Iowa City, IA, Minneapolis, MN, Rochester, MN

Preconstruction Manager

Knutson Construction is accepting applications for an experienced Estimating/Pre-Construction Manager. This person will service our Iowa offices, but can work and report out of the Minneapolis OR Rochester office.

Together We Make Dreams Real” – that’s our purpose as a company and we exist to work in concert with each other, owners, design professionals and subcontractors to make the journey as stress-free as possible. Together, we’ve created a dynamic, fun, inspiring environment where we can be ourselves and grow each day. At Knutson, opportunities to shine happen daily. We value what makes you different and empower you to act on your ideas. Our culture is one that encourages, supports, and feels like a family.

The Preconstruction Manager is responsible to provide preconstruction services along with timely and accurate estimates to secure profitable construction projects for Knutson Construction on negotiated projects.

The key job responsibilities of the Preconstruction Manager include, but are not limited to:


  • Reviews takeoffs for self-perform work to increase the probability of providing profitable work for Knutson Construction.
  • Reviews self-perform labor, material and equipment using historic data, past experience, supplier and rental firm pricing.
  • Leverages supplier relationships and Knutson experience to win profitable Self Perform work.
  • Along with Senior Estimators leads the Self-Perform “SOP” Standard Operating Procedures in a team environment with both operations and site staff.
  • Sells Self Perform and its advantages to the project.

Hard Bid / Negotiated Projects:

  • Works with all stakeholders to successfully manage the preconstruction process and helps prepare projects for the start of construction.
  • Works with Operations and Business Development to successfully pursue and secure profitable negotiated and Hard Bid work for Knutson Construction.
  • Serves as the office in-house point of contact for projects appointed to for preconstruction services for negotiated work from Conceptual to GMP.
  • Completes Conceptual/Program estimates from RFP responses and conceptual documents.
  • Works closely with Operations and Marketing to develop “Risks” and “Project Plans” for Best Value and Negotiated pursuits.
  • Works with estimators to develops accurate cost estimates and GMP’s including the equipment, general conditions, materials, labor and subcontractor backup using 2D & 3D software while ensuring estimates are coordinated with project managers’ front-end specifications, scopes of work, schedules, phasing and logistics plans.
  • Provides real time feedback on budgets and programs to all stakeholders.
  • Trains Senior Estimators and Estimators.
  • Oversees and prepares cost models as needed for schematic, design development, and GMP estimates.
  • Oversees the documentation that should be included for presentations.
  • Performs real time estimating, system analysis, long term maintenance studies and value engineering processes.
  • Leverages subcontractor relationships and the Knutson Experience to win profitable Negotiated work.
  • Reviews accurate project schedules with senior level operations and preconstruction staff on hard bid and negotiated projects.
  • Manages bid takers, analyzes bids, leads decision process and enters the correct subcontractor bid on negotiated projects.
  • Completes subcontractor solicitation in a professional manner to meet goals for winning profitable new work on negotiated projects.
  • Works closely with Operations on subcontractor analysis and buyout processes.
  • Develops accurate quantity takeoff and cost models using 2D software as needed by estimating team.
  • Attends interviews on project pursuits as Preconstruction Manager.
  • Helps with preconstruction content writing on RFP responses.
  • Identifies and communicates opportunities to enhance projects.
  • Helps with developing the “Means and Methods” of construction that will be used to construct the project on negotiated projects.
  • Complete first pass at General Conditions and Fee Calculator on CMR, CMA and Design Build projects.
  • Works closely with Operations and senior level estimators on subcontractor analysis and buyout processes on negotiated projects.
  • Reviews all Front-End Specifications and Scopes of Work completed by operations staff on negotiated projects.
  • Develops front end specifications and scopes of work on projects, when required.
  • Include all required Division 01 cost as needed per the Front-End Specification requirements in the estimate.
  • Provides training to Estimators and Senior Estimators to enhance their skills and promote the preconstruction process.

Miscellaneous Items:

  • Attends postmortem reviews on projects to determine reasons for profitability or reasons for financial losses, and incorporates lessons learned in future bids.
  • Conducts risk evaluation reviews with the Senior Operations and Preconstruction staff.
  • Develops and maintains positive relationships with stakeholders to promote profitable project wins and position Knutson Construction for future opportunities.
  • Develops and executes plans to continuously improve subcontractor relationships.
  • Keeps senior level staff informed of key issues/opportunities that impact project success.
  • Promotes the Knutson Construction name through community involvement.
  • Delivers the Knutson Experience.
  • Continuously works to enhance personal skills/abilities to retain a motivated, professional workforce for Knutson Construction.
  • Identifies training and/or development opportunities that will assist an employee in achieving enhanced job performance and/or career objectives.
  • Works closely with senior level staff to promote and leverage the use of technology by staff; attends training to stay abreast of available technology for 3D estimating and other preconstruction needs.
  • Respond to and complete all other duties, tasks and/or projects as assigned

Required Skills and Abilities:

  • Excellent management and organization skills in leading our teams through the preconstruction processes on negotiated projects.
  • Strong multi-tasking skills allowing them to work on various projects on the same day.
  • Strong planning, problem solving, and troubleshooting skills in a cross functional environment
  • Individual must be collaborative and positive
  • Highly organized, able to prioritize and multi-task
  • Ability to travel to various construction sites; ability to physically review project sites which may involve use of stairways and mobilizing around the existing landscape.
  • Ability to sit for extended periods of time using a computer and reading plans/specifications.
  • Ability to lift bid documents (plans and specifications) as needed, which can weigh up to 50 pounds.

Minimum Education and/or Experience Requirements:

  • Bachelor’s Degree in Engineering, Construction Management, Architecture or a related field and 7+ years of commercial construction experience or associate degree in a construction related field and 10+ years of commercial construction experience.

Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions of the position.