On any given evening, just think how many roofers across Australia are working late trying to get another estimate done. In most cases, the takeoff is usually the most time-consuming part of a roofing project, with printed drawings scattered across the desk (or floor).
Of course, that’s only one part of the problem. Even after spending hours trying to accurately count up all the quantities and note down all the measurements, how many of those guys will actually win the job? Probably half, at best. It’s not exactly motivating.
The long process starts with getting those drawings in the first place; unless you’ve invested in the equipment yourself, you probably need to contact your local print shop, wait for them to get your drawings ready, then travel to pick them up. It’s a strangely old-fashioned process, but one that many contractors still rely on.
Once you’ve done this (and hopefully got things like the scale right on the first attempt), it’s time for the real hard work to begin. No, not the actual job… we’re still a long way from that. Next you need to count and measure all the relevant details on the plans, while making sure everything is accurate to the best of your knowledge.
All roofers – in fact, all contractors – know this process isn’t easy. It’s slow and frustrating. You probably don’t get paid for this time either, and just to top it off, you might later find out it was a complete waste of time. When you stop to think about it, why does anyone bother?
The answer, obviously, is because you might end up making a profit on the job. Of course, the chances of making money would be a lot better if the estimating process only took an hour or two instead of triple that time. But how realistic is that?