POSITION: Estimator - Building Enclosures

This position will be responsible for all general building enclosure systems estimating, and must possess diverse knowledge and skill sets revolving around building enclosure systems cost estimating, functionality, exterior enclosure performance and quality assessments, LEED and building energy modeling, and subcontractor/supplier relations management. This position works closely with the lead senior estimator, project executives, and director of estimating/preconstruction services. Candidate will be an in-house resource on enclosure systems, both for estimating and operational staff; possess or develop the skills and proficiency necessary to analyze building enclosure performance expectations, including understanding of WUFI, THERM, or other similar software packages; coordinate requirements with energy modeling consultant and be able to identify impacts of MEP and architectural design decisions on enclosure requirements; and possess or develop the ability to utilize or build own enclosure models for budgeting and estimating purposes. Position reports to the senior estimator and director of estimating/preconstruction services.

As Building Enclosure Estimator You Will:
  • Organize and direct subcontractor estimates as well as maintain subcontractor relationships and assess subcontractor capacity.  
  • Assist senior estimators in subcontractor bid list and bid preparation.  
  • Quantify the scope of work for each trade and analyze subcontractor bid proposals and prepare bid comparison worksheets.  

Responsibilities and Typical Duties Include:

Primary Responsibility - Building Enclosure Estimating/Preconstruction

  • Solicit and scope building enclosure bids.  Exercise discretion to obtain the best bids for assigned scope of work.
  • Prepare accurate, organized, and concise scope directives with appropriate quantities for subcontractor use in preparing bid proposals.  Coordinate scope with Senior Estimators and other estimators working with related trades. 
  • Review and analyze proposals for compliance with design intent, code, performance, and other project goals, etc. and level proposals accordingly.  Organize the bid information in bid tabulation worksheets and review worksheets with senior estimators and other trade estimators when necessary.
  • Perform internal quantity verification of key elements of the building enclosure, capturing those items explicitly indicated and identifying the scope not conveyed in the documents but known to be required.
  • Cultivate and maintain positive relationships with existing subcontracting and design firms and foster opportunities with new partners.  Canvas the subcontractor and supplier markets to ensure adequate subcontractor proposal coverage.  Identify scope gaps and coordinate coverage with senior estimators and other trade estimators.
  • Develop a thorough knowledge of the bidding documents including general bidding requirements and those requirements relative to your trades on each project.  Review and analyze bids for compliance with design intent, code, project performance goals, etc. and level proposals accordingly.  Organize the bid information in bid tabulation worksheets and review worksheets with senior estimators and other trade estimators when necessary.
  • Identify cost, schedule, constructability, and quality alternates or concerns (value engineering) through analysis of bid documents and conversations with subcontractor representatives and prioritize opportunities.  Anticipate and convey impacts of base design and alternates to internal team members and external partners.
  • Identify new bid opportunities and research and promote innovative systems and new approaches to distinguish McHugh from other contractors.
  • Develop and maintain a comprehensive enclosure unit cost database for systems, building types, components, etc. to be utilized in internal estimating verification and conceptual budgeting.

Design Assist Enclosure Estimating

  • Work with project team and outside consultants if necessary to identify enclosure systems and the associated parameters for budgeting purposes.
  • Meet with key enclosure subcontractors to assist in developing design assist solutions and options
  • The same process for cost estimating will apply to design build subcontractor proposal review.
  • Ability and comfort with providing final scope and award recommendations to the internal project team, Owner and designer based upon early information. Familiarity with systems, schedule, constructability, logistics, safety requirements, performance/quality issues, etc. to account for these factors in recommendations.
  • Estimator will be relied on to provide final scope and award recommendations to the internal project team, owner, and designer for early award based upon preliminary or initial design-phase information. 


  • Candidate will be an in-house resource on enclosure systems both for estimating and operational staff.
  • Use experience to contribute to quality construction discussions and policies for us to better implement enclosure systems throughout the construction process.

To Be Successful In This Role, You Will Need:
  • Proficiency in building enclosure systems including knowledge of enclosure systems and component costs, functionality, performance impacts, installation schedules as well as subcontractor relations management
  • BS, engineering or equivalent combination of technical training and/or related experience. Construction management or technical training preferred.
  • 5 years’ experience in construction estimating/project management and related functions with focus on exterior building enclosure trades (Div. 7-8) preferred
  • Experience with conceptual and early budget estimating
  • Superior written and verbal communication and interpersonal skills are essential.
  • Strong computer skills including Microsoft Office and Take-Off software (On Center OST, Planswift, Bluebeam, etc) as well as other construction related software packages (Cost Estimating Software such as WinEst, Vico, Destini, Timberline; iSqFt; Procore, etc.).
  • Understanding of drywall/cold-formed framing/structural wood framing trades/scopes are a plus.

Why join our dynamic team?

James McHugh Construction Co. is a full-service construction company offering a range of services including general contracting, pre-construction, construction consulting, program management, construction management, design-build, and concrete construction.  We have the ability and resources to self-perform cast-in-place concrete and rebar placement, carpentry, drywall/acoustical ceilings, minor excavation and general conditions. McHugh’s mission has always been promoting a seamless and positive project experience with excellence and innovation.  We are dedicated to the success of our clients, our people, and the McHugh heritage. 

About McHugh

Since its founding, James McHugh Construction Co. has earned its reputation as a builder of landmark, one-of-a-kind structures. McHugh’s success is grounded in the company’s dedication to the success of its clients, its people, and the McHugh heritage. McHugh’s mission has always been promoting a seamless and positive project experience with excellence and innovation. 

The company was founded in 1897 by James D. McHugh and by the 1920s was established as a general contractor noted for its elaborate masonry work. As it grew with the city, McHugh developed its specialties: high-rise concrete construction and complex, large-scale projects for both the private and public sectors.  The company continues to be a family owned business, with the fourth generation of the McHugh family overseeing the continued success of the firm.  McHugh pioneered the “3-day cycle”  for concrete pours and has been the concrete contractor or general contractor on 9 of the 13 tallest concrete structures in the City of Chicago, 5 of which were the tallest concrete structures in Chicago. Featured McHugh projects include the new Wanda Vista Tower (soon to be 2nd tallest concrete structure in Chicago), Trump Tower, Aqua, Water Tower, the Advocate Center Chicago Bulls Training Facility, the new Blackhawks training facility, the Blackstone Hotel renovation, theWit Hotel, Wolf Point West Tower, the Ferris Wheel at Navy Pier and assorted renovations, and iconic Marina City. 

McHugh’s leadership applies to its people as well as its structures. The company was the first in Chicago to bring minorities into the ironworkers' union and first to enter a joint venture with a minority contractor. It is not uncommon for laborers to move up the ladder through the organization; conversely, almost every corporate employee has spent time working in the field.  Employees are encouraged to take on additional responsibilities and research and implement innovative approaches, fostering a creative atmosphere where we challenge the norms and promote growth from within.  Employees also find a welcoming mix of a family-owned business that understands work-life balance, along with the benefits of working for an industry leader and the 4th largest contractor in the Chicagoland area.  With a rich tradition of excellence, innovation and commitment to people, McHugh will continue to be a leader in the construction industry. 

James McHugh Construction Co. is an Equal Employment Opportunity Employer/Disabled/Veterans. Apply for this position by visiting MetroChicagoJobs.com