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How does building estimating work?

Building estimating is the process of determining the costs associated with a construction project. This involves calculating the materials, labor, and equipment necessary to complete the project, as well as any other miscellaneous expenses that may be incurred. Building estimates are typically created before construction begins, and are used to determine the budget for the project and to help ensure that it is completed within that budget.

There are several steps involved in building estimating:

  • 1. Define the scope of the project

    The first step in building estimating is to clearly define the scope of the project. This includes identifying the size and type of structure to be built, as well as any special features or requirements.


  • 2. Gather data

    The next step is to gather data on the costs of materials, labor, and equipment. This may involve obtaining quotes from suppliers, consulting with industry experts, and reviewing historical data.


  • 3. Create a materials list

    Based on the scope of the project and the data gathered, the estimator will create a detailed list of the materials needed for the project. This list should include quantities, sizes, and costs for each item.


  • 4. Estimate labor costs

    The estimator will also need to determine the labor costs for the project, which may involve calculating the number of workers needed, the amount of time each task will take, and the hourly rates for each worker.


  • 5. Calculate equipment costs

    If the project requires the use of specialised equipment, the estimator will need to include the cost of renting or purchasing that equipment in the estimate.


  • 6. Add contingency

    It is important to include a contingency in the estimate to account for any unexpected expenses that may arise during the course of the project.


  • 7. Review and finalise the estimate

    Once all of the costs have been calculated, the estimator will review the estimate to ensure that it is complete and accurate. The final estimate will then be presented to the client or decision-maker for review and approval.