Construction estimation is the process of predicting the cost of a construction project. This is typically done by a professional estimator, who takes into account many factors such as the materials needed, the time required, and the difficulty of the job. There are several types of construction estimates you need to know.

Estimation is an important part of construction because it allows project managers to plan for the costs of a project. If a project is underestimated, it could lead to problems down the line if the construction company does not have enough money to complete the project. On the other hand, if a project is overestimated, it could lead to cost overruns, which could put strain on the construction company’s budget.

Overall, estimation is a crucial part of construction planning and management. Without accurate estimates, construction projects could run into problems that could have been avoided. Problems include construction delays, cost overruns, and construction errors. These significantly impact a construction projects schedule, quality, and budget.

Thus, construction estimation is a vital skill for any construction professional. Estimators must be able to accurately predict the cost of a construction project in order to help their clients or employers avoid these potential problems.

Types of construction estimates

Factors in estimation

Materials

One of the main factors that estimators take into account when creating a construction estimate is the materials required for the project. The type and amount of materials needed will affect the overall cost of the project.

Time

Another important factor in construction estimation is the time required to complete the project. This includes the time needed for construction, as well as any delays that may occur.

Difficulty

The difficulty of the construction project is also a factor that estimators must take into account. If a project is more complex, it will typically take more time and resources to complete, which will increase the overall cost.

By taking these factors into account, estimators can create a more accurate estimate for a construction project. This allows construction companies to avoid potential problems and ensures that the project stays on schedule and within budget.

There are three main types of construction estimation to be discussed in this blog: detailed, unit price, and ballpark.

Detailed estimate

A detailed estimate is a precise prediction of the cost of a construction project. This type of estimate is usually created by a professional estimator after careful analysis of the project. Detailed estimates are used when the scope of work is well-defined and the project is ready to begin.

Firstly, in order to create a detailed estimate, the estimator will need to gather all the necessary information about the project. This includes the scope of work, the specifications of the materials needed, and the time frame for the project. Once this information has been gathered, the estimator can begin creating the estimate.

The estimator will start by creating a list of all the materials needed for the project. The next step is to determine how much each material will cost. This can be done by researching prices from suppliers or by using software that provides current market prices.

After the cost of materials has been determined, the estimator will need to calculate the amount of time required to complete the project. This includes both construction time and any potential delays that could occur. Once again, software can be used to help estimate the amount of time required.

Finally, the estimator will need to take into account the difficulty of the project. This includes factors such as the experience of the workers and the complexity of the construction. By considering all of these factors, the estimator can create a detailed estimate that is accurate and realistic.

Unit price estimate

A unit price estimate is a less detailed prediction of the cost of a construction project. This type of estimate is typically used when the scope of work is not well-defined and more information is needed. Unit price estimates are often used during the bidding process to give potential contractors an idea of ​​the project’s cost. Bidders will submit their unit price estimates to the client or project manager, who will then compare the bids and choose the most advantageous offer. The chosen contractor will then be responsible for completing the project within the specified budget.

While a detailed estimate is more intensive and specific, creating a unit price estimate involves more estimation and guessing. This is because the scope of work is not well-defined at this stage, so the estimator does not have all the necessary information.

To create a unit price estimate, the estimator will first need to determine the size of the project. This can be done by measuring the area of ​​the site or by using software that provides an estimate of the project’s square footage. Once the size of the project has been determined, the estimator can begin creating a list of materials needed.

However, unlike a detailed estimate, the estimator will not need to determine the exact amount of each material required. Instead, they will use their knowledge and experience to estimate how much material will be needed

Ballpark estimate

A ballpark estimate is a very general prediction of the cost of a construction project. This type of estimate is typically used when the scope of work is not well-defined and there is little information available. Ballpark estimates are often used during the early stages of planning to give an idea of ​​the project’s cost.

Some specific situations or examples where ballpark estimates are appropriate include :

  • When the project is in the early stages of planning and the scope of work is not well-defined.
  • When there is little information available about the project.
  • When you need a quick estimate of the project’s cost.

As opposed to creating the above two estimates, ballpark estimates slightly differ in that more guessing and assumptions are made. Itemized list of materials is not necessary and time frame is also not as important. Work difficulty is also not taken into account as much as the two other types of estimates.

Overall, knowing how to create a ballpark construction estimate can save you time and money. By using this type of estimate, you can get an idea of the project’s cost without having to invest a lot of time and resources. This can be especially helpful during the early stages of planning when the scope of work is not well-defined.

Construction estimators use these three types of estimation to predict the cost of a construction project. By taking into account many factors, they can create a more accurate picture of the project’s costs.

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. 

It is currently offering a free trial, visit here to try WunderBuild for free.

pexels-photo-3993876-1
Pioneering Sustainability: Australian Construction Embraces Sustainable Materials and Techniques
Australia’s construction industry stands at the forefront of a global movement towards sustainability,...
Read Article
pexels-photo-1188834-1
Sustainability Unveiled: How Green Construction is Shaping Our Future
The clamour for sustainability has become a rallying cry across industries, and nowhere is its impact...
Read Article
pexels-photo-220885-1
The Rise of Prefabricated Homes: Revolutionising the Housing Industry
The housing industry is undergoing a transformative revolution, with prefabricated homes emerging as...
Read Article