trade estimate

What is a TradeEstimate?​

What is a TradeEstimate?​

The IC TradeEstimate® IntelConstructs’s estimated project trade
bidding price, computed using a proprietary formula. It is a
starting point in determining the estimated bid amount for a
specific project.
The IC TradeEstimate® IntelConstructs’s estimated project trade
bidding price, computed using a proprietary formula. It is a
starting point in determining the estimated bid amount for a
specific project.

How accurate is the TradeEstimate?

With supply costs up, and good help hard to find,  it’s never more important than now to get pricing correct.  IC TradeEstate’s accuracy depends on labor prices and material prices.  Some trades have more specialized labor which costs more to employ, materials that are in high demand now have an inflated price.  We have not broken down prices per region or city.  We are sharing a national average,  prices in California are different than Alabama.  The below estimates can be used as a benchmark against your estimating.

This table shows the major trades that general contractors subcontract to complete the construction on their building projects.

Estimated price per square foot

Last Updated: 19 November 2021

Note: The IC TradeEstimate accuracy is computed by comparing the average labor price and the average material price per trade.  We analyzed hundreds of post project contractor spend reports to determine how much each general contractor spends on individual trades per building project.

Download an Excel spreadsheet of this data.

How is the IC TradeEstimate calculated?

Intelconstruct publishes building construction projects and other construction data for North America.  Our systems have had thousands of quotes generated from architectural plans and drawings.  Our TradeEstimate statistical and learning models examine hundreds of budgets and post project spends from commercial general contractors.

To calculate a TradeEstimate, IntelConstruct partners with expert takeoff estimating companies to support our models that incorporates data from universities, cities, and other public reports. The TradeEstimate also incorporates:

  • Project size, is the building 10,000 square feet or 800,000 square feet.  Productivity increases for larger building sizes.
  • Bidding project data such as size, location, description, and union requirements.
  • Post project pend data, actual reports on how much each subcontractor received for their scope of work.
  • Market trends, Covid-19, SBA loans, inflation, supply chain bottlenecks, labor shortage, unemployment.

Currently, we have data for over 1,000 active projects, 4,000 completed projects, and 4,000 commercial general contractors in our cloud applications. 


The latest TradeEstimate model is our most accurate TradeEstimate yet. It’s based on a universal model and uses even more historical data to produce trade estimates per square footage of a building. This means the TradeEstimate can help more companies win projects and actually make profit. 

The amount of data we have for each trade does vary as all trades are not required on every building construction project. If the data is incorrect or incomplete, send an email to

To ensure the most accurate TradeEstimate, consider reviewing the plans and drawings for each project that you may bid. 

Check that your bid project history and price history (the quote that you submitted and the building size and location), email us the details and we will update our model.

General contractors do like to have less trades on site than more.  It is common the drywall trade also complete the paint scope.   You can email to request 2 trades to be combined for a TradeEstimate.

Our historical data and spend analysis incorporate a nationwide estimate.  Some parts of North America have a higher cost to build than others.  The top 4 most expensive cities are San Francisco, New York City, Boston, and Los Angeles.

IntelConstruct partners with takeoff estimating companies that can work with you to quote projects and help your company win construction contracts with commercial general contractors.

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