What is Construction Estimating & How Do You Manage The Process?

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Construction estimating is a crucial part of the construction process. There are no prices that come automatically assigned to a building project, so a list of materials will have to be compiled to work out how much a construction project is likely to cost and while that may sound simple construction estimating can actually be a time-consuming and tedious process and one that requires a good deal of skill to achieve accuracy.

Construction estimates have to be accurate because with profits always being razor thin within the construction industry, small cost errors can result in contractors losing rather than making money on a project. This is why a successful construction project will include several phases of cost estimation that will vary in terms of their accuracy and their scope.

Construction estimating is a highly detailed process that requires an extensively trained and experiences specialist to ensure the development of reliable cost estimates.

The importance of accuracy

While accuracy matters to every industry, it is of particular importance to the construction industry as contractors need to bid on projects and the decisive factor in winning or losing a project will be the accuracy of their estimate.

Construction is also a considerably more unpredictable industry than most, and project failures and cost overruns occurs much more frequently, which means that the more accurate the estimate for a project is, the less risk the contractor will end up assuming.

Budget

The budget and timeline for any project is linked to repayment schedules, which means that a project needs to quickly generate revenue. Large projects that have a community-wide impact are in particular need of accurate cost estimates because of their scope and the fact that they are likely making use of public funds, resulting in more transparency and accountability than is the case with private projects.

Accuracy is absolutely essential for larger projects because small errors in material unit prices will be multiplied several times over, making a big different to the final cost of the project.

Although absolute precision is not possible in construction estimating, it is still necessary to try and take into account the most cost factors that can be included. Factors that cannot be controlled include specific weather conditions in certain timelines as well as market conditions at particular times of the year. Human factors that can influence cost estimates include the project plan’s overall quality, the skill and experience of the estimator and the procedures and tools being used to develop the cost estimate.

Tools

There are a number of tools that can help builders and estimators to make accurate cost estimates. There are many different types of estimating and job management software on the market, but Buildxact may be the best.

The Buildxact construction estimating software platform is easy to use and includes a variety of useful construction estimating features to help seamlessly perform estimates, takeoffs and job management, all helpfully provided in the one place.

Construction estimating is the cornerstone of every successful construction project and every project that is completed on schedule and within budget has done so because of the success of their costing estimation

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