Wednesday, April 28, 2010

5 Tips To Better Building Cost Estimating

Building a new home can be an exciting highlight in one’s life. It may be dreamy, but the practicalities of expenses and budget limits can keep one’s feet planted on the ground. It would pay to know if the construction of one’s dream house would actually fit into the budget in order to prevent an expensive nightmare from ensuing. Here are some good points to consider in Building cost estimating.

Determine the Basic Structure

Construction cost estimation begins with determining the overall structure of the house. Shape, size, and quality of construction can affect cost. More complex shapes tend to be more expensive per square foot, as well as in terms of labor and materials needed. The basic and most economical shape of a house is square or rectangular.

Larger buildings also cost more than smaller buildings, but will cost less per square foot than smaller ones. It is also more advisable for a home to have an even-number size to reduce waste materials. On the same square footage, a two-story home is less expensive than a single-story home. A two-story home will have a smaller roof and foundation, plus, plumbing and ventilation are more compact.

The quality of construction factors significantly in construction cost. A deeper foundation (more than 30 feet deep), cathedral ceilings, gypsum wallboard interiors, and decorative kitchen and bathroom fixtures are more ornamental than economical and invariably cost more.

Houses in housing tracts by merchant builders are generally more low-priced than custom homes.

Type of Heating/Cooling

The type of heating and cooling systems that will be used in the proposed home is also important in determining construction costs. A centralized system is the cheapest means of heating or cooling an entire house. Unit heating or cooling can still be relatively cost-effective and even cheaper than centralized heating and cooling systems, depending on the number and type of heating and/or cooling units. Having a fireplace built is somewhat more expensive because of higher labor costs.


Location matters in construction costs. Homes located in the suburbs tend to cost less than those built in metropolitan areas. Construction costs also vary by state and zip area. Among the states with high construction costs is New York.

Contact Local Builders

Builders can give a good picture of the costs of building a home. They provide details on the amount they usually charge. If asked, they can present a breakdown of expenses. Builders of houses that are similar in structure to one’s desired home may provide an even better estimate of the construction costs.

Construction Estimating Software

Although prospective homeowners may not need it as much as commercial contractors or cost estimators might, construction estimating software can be a useful tool in approximating construction expenses. Construction estimating software computes for estimates based on the basic factors that affect construction costs, like the structure of the house and location. While the more high-end products are available for purchase, there are freeware estimating programs that can be found on the Internet.

Other Considerations

Estimates don’t always agree with the actual expenses of construction. Changes and unforeseen problems may cause the actual expense to be higher than the original bid price. it would be wise to allot a contingency allowance for such events. Also, construction costs increase every year. If the actual construction is still years after the planning, inflation and market conditions should also be factored into construction cost estimates.

1 comment:

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