How to estimate construction costs

Within the construction industry accurate cost estimates are vital to completing projects on time, within budget and in making a profit. A good estimate will keep stakeholders, owners and builders happy, whereas a bad one can be costly. Learning how to estimate construction costs accurately is essential for any successful building and construction business.

By HomeLight Homes

How a construction cost estimation is performed

Visiting the proposed site is an essential place to start, this lets you see any issues like drainage or vehicle access that might create problems later. You can then discuss these issues with the engineer or architect so they can be addressed. Certain materials may be more economical to use because of the area or new techniques could improve the build time, these can be discussed and figured into the final blueprint. A material quantity takeoff must be performed using the blueprint information, then a cost associated to the materials needs to be calculated. The price of labor can be ascertained by working out the timeframe for the project. These costs plus any other indirect expenses must be considered and then a quote, bid or budget can be drafted and presented.

Presenting a cost estimation

Part of the how to estimate construction costs process is presenting your findings. They must look professional, breakdown the components into separate sections that include labor and materials, it should contain images to enhance understanding and your business name, logo and contact information should be prominent. A few scribbled numbers on a napkin won’t cut it as a construction industry professional. Luckily, making reports, quotes, bids and budgets professionally and accurately is as easy as using good construction estimating and management software. Making professional quotes is just one of the countless benefits that construction estimating software can bring to your building business.


Benefits of construction estimating software

There are many benefits to using construction estimating and management software, but the main ones are time and accuracy. You can save on about 80% of the time it takes to do an estimation by hand. Plus, the software does the calculations for you and can pick up errors in the design you may have missed. The blueprint can be scanned into the program and the estimating software will create a quantity takeoff, it can even include images and graphs. Your usual accountancy software can be integrated with the program making budgeting quick and easy. Document management is easy with everything kept in the one program and construction templates can be customized to match your company’s theme and logo. With construction estimating and management software you can build a reputation as being honest and reliable.

Whether you are an estimator for a large construction company, a freelance estimator or you are the wearer of many hats in your own building business, creating estimations is an essential part of making a profit and completing projects within the proposed time frame. Using construction estimating and management software will let you create faster, more accurate estimations, while building your business’ profits.

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