4 Tips for Getting the Most Accurate Construction Cost Estimate from Your Contractor

Undertaking a large commercial project requires a significant investment of time and money. At Seacoast Construction, we’ve been estimating and completing projects on-time and on-budget for nearly 20 years. From our experience, we can offer you the following four tips to ensure you receive the most accurate construction cost estimate with your next job.


  • Clearly communicate your project plans with the contractor– It’s hard to estimate project costs if you only have vague ideas of what you want. Finalizing detailed plans and making sure everyone is on the same page with those plans from the get-go is one of the best ways to receive the most accurate cost estimate for the job.


  • Consider your structural goals– Are you going for a specific architectural look or focusing on green initiatives with your next build? If so, these factors will influence the cost of labor and materials. Similarly, the neighborhood you choose to build in may also drive up costs.


  • Determine whether unit cost estimating makes sense for your job– Depending on the job, this may be useful in helping you determine an estimate, or you may require a more detailed breakdown. Unit cost estimating involves categorizing corresponding elements and then summing those various elements for the estimate. Regardless of the estimation method, talk with your contractor about it so you can fully understand the method and true cost of the project.


  • Understand differences in labor costs– Specialized labor naturally costs more, and those sub-contractor costs will come out of the overall project budget. Break down your estimated labor costs and be sure to factor in things like experience level, expected number of hours, andspecialty labor rates.


Experience with the local market certainly helps improve cost estimating as well, which is why hiring a trusted contractor who consistently hits the mark with projects similar to yours is a good place to start. Schedule a Consult to receive an accurate cost estimate on your next job or even a review of a current project.

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