Estimating Cost

There are two methods to price a construction project.

  • Approximate estimating
  • Fully priced bill of quantities

Approximate estimating

For approximate estimating the SPONS price book is a good place to start. You will find a number of ways that approximate estimating can be used. Building and construction types where costs for a typical building type is used. Model approximate estimating where the construction elements are broken down into elements.

Watch the video for examples.

Fully priced bills of quantities

The most accurate method to price a construction project is to take off the exact quantities and price it using current labour, plant and material costs obtained by sending out enquiries.

Watch the video for examples.

Other Advantages of a bill of quantities

  • The development of your cost plan
  • A method to obtain competitive prices from several contractors
  • A method to obtain competitive material prices
  • Valuation control when paying contractors
  • Data to build an accurate time plan

Cost planning

Good cost planning and control is the difference between building your project on or over budget. Cost planning and control is the function of the construction manager or project manager.

Cost control is the process of managing labour, material and plant costs to ensure the project is completed on budget.

Obtain competitive prices from several contractors

A blank bill of quantities can be sent to several contractors to price the project.

When the prices come back, you can compare prices. The variation of prices will be closer than prices obtained from drawings. You can compare apples with apples rather than apples and lemons.

Obtain competitive material prices

You will get more accurate prices for materials from developing shopping lists from the bill of quantities.

Valuation control when paying contractors

You can value the work done on a monthly basis and only pay contractors the value of the work they have completed. This saves overpaying contractors.

You have a fully priced document with rates for all elements of work. If a change or additional work is required, the work can be valued using the bill of quantities. This saves disputes over costs and being overcharged.

Data to build an accurate time plan

Project planning uses the cost information within the fully priced bill of quantities to plan the project. For example, the labour element of the work items can be broken down into man days and gang days. This information can be used to create a detailed and accurate timeline to plan the project.

Frequently asked questions

What’s in it for me?

You will save money and time.

Without a cost plan and understanding construction costs, you can easily spend money over your budget.

Having the construction quantities taken off for your project and fully priced will give you a detailed budget to work to. You can use the information to obtain competitive quotations for materials and sub-contracts.

Having run over a hundred projects, having this information at your disposal is essential when making critical cost decisions.

How much does your service cost?

The cost of the service depends on the amount of work required.

The cost will save you at least 10% to 15% from potential losses without having the information at hand. That is £10,000 to £15,000 on a £100,000 project.

The cost of the service will be a fraction of this cost.

Tell me about your project, and I can advise you on the fee.

Tell me about your project

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