Q. Do you allow suppliers to prepare takeoffs or estimates?

A. "There is a sign at our supplier’s office that reads, ‘Our estimates are free, our mistakes are not.’ If I’ve got to eat a mistake, it’s a whole lot easier to swallow if it’s mine."

— Howard Ferree

"We sometimes allow the lumberyard to do the takeoff, but we check it before we have them price it out. We also give specs to our subs for plumbing, electrical, heating, drywall, and insulation. They provide a quote — more like a contract than an estimate."

— Glenn Farrell

"The contractor has sole responsibility for the bottom line. To depend on a supplier for estimates is an invitation to financial disaster."

— Bill Gaver

"We allow our supplier to do takeoffs, but we check for accuracy. If you tell your supplier how you want them to handle things like waste and contingencies, they can become the most accurate estimator outside your own shop. You can handle more work with this arrangement, too."

— Mike Weiss