How does construction cost estimation work?

Resources to Look To When Hiring For Your Construction Project

Managing projects is a difficult task, and if there are specific requirements, then it is a bit more complex, so to make the job easy, we do cost estimation.

Construction cost estimation is precisely exact.  Cost estimation includes material cost, labor cost, electrical cost, lumber and mechanical work required, and a few factors which can cause a difference in the cost of the project.

Construction cost estimation assists the contractors in checking the achievability of the project and scope of the project; after that, they can make the necessary budget for the project.

In that case, you can indeed save the client from overpaying, you can check the profitability of the project, and you can prevent money loss.

Following are some basic methods for making a worthy estimate for your construction process.

Types of construction cost estimation.

Magnitude Estimate:

This type is used to calculate the direct cost of the project and determine if the project is achievable or not. It is not detailed as compared to other types of projects.

Schematic Design Estimate

This type contains some additional data than the previous type. For example, it includes proper descriptions for building systems like interior finishes, exterior finishes, plumbing, and mechanical and electrical work.

Design Development Estimate

This type is essential for both client and contractor in making the deal. It provides the client a view of how much cost is required for the project, so make sure you have done it carefully with full attention.

Construction Document Estimate

This type is the estimate before bidding for the project. It provides you with a precise estimate by focusing on almost every factor. This is based on proposed blueprints and building functions.

Bid Estimate.

This is the final estimate. It is the document presented to the customer in which all things are mentioned, for example, how much material will be used and how much it will cost. This requires an entire focus and consideration of each and everything.

Estimating construction cost.

Estimating construction costs is a step that should never be neglected, but unfortunately, many people focus on it while doing their projects and end up in trouble.

I have listed some methods by which you can do estimating process and win more bids.

Unit Cost

Unit cost is the easy method to do construction cost estimation in which you assign a price to every unit used in the project and give the client an idea about the project’s cost. Still, you can use other cost estimation methods for better understanding and more accurate estimates.

The square footage pricing method

Sometimes you are given instructions to submit the work before time. Then you can avoid other estimation methods and go for the square footage method because it is ten times faster than other estimating methods, but it is a rough method.

It can lack some factors, but it can be okay because there are chances of cost changes with time, so the bid for the project is not always final.

Challenges in cost estimation

No doubt, cost estimation has eased the work of many contractors and has helped many people fulfill their desires, but there are two significant challenges that can affect the project’s cost.


Overestimating is basically when you give an estimation of the cost more than its actual cost. It can cause you problems like it can hurt the client.

Maybe it prevents you from getting the job. On the other hand, if you win the job, there are clear chances of overpaying your client, which can put a wrong impression on the client.


Underestimating the project cost is either more dangerous because it can cause you to lose profit, or you may run out of budget.

In addition, while doing your construction work, it can delay the work, which can cause you to lose your customer’s confidence.

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