What is a Construction Estimate?

In today’s world, cost estimators don multiple hats. At a minimum, a cost estimator is expected to review project information, assume means and methods, and, based on market information, develop a construction estimate for specific work to be performed at a given time.

While construction estimates are hardly always accurate to the cent, successful projects start with accurate and detailed estimation efforts. If not, there can be ethical and even legal risks. The criteria are Time, Cost, Quality, Safety, Client’s Satisfaction, Employees’ Satisfaction, Cash-flow Management, Profitability, Environment Performance and Learning and Development. The paper stresses the need for a long- term perspective rather than having a short-term perspective of Construction Project Success.

As the estimation process progresses, the team will begin to collect material prices and equipment costs. Both of these vary significantly, as the cost of a given material fluctuates greatly depending on market demand and supply, the quantity needed, the cost of transportation to the building site, and exchange rates. More importantly, the cost of equipment will include the capacity of the equipment and the cost differential if the equipment needs to be rented.

Construction estimating is the process of assessing all the costs of a construction project. These costs include direct costs, indirect costs, overhead costs and a profit margin for the general contractor.Best estimate means the value derived by an evaluator using deterministic methods that best represents the expected outcome with no optimism or conservatism.

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