Construction Budget cost estimates play a key role in the project planning process. There is always someone asking “How much is it going to cost?” Budgetary cost estimates provide that baseline from which key decisions are made through design. I heard it was once said that the definition of an “engineers estimate” is the cost of construction in heaven. This is not so funny if you are at the bidding end of a project where the contractor bids significantly exceed the budget estimate. It is never easy to find additional funds for a project that exceeds the budget before it is started. Accuracy in budget estimating of construction is the result of capturing both the “heaven” as shown in neat plans and specifications and the “hell’ realities of a project such as site specific conditions and the means and methods for getting the project built. All projects have them and they all cost something.
The four steps to any estimate are Scoping, Quantifying, Pricing and Validating. The degree of detail and estimate contingency will vary depending on the phase of design. Typically a snapshot of the projected cost will be taken at Conceptual, Design-Development and the Construction Documents phases of project design. The conceptual cost estimate approach will typically differ from the approach taken at design/ development or working drawings.
I bring 30 years of construction experience to the process of construction estimating. Cost estimating is much more than the application of unit prices from published cost data. Accurate estimating requires that the project is built before the project is built. Real construction scoping is the key and this is what I bring to the table in the estimating process. Once the scope is captured it is quantified and then site specific pricing is applied.