The building estimating service plays an important role in the overall construction process. Throughout the conceptual design stage, it is critical for architects and engineers to create an accurate cost estimate. Building estimating services range from conceptual design and schematics to detailed construction cost estimating. These services are particularly beneficial for larger construction projects. They provide a comprehensive, detailed analysis of the project’s construction cost, so that project stakeholders can make informed decisions. They can also help with design and development.
Construction estimating is a powerful instrument of effective cost management
The use of construction estimating is a key component of effective cost management. Effective estimating requires an accurate estimate of the total project cost, combined with expertise and powerful industry tools. Listed below are the four critical elements of effective construction cost estimating. These four elements should be considered before a project can begin. o Work breakdown structure is an integral part of the process. It forces the estimator to consider the labor and equipment needed to execute the project.
o Detailed project information. Construction estimating involves reviewing architectural drawings, construction documents, and general specifications. In reviewing these documents, the estimator will determine the management team’s qualifications, check for professional tickets, check for bonding and insurance, and review payment terms. Specifications will cover the grade of material, methodologies for installation, and who is responsible for what costs. o Working from heights equipment and skilled labor costs.
o Construction estimating is routinely used to evaluate information for stakeholders. Cost estimates are crucial for project managers as they determine whether the project is feasible. Using accurate cost estimates ensures that customers do not overpay for their project, and prevents builder losses. Inefficient construction estimating can result in project delays, budget overruns, and lost work. When properly utilized, construction estimating can improve project performance and foster increased trust and accountability.
o Estimating also takes into account indirect costs. While most costs are standardized, they must be adjusted to local economies. Inflation and market conditions affect most costs. Labor costs are particularly volatile. It depends on the level of skill required, the type of site, economic conditions, and the time of year. If the project is large, a small contractor might refuse to take it, forcing the client to look elsewhere for a contractor.
o It takes the unexpected into account. Construction projects often drag on for several reasons, including labor shortages, equipment difficulties, land issues, and issues with project owners. In addition to these factors, the cost of the construction project is affected by the quality of the plans and the relationship between the contractor and the project engineer. A poorly prepared set of construction documents will result in a higher bid than a more accurate one. Moreover, the reputation of the engineer responsible for the design of the project also affects cost estimates, resulting in higher overall costs.
It helps project stakeholders make investment decisions at the conceptual stage of a project
Managing the cost of a project is an essential part of the construction process. While conceptual planning is a living process, cost management is often a strictly geometric process. Consequently, two-thirds to three-fourths of all projects end up costing more than originally estimated. And while it is difficult to avoid a major cost bust, incorrect costing can lead to downgrades in quality and scope.
It is becoming more agile and flexible
As the construction industry becomes more flexible and agile, the estimating service is evolving to stay on top of the ever-changing construction market. Building professionals can now choose a service that meets their needs regardless of the complexity of the project. Agile methodologies emphasize speed over perfection and encourage learning from mistakes and taking appropriate risks. Agile methods have important benefits that go beyond the technical aspects of the service. They can enable organizations to shake up their conventional management style while implementing a new approach that leads to a change in culture.
It is cost-effective
A building estimating service will produce a final construction cost estimate within 5% of the median bid. These estimates are valuable for a number of reasons. They provide a clear picture of what the entire project will cost and give you a framework to compare competing contractor bids. They also serve as a quality control and validation of construction documents and contractor bids. You will receive Auto-Cad drawings and a comprehensive calculation sheet detailing the recommended changes to the project. A building estimating service can also help you identify cost-cutting measures that will reduce the project’s overall cost.
Another advantage of hiring a building estimating service is the convenience. You can focus on running your business instead of spending countless hours trying to keep up with material price changes. This frees up your time to focus on the more important aspects of the construction project, like managing your customers and ensuring a high level of quality. And because the service is staffed by a highly-experienced construction professional, you can be confident that it will deliver an accurate estimate every time.
In addition to this, the cost estimating service is invaluable for validating construction quotes. Having a cost estimate will strengthen your position and provide valuable information for planning and completing the project. Lastly, the cost estimate will become a cost control document, which you can reference in the future to monitor the progress of your project. In addition, the estimates will provide a foundation for project budgets and will help you measure their performance.
The accuracy of a building estimating service‘s estimates is directly related to the number of labor hours on a project. Labor hours, such as those of craftsmen, are an important factor in the overall cost of a project. Estimators must consider different production capabilities, including workers’ compensation, unemployment insurance, and social security taxes. For this reason, it’s best to define the hours involved in a project, and then calculate the percentages of those hours.