Project Estimators are essential to the success of McGill Restoration

project manager estimators (PMEs)

A day in the life of a PME (project manager estimator) at McGill Restoration is busy and challenging. We are proud of the detail-oriented nature of every PME and the hard work they do to accurately estimate each project while following through to completion. Our proven process begins with a seven-step cycle that starts with an Assessment and Proposal and ends with successful completion and close-out on every single project. 

We also complete a job review for feedback and ongoing improvements. This ensures we are always working to be the absolute best with the most competitive pricing.  

We sat down with PME Jen Loukota to get a better idea of what her day-to-day looks like and how she helps complete every job flawlessly. This is how Jen and the PMEs on our team operate to deliver the excellent results associated with McGill Restoration.

“Our estimator team is exceptional with their discipline and attention to detail. We work hard to find talented people like Jen Loukota who are dedicated to every piece of the project from accurate estimation to project completion and close-out. It’s a unique skill set and our PMs are professionals who love to collaborate and guide every project to a successful outcome.”

Matt Buol-Ferg

Getting the Day Started


The day begins early for a project manager estimator, often before arriving at the office by outlining and prioritizing everything needed for the day. Jen arrives at the office at 8 am, alongside all crew members, and gets started by working through emails, putting out fires, and responding to any urgent requests or communications.

This can involve meetings with ownership, quick connections with foremen, and calls with suppliers to secure materials. There is always something pressing to keep the work flowing smoothly. After running through urgent tasks, it’s time to dive into new projects.

Project inquiries can arrive in a number of ways. Website requests, cold calls, and referrals from partners or past clients are all common ways of introduction. 


New Projects – Discovery Phase


The discovery phase is intensive and requires a deep assessment of every problem and detail associated with a new job. Jen begins with a deep-dive conversation with ownership to really understand the problem while gathering the parameters, drawings, and all background information.

Before visiting the site, Jen obtains as much information as possible to gain a big-picture understanding of the site and what lies ahead.


Site Visits and Assessment

Initial site assessments are typically four-hour walkthroughs covering everything in detail. This initial assessment allows Jen and other project manager estimators to gain a visual understanding of the problem while they begin working through the potential solutions and requirements for the specific project.

After the initial visit, multiple follow-up visits are completed to check elevations, materials, problem areas, etc. Jen coordinates with the experts at McGill Restoration to build solutions and plan for everything needed to successfully complete the project.


Build and Submit Estimates

With every inch of work projected and accounted for Jen builds estimates and works them into the written proposal. Proposals are reviewed by internal experts to determine accuracy and button-down a realistic bid on the project. 


Contract Accepted! Now What?


The heavy lifting begins when the contract moves to acceptance. Detailed planning by our project manager estimator sets McGill Restoration apart in the industry and is one major reason projects are completed on or ahead of rigid deadlines. Jen works with her team and with ownership to:

  • Determine timeframes
  • Set expectations
  • Coordinate details, shutdowns, etc.

After the timeframes and expectations are clear with ownership, the internal planning phase begins.

Internal planning involves assigning the best fit staff to manage and operate the project. PMEs set out to complete every project flawlessly and that requires very detailed planning to cover everything from material and equipment needs to permits and Professional Engineer designs.

Securing materials is also challenging, especially with nationwide shortages of supplies. PMEs work hard to get everything ordered and secured ahead of schedule to eliminate the possibility of delays. They also order materials months in advance, ensuring the customer is locked into optimal and predictable pricing.

There are many moving parts in the internal planning phase and locking down every detail sets the stage for a smooth transition to the construction phase. The McGill Way is a proven process that has been refined to cover all of the gritty details well ahead of construction, ensuring issues do not arise and deadlines are met.


Pre-Construction Phase

Jen doesn’t stop when the initial planning is completed. Her role is involved from estimation to completion, staying with the project through every single phase. Before construction begins, Jen brings together all stakeholders, from ownership to foremen.  

She gathers opinions, talks through processes, and gets everyone on the same page. Listening to superintendents and foremen is important because they have critical experience and can find more efficient and effective ways to complete each job.

The opinions are consolidated into a finalized game plan and work is ready to commence. Prior to project mobilization, the team does a final site visit to see the site conditions. This eliminates surprises and ensures the job is ready to begin.


Construction from Launch to Final Walkthrough


Jen stays on top of every job with daily and weekly site visits to assess safety, check on the crew, coordinate with the foreman, and monitor performance and progress. Coordinating with permitting, PEs, and crew members while also ensuring OSHA standards are met keeps the projects on schedule.

When construction is complete, equipment is moved off-site and a thorough walkthrough is done with ownership. All details are covered and if anything is missing, crews return to complete ownership requests.

The last phase is cleanup and a final walkthrough to confirm ownership satisfaction. Keys are returned and the final invoice is delivered at this point.

After finishing the rigorous start-to-finish tasks of being a project manager estimator, Jen Loukota starts all over again, jumping into her next project!

McGill Restoration is grateful for all the hard work PMEs do on behalf of our customers. Get in touch with our team to start the process for your next project.

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