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Cost Estimating in Construction

Building Cranes and the word COST spelled out

Using your resources wisely is crucial to a construction project's success. To do this, you need a reasonable construction estimate to guide you well!

Through estimations, predicting and forecasting the time, cost, and other resources needed to accomplish the project objectives is made possible. It is the process of figuring out what needs to be done and how much money is needed to do it from the start of the project until the end of the contract. Estimates show if the project and the people involved are ready to bid on a construction tender and if they are prepared to bid on the winning tender.

The Quantity Surveyor

To derive an estimate, a quantity surveyor must first learn more about everything that must be paid for, from staff time to materials and equipment, and then create a cost plan to predict the overall budget. A thorough understanding is required to ensure that projects are completed on time and within budget. They never tell a client that they cannot afford to build something; instead, they provide detailed information on a price that fits their budget.

A quantity surveyor plays a massive role in cost estimating and gets involved with all the project stages as follows:

Briefing Stage

During the briefing stage, the quantity surveyor shows the project management team what they can do and how well they comprehend financial control. They accomplish this by estimating preliminary budgets for the development based on historical costs. At the same time, it is the quantity surveyor's responsibility to estimate additional charges if the client requests or needs special features.

Designing Stage

During the design and development phases, the quantity surveyor defines the cost of the client's value goals and finds ways to meet them. They will be able to make cost plans based on what the client wants, what the architects' concept design is, and what the specification notes say.

Tendering Stage

Before putting up for bidding, the quantity surveyor makes tender documents, including a Bill of Quantities. They give help and advice to the project management team. Ranging from asking for bids to picking the best one and giving the contract, they assist the team in making sound decisions at this stage. They should be able to forecast cash flow for the negotiated baseline construction program. As the quantity surveyor on the project management team links the site production team and the final account, they should be well knowledgeable in various accounting systems.

Construction Stage

During the construction stage, the quantity surveyor determines the formulation of change management. Comparison of actual cost with the predicted differences helps the team to gain successful control of the projects.

The Estimate

Estimating a project is a complicated process. As much as you want, you can't really get an accurate estimate but if the calculations are way off, the project would fail. The biggest mistake is that you can have estimates that are too low. This will cause inappropriately assigned time and money, ultimately sacrificing the project quality and the fixed price agreement may also not allow the contractor to finish the job. If the estimate is more than the budget, the bids will be less competitive.

Construction estimating is an informative and essential service for those involved in the construction industry. It aids them in achieving the best results for their construction project. Builders should constantly strive to improve their construction estimating practices, as this will more effectively help ensure that the project doesn't go over budget or run late. With JCVA, you can get quantity surveying and project management in one. Drawing from professionals with the appropriate training expertise, JCVA represents the client's interests from the initial inception to the completion and commissioning of a project.

Find out how you can build better businesses with JCVA! Email us at or visit to learn more about our services.

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