction industry, quotations are mandatory

In the construction sector, the quotation is not a simple formality. It is a legal requirement for most jobs (see list here). The document guarantees transparency and protects both the professional and the customer. The absence of a quotation may result in legal sanctions.

Mandatory information for a construction estimate

For a compliant and legally valid work estimate, be sure to include these details:

  • Identification: Indicate the terms “quotation” or “price proposal.” Add “Received before work was completed, good for agreement,” with the date and the client's signature. Mention “EI” or “Individual Entrepreneur” if applicable.
  • Quotation details: include the numbering (optional), the date of issue, whether it is paid or free, the price if paid and the validity period of the offer.
  • Payment: specify the method and conditions of payment, the payment period, the possible deposit and the withdrawal period.
  • Insurance: Indicate your ten-year insurance information (insurer, policy number and geographic coverage).
  • Company info: company name or name of the manager, legal status, number in the Directory of Trades, address of the head office, contacts, and intra-community VAT number.
  • Customer contact details: name, address, telephone for individuals; company name, contact details, and VAT number for businesses.
  • Offer description: start date, estimated duration, details of the work and materials, details of the works and materials, costing of the works (quantity and unit price), total excluding VAT and VAT, VAT rate and corresponding amounts, travel expenses, travel expenses, delivery and execution methods, after-sales service conditions and guarantees.

If the exact cost cannot be determined immediately (as in emergency repairs), describe how the final rate was calculated.

Is it possible to modify a quotation after signature?

Once signed, the quotation is a contract. Any modification requires the agreement of both parties and must be made in writing.

Frequently asked questions about quotations in construction

How many copies of quotations do I need to edit?

Two copies must be published: one for the customer and one for the company. The professional must keep it for 10 years.

Is it possible to create a quote for it?

Yes, you can charge for creating a quote if it requires a study or travel. Clearly inform the customer in advance. If the customer signs, you can subtract this cost from the final work.

What is the difference between a quotation and a pro forma invoice?

An estimate details the work and costs, and becomes contractual once signed. A pro forma invoice is estimated, with no contractual value: it only provides information on the terms of sale.

Ready to improve the site supervision of your SME?

Try the solution for free for 14 days. No credit card required!