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Cost Estimating: A Key Component Of Construction Project Management

July 12, 2019

Cost Estimating: A Key Component Of Construction Project Management

In today’s competitive environment, companies want to spend less while maintaining or even increasing the scope and quality of a project. How can you put together a budget that will ensure project success? This is where you need expert construction project managers to carry out proper cost estimation.

Detailed, accurate estimates are a vital component of construction. The estimating process starts with a deep understanding of a project’s scope of work. Understanding the estimation process requires a basic grasp of the overall construction process. It is important to consider the realities of the site and other context scopes: safety, soil conditions, weather, environmental protection, site layout, etc. These factors have a significant impact on the overall cost of a construction project.

Visualizing project development process several times before the project even starts is a critical part of the estimating process. Putting yourself in the contractors’ shoes and obtaining knowledge of various construction processes will make it easy to view the overall scope of a construction project. Estimating is more than just unit costing; it also includes the impact of various factors on each unit cost.

Quantifying the project is another important phase in the estimating process. It requires a sound understanding of conversion factors, plans reading, drawing scales, math, and common construction practices. Unit prices are applied to an accurate quantity take-off representing the complete scope of work. The application of unit costs to the quantified scope of work is the next step in the estimating process. Unit costs can be obtained from suppliers, vendors, and subcontractors.

Modern cost estimating

According to experienced estimators, one of the best improvements to construction estimating is the development and implementation of estimating software capabilities. Manual estimating processes can be slow and inefficient. If you don’t have the capabilities and resources to make your project a success, hire a construction and project management company to take care of everything from planning and cost estimation to quality control.

Types of construction estimates

Since it requires a well-defined project plan to produce accurate cost estimates, it is a common practice to produce multiple estimates during the pre-design phase. Construction cost estimating is quite similar to cost estimating for other types of projects. Here are some of the common types of construction estimates:

  • An estimate produced in line with the schematic design
  • An estimate made during the design development phase
  • An estimate based on the construction specifications and drawings
  • An estimate prepared by the contractor based on construction documents

Design estimates

Design estimates, as the name suggests, are produced during a project’s design phase and they start with a screening estimate. The estimating process revolves around the design stage. Conceptual estimates are based on the schematic design, while a detailed estimate is based on design development. Engineer’s estimates are considered as the final of design estimates.

Control estimates

These estimates are prepared after a contract agreement is signed and before the construction starts. It is considered as a baseline by which you measure and control actual construction costs. Control estimates make it easy for contractors to plan ahead and prepare for the project’s cost to completion.

Construction cost estimating is a systematic way of forecasting the cost of constructing a physical structure. Both clients and builders want to know the impact of cost overruns and failing to complete a project on time.

About Quality Millwright

Quality Millwright is a diverse engineering company in Canada where construction and project management plays a key role in our services. For more information, visit our website or contact us!