Every contractor wants to deliver successful projects and make their customers happy while making a good profit on a project. However, without any planning, you might end up overspending and materials, supplies, and labor. It is tough to estimate the project cost and get it right. But construction estimation is critical for your business and the projects.
There is no universal rule for construction cost estimation, as each project is different with different needs and scope. Each project has its own pitfalls and risk areas that may cost you big time. However, construction estimation can help you in preparing yourself for some identified pitfalls and mistakes. It will make sure your project stays on budget and on time.
Construction Estimating Tips to Help You Deliver Successful Projects
In this article, we are going to look at some basic construction estimation tips that will help you deliver successful projects. These tips will help you achieve high project performance and also stay under budget.
1. Create a Detailed Plan with Your Customer
A major pitfall for construction projects is when the contractor and the client are on different pages. The client’s idea of the final product is very different from the one the contractor had in mind. To avoid that, you need to nail down every project detail and communicate with the customer. Don’t stick to projects drain only for guidance. You need to plan out every detail with the customer.
You need to sit down with your client and draw up a basic plan by outlining every aspect of the project and make sure your customer agrees on the final plan. If you don’t do that, you are asking for angry customers and change orders. Change orders can derail your project and cause delays. So, make sure to consult a delay expert if your client requests changes to stick to your budget and timeline.
2. Use the Unit Cost Method for Estimation
Most contractors use the stick estimation process for cost estimation. In this method, you create a list of materials you need and go to the market to find out the cost of each material. Contractors often add a percentage to this cost and assume that it will cover all material and labor costs. However, stick estimates are time-consuming as it may take you weeks to finish listing all the things that you need and their costs.
Therefore, experts usually recommend a more accurate and faster way, i.e., Unit cost estimating. Unit cost estimating is more accurate than and twice as fast as the stick estimation method. In unit pricing, you do the following:
- Compile all the line items required for the job
- Attach a unit cost to each item
- Total all the numbers and have them checked by a second party to make sure they are accurate for your project scope.
3. Get Professional Help
A major reason why most contractors fail to estimate the project cost accurately during the initial phases is that they lack expertise. It often leads to construction claims because the contractor fails to provide an accurate cost figure and often goes over the pre-decided budget, leading to unhappy clients.
When you create a detailed construction estimation plan and breakdown all the aspects, you end up knowledge about everything from plumbing to HVAC systems. But if you don’t know much about all the aspects of construction in detail, you need the professional help of a construction project management company. This way, you will decrease your chances of facing unforeseen circumstances and costs.
4. Don’t Underestimate Labor and Site Work Costs
Never underestimate labor costs and site work expenses. When it comes to estimating labor costs, you need to go beyond hourly rates for the laborers. Your worker’s level of experience can significantly impact your labor costs and the amount of time spent on a project.
To hire special labor and craftsmen and figure out a good hourly rate, you need to hire subcontractors or consult experts in construction project management. During your project’s cost estimating process, you can break down expected labor costs and compare the costs per square foot with your previous projects for evaluation.
5. Talk to Your Suppliers
Material costs are difficult to predict because prices depend upon market conditions. If you are working on a big construction project, material estimation is vital. Make sure to reach out to material suppliers and talk to them about your project’s material considerations and needs. By consulting these professionals, you will know when to expect a rise in the price of different materials like aluminum, steel, and glass.
Your suppliers can give you a real insight into the expected increase in prices in the next few weeks, which would help you save thousands of dollars on materials. For that, you need to get this information early on and adjust accordingly. Similarly, also consult your subcontractors because they CANNOT miss the mark with cost estimates.
6. Incorporate all the possible risks
When you are estimating the project details, make sure to incorporate all the possible risks and situations that might affect the project delivery and performance. If you fail to do that, it might lead to construction project delays and disruptions. Delays are very complex and quite common in the construction industry, but you can effectively manage delays and yield profits.
If left untreated, these delays might lead to construction claims and litigation. So, make sure to hire experts from fractalexpertservices.com during the initial phases of the delay for cost estimation and to properly handle them.
Avoid Cost Overruns and Deliver Successful Projects
These are some of the basic construction estimation tips that will help you avoid construction pitfalls and help you stay under budget while delivering successful projects. Construction estimation is an important thing that needs to be done to make sure you are prepared for any type of scenario that might present itself at later stages of the construction phase. Construction estimation will help you save money and stay on budget. It will also help avoid possible delays and defects from affecting your project delivery timeline and costs.
There are a lot of factors that may affect the construction process, and it is impossible to predict every scenario. However, you can plan ahead of time for most basic situations for hassle-free project delivery with construction estimation.