Construction Case Study: Hunt & Collins Win $3.7M Bid with 1build Estimate

Construction Cast Study: Hunt & Collins Win 3.7M Bid
Learn how 1build helped contractor Hunt & Collins win a 3.7M Bid

Construction Estimating Service Delivers 620x ROI

Construction Estimating Service Case Study: 620x ROI

Hunt & Collins Grows 3.7M in Revenue while Saving 3K Using Construction Estimating Service

We often hear about an amazing construction case study and wonder what the other guy knows that we don’t know. Indeed, when you spend 20+ years learning your trade, pay your dues in the field, and then attend college to learn the business of construction only to find you’re unable to grow your business–from city contracts to federal contracts–it can be a bit disappointing. Indeed, finding initial success, but feeling like you’ve hit a plateau can actually feel downright frustrating. Ricky Hunt, owner and president of Hunt & Collins, an HVAC contractor, was no stranger to this frustration. Having worked hard for years to significantly expand his business to larger contracts, he just wasn’t able to break through to the next level. He tried submitting more bids and even hiring in-house estimators, but still wasn’t seeing the success he dreamed about. 

As so many small, medium-sized and even large construction firms today can attest, winning new projects and developing a successful construction business as a contractor often seems like an unsolvable puzzle. You grind day after day and submit one bid after the next, yet you still keep losing way more bids than you win. Revenue is stagnant or declining and your business isn’t growing, but somehow your competitors seem to be doing just fine.

If you’re familiar with this scenario, you’re in good company: Hunt & Collins knows it as well. Luckily, as this construction case study attests, they’ve now become familiar with a better scenario: the one where a hard-working contractor submits a bid for a government contract, leveraging a detailed and accurate estimate by 1build, and wins the project of his dreams!  

The Anatomy of a Phenomenal Construction Case Study

Hunt & Collins is an HVAC contractor located in Madison Wisconsin, focusing on residential, new construction, and commercial building projects. The company was founded by Ricky Hunt, who completed trade school in 1983 and earned his B.A in Business Administration in 1996 from Western Michigan University–gaining 30 years of journeyman experience before he founded Hunt & Collins in 2014.

Hunt & Collins started out doing work for the city, but it was always Ricky’s goal to expand his business from small city contracts to larger federal contracts. However, due to Ricky’s excellent reputation, Hunt & Collins has more opportunities than they can keep up with–usually bidding on 3 or 4 projects at a time, and Ricky just didn’t have the bandwidth to take on one more estimate. As an HVAC full-service contractor, Ricky has a staff of in-house cost estimators to develop estimates, but using in-house estimators was starting to make it difficult to grow and expand his business.   

How to a Win 3.7M Bid with 1build

Ricky heard about a large project from his network, which would bring in millions of dollars worth of business if his company won the bid: a 225-unit, multi-family housing project with a community center. More importantly, Ricky only had a few days to submit a bid with an accurate estimate. “So it was a job estimate that would consume a lot of our time,” says Ricky, “and given our current workload, it was too much to ask our own estimators to take it on.” According to Ricky, Hunt & Collins didn’t have enough time, resources, or availability to hire another estimator. And if Ricky couldn’t find another option, he was going to have to pass on the project, losing revenue and a rare opportunity to significantly expand his business.   

Ricky found the other option he was looking for when a trusted source in the industry recommended 1build’s cost estimating service. Ricky immediately reached out to 1build to discuss the housing project with 1build’s estimators. Because the project was outside Ricky’s comfort zone, it was especially important that 1build’s estimate not only be accurate but also include the full scope of the work. Ricky soon learned that another benefit of working with 1build’s estimators was their deep expertise in the trades: “If I asked a question about something in my trade, they understood exactly what I was asking.”

“If I asked a question about something in my trade, they understood exactly what I was asking.”

Ricky Hunt, Found and President of Hunt & Collins

After determining that 1build had a strong grasp of the scope of work, Ricky submitted his plans online, and within a few days, 1build provided a detailed and accurate estimate for the multi-million-dollar project. “The process overall was really easy,” says Ricky, “1build went out of their way to simplify it, so it was very smooth.” 

Ricky was also pleased with the quality of 1build’s estimate, which was detailed and comprehensive. When Ricky first approached 1build, he was unsure what the project “was going to cost to build,” but after receiving 1build’s completed cost estimate, which included an itemized spreadsheet with a total breakdown of the project cost, he not only understood the cost, but also felt confident he and his crew could handle the job. 1build made sure to “stick to the specifications and the right equipment” and included a “buffer” in the estimate to handle any contingencies that came up with the job. 1build made a point of reviewing the changes on the plans to ensure the final estimate they gave Ricky was going to be accurate: “They were just as concerned about getting the right number to me as I was concerned about successfully completing this project.”

“1buid was just as concerned about getting the right number to me as I was concerned about successfully completing this project.”

Ricky Hunt, Founder & President of Hunt & Collins

Mind-Blowing Results

With 1build’s help, Ricky received a detailed and accurate cost estimate for a project that enabled him to win a contract valued at 3.7 million dollars. What’s more, this contract didn’t just increase Hunt & Collins revenue, but also enabled Ricky to grow his business, fulfilling one of his original business objectives–to expand from city projects to federal projects: “1build allowed us to break into a new area into our business, and we feel very comfortable doing it because we established relationship with 1build.”  

Moreover, because Ricky didn’t have to hire a new estimator, Hunt & Collins saved over $3,000 dollars. In fact, due to 1build’s competitive price, Ricky actually saved 5% more than if he had completed the estimate in-house, which means he received a 620x return on investment in 1build. Ricky is so satisfied with the estimate and services he received that he believes Hunt & Collins “got much more value than we actually paid for.” 

“We got much more value than we actually paid for .”

Ricky Hunt, Found & President of Hunt & Collins

Today, Hunt & Collins has seen mind-blowing results from using 1build:

  • $3.7M Contract  
  • $3K Savings
  • $620x ROI

Wish You Could Emulate Hunt & Collins’ Success? You Can.

Hunt & Collins Construction Case Study


If you wish you could emulate Hunt & Collins’ success, good news–with the right cost estimating service at your fingertips, you can. If you’d like to learn more about how Hunt & Collins achieved these astonishing results with 1build, you can grab the construction case study here and start leveraging the power of on-demand construction estimating services for yourself.

On the other hand, if you’d prefer simply to get started, we can help. Once you become a 1build subscriber and submit your plans, you can receive accurate and detailed cost estimates and quantity takeoffs within days. What’s more, you benefit from speaking to estimators with 20 years of field experience combined with the power of AI so you can develop a cost estimate that will help you win your next million-dollar bid. 

Ready to take your construction firm to the next level? So are we.

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