Beginner’s guide to construction estimation:

Within the timeline of a construction project if you are observing from the conception stage all the way to post construction and beyond, there is a particular phase that sticks out. That is the estimation of the construction project. That is because this is a crucial component of construction.

Estimation refers to the estimation of the costs associated with completing a construction project. You would be interested to know that construction estimation as a practice itself dates back to the 18th century in a more primitive form than today.

It clearly was a great addition to the construction process as a whole as it is a standard in the construction process today, in fact it is a must. It is important to note that it has gone through changes and it would have naturally been refined over time, possibly making the process of estimation much smoother and more precise. It was not until the early 20th century that estimation began to be refined into the science that it is today. What’s important is that it is effective now, as it would have been effective in the past.

The methods of construction estimation have also evolved over time. In its most basic form, a construction estimate would take into account the material costs, labour costs and any other miscellaneous expenses associated with completing the project. These days, there are more sophisticated methods of estimation that make use of software to help with accuracy and efficiency.

No matter what method is used, construction estimation is an essential part of every construction project as it provides a baseline for the costs associated with completing the project. It is important to get this right as it can have a huge impact on the overall success of the project.

guide to construction estimation

Methods of construction estimation include:

  • Basic cost estimation: This is the most basic form of estimation and takes into account the costs of materials, labour and any other miscellaneous expenses.
  • Parametric estimation: This is a more sophisticated method that uses software to help with accuracy and efficiency.
  • Bottom-up estimation: This method involves estimating the cost of each individual component of the project and then totalling them up to get the overall estimate.

Construction estimation is an essential part of every construction project as it provides a baseline for the costs associated with completing the project. It is important to get this right as it can have a huge impact on the overall success of the project.

There are a few things that you should keep in mind when doing construction estimation:

  • Make sure that you have a clear understanding of the scope of the project. This will ensure that you don’t miss anything when estimating the costs.
  • Take your time and don’t rush the process. Estimation is a complex process and rushing it can lead to errors.
  • Use the most up-to-date methods and software available. This will help to improve accuracy and efficiency.

Construction estimation is a complex process, but it is essential for the success of any construction project. By following these tips, you can ensure that your estimates are as accurate as possible.

There exist various tools to create construction estimations. Some are more efficient than others and utilise technology. Others are more outdated. Below we have outlined three interesting methods utilised in creating construction estimations which include the use of spreadsheets, BIM technology and lastly construction estimation software. 

Spreadsheets

Spreadsheets are the first form of construction estimation to look at. It is a fairly outdated method with the availability of more efficient methods of construction that exist today. Surprisingly, a lot of builders are late to adopt more efficient methods of estimation and still utilise a spreadsheet.

They bring into service the likes of Excel for estimation spreadsheets in order to do their estimations for the expenses of a project, recording all their data and displaying it accordingly in an appealing enough format for the customer.

Unfortunately employing spreadsheets to create construction estimation has major downsides that inevitably has potential to be quite detrimental to the whole point of construction estimation which is trying to create as accurate an estimation as possible.

Spreadsheets are prone to human error, more than other methods of estimation. While viewed as reliable, tried and tested, at the end of the day mistakes can most definitely occur when entering values into small boxes or fields manually. 

The larger the size of the construction the bigger this problem becomes and the more complex a project the more room there is to mess up. The issue with this goes further as the more accurate an estimation the more assurance there can be for the profitability of a project, however the nature of a spreadsheet as just discussed can affect that potentially.

Building Information Modelling

BIM as it’s known which stands for Building Information Modelling, is a collaborative process in which various different stakeholders that are associated with a construction project which may include but is not limited to contractors, architects, engineers for example, possibly even real estate developers as well, will collaborate to create a digital structure of building.

Within BIM technology, estimation for a construction can be done. Using BIM technology you will have a 3D representation of a building. BIM will visually analyse your 3D model and look at the materials required as well as factoring in time.

It is important to note BIM’s accuracy in estimation depends upon the completeness of the 3D model and how accurate it is, so results may vary and can potentially be less accurate than more traditional methods. Cost estimating can be performed in BIM by associating quantities or amounts to cost data which can be recorded for future use.

Specialised Estimating Software

Construction software is changing the game by making construction estimation more efficient and accurate. Construction estimation softwares will greatly aid you in creating your estimations as they are created to automate a lot of the manual processes that are currently being done.

Some benefits of using construction estimation software includes:

  • Time-saving: Automating tasks means that you will spend less time on estimations and more time on other important aspects of your business.
  • Improved accuracy: By removing the human element from the equation, you can be sure that your estimates are accurate.
  • Increased efficiency: Construction estimation software is designed to be efficient and easy to use. This means that you can get your estimates out faster and with less hassle.

When you use a construction software to create an estimation data such as items from price lists and building recipes you create in a construction management software should be able to be reused. This reusability really lets you save precious time looking for that information when it is available at the touch of a button.

In a nutshell, construction estimation software should enable builders to effectively estimate the costs of their project. It should streamline and make the process of making estimations smoother. The estimates should be created based on labour, materials and other cost factors of the project and it should create line-by-line and quantity estimates of the materials utilising pre-determined formulas and calculations. 

A good construction software makes use of good project management functionality, estimate and financial/accounting tool functionality, job management, scheduling and planning and support functionalities and more. WunderBuild is a construction management software that aims to provide all of these functionalities and more to bring out the best outcomes for a project. 

If you are looking for a construction estimation software, then be sure to check out WunderBuild. With its powerful and easy-to-use features, WunderBuild is the perfect tool for any construction business. Try it today and see how it can help you streamline your construction operations! Visit here to try Wunderbuild today.

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