The Basics of Estimating a Construction Budget

Miscalculating the construction budget can have negative consequences. Here, you’ll find an overview of construction cost estimating. Find out the purpose, elements, and factors affecting construction budget estimates.

Project managers, contractors, and property owner ought to have an accurate forecast of the project cost. Nonetheless, every construction contract features unique variables. From the availability of labor to the building design, projects differ significantly.

Miscalculating the cost of building can have negative consequences. Here, you’ll find an overview of construction cost estimating. Find out the purpose, elements, and factors affecting the construction cost.

What’s the Purpose of Forecasting the Construction Budget?

construction budget

Construction cost estimating involves forecasting the monetary cost of building a structure. Are you worried about the financial implications of cost overruns? Afraid the project might not be completed?

If you want to render the full benefits of construction management, you need to estimate how much it will cost before you move forward. Your client might ask for multiple estimates if you are managing a big contract. They can even hire an independent estimator.

The main idea is to determine the scope and feasibility of the project. As you prepare the estimates, make sure that they are viable in relation to the client’s requirements. A good budget plan prevents underpayments and overpayments.

Qualities of a Good Estimate

A good construction budget should be:

  • Credible

  • Accurate

  • It has confidence levels

  • Readable

  • Precise

  • Documented in writing

  • Reliable

  • Valid with up-to-date information

  • Uniform

  • Risk-detailed

  • Cost-verified

The best construction budget estimate is made by a team. That is the project manager, designers, builders, contractors, subcontractors, and suppliers.

What Components Make Up a Construction Cost Estimate?

Estimators use the following to create a construction budget. Some of them may overlap depending on the type of project involved.

  1. Capital costs – land acquisition, architect salary

  2. Prices of the building materials

  3. Labor hours

  4. The cost of machinery and equipment

  5. Subcontractor quotes

  6. Administrative costs, e.g. design fees, permits, and transport

  7. Contingency costs

  8. Operations and maintenance

Factors Influencing the Construction Budget

A lot of factors can affect the elements highlighted in the above section. That’s why you must recognize that every construction work is unique. You may need to create a punch list from time to time. This has a direct implication on the budget. Here is a rundown of the underlying factors.

  • Size and complexity of the project

  • The condition of the site: Is it waterlogged? What’s the nature of the rocks?

  • The location of the site: Do workers travel for long distances? In urban areas, wages might be higher.

  • The regulatory requirements: Some are expensive to fulfill.

  • Feasibility studies: These are likely to increase the budget.

  • Unpredictable changes: things like construction weather delays and cost inflation

Embrace a Robust Tool for Estimating the Construction Budget

Construction budget estimation can help you foresee the costs of executing a building process. This helps you to achieve the objectives within the desired construction timeline. Make sure you understand the nuances and basic estimation techniques.

Traditionally, construction budgets are developed with formulas and spreadsheets. Recently, there is cost-estimating software designed specifically for construction. It integrates seamlessly with other management applications like construction scheduling software.

One of the best automation tools is Synuma. It allows you and your team to work better. The interface offers robust management features for creating cost estimates. Then you can combine those estimates with other project plans in one sheet.

You need a tool that compares the actual cost and the estimated budget. With Synuma, you can even share your sheets with external and internal stakeholders. This allows collaboration in real-time, keeping everybody on the same page.