Florida Construction Cost Estimating
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Types of Construction Cost Estimates

The construction cost constitutes a substantial part of the total project cost. This part of the cost is controlled by the construction project manager. The level of precision of construction cost estimates fluctuate at different stages of the project development, ranging from ball park figures in the primary stage to quite authentic figures for budget control before the construction. The cost estimates made at the primary stage can lack accuracy as the design decisions made at the beginning stage of a project life cycle are based on uncertain data than those made at a later stage of the construction. The precision of a cost estimate reflects the data available at the time of estimation.


Due to different institutional requirements, construction cost estimates can be analyzed from different perspectives. Though there are various types of cost estimates used at different phases of a project, cost estimates are basically classified into three major categories on the basis of their functions. To generate the estimation of any project either a design estimate or a bid estimate is employed as the construction cost estimate serves one of the three basic functions, design, bid and control.

Types of Construction Cost Estimates


  • Design Estimates
  • For the owner and the design professional of the construction project, the types of cost estimates that come up during the process run parallel with the planning and design as follows:


  • Screening estimates (or order of magnitude estimates)
  • Preliminary estimates (or conceptual estimates)
  • Detailed estimates (or definitive estimates)
  • Estimates of the engineers developed on the basis of plans and specifications

    For each of the different estimates mentioned above, the amount of design information available increases in general.


  • Bid Estimates
  • The bid estimate that is submitted to the owner for competitive bidding or negotiation should consist of direct construction cost including field supervision along with a markup to cover general overhead and profits. The direct cost of construction for bid estimates is obtainable by combining the following approaches:


  • Subcontractor quotations
  • Quantity takeoffs
  • Construction procedures

  • Control Estimates
  • To monitor the project during construction, a control estimate is obtained from the available information to confirm:


  • Budgeted cost after contracting but before construction
  • Estimating budget for financing
  • Estimated cost to completion while the construction is in progress

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