What are the Different Types of Construction Cost Estimates?

Accurate cost estimation is a critical component of any construction project. It lays the foundation for effective budgeting, financial planning and decision-making throughout the entire construction process. It’s also an incredibly complex process with multiple moving parts that affect its accuracy.

Early-phase cost estimates are high level yet serve as an important starting point for assessing the financial feasibility of the project. As the scope of the project becomes more focused and materials get selected, the accuracy of the estimate will continue to improve. For this reason, there are several types of construction cost estimates depending on which phase of the project you are in. Below we’ll break down what some of these types of construction cost estimates are and when they are used during a project.

Common Types of Construction Cost Estimates

  • Conceptual estimate – This type of estimate is typically prepared at the very early stages of a project when the design is not yet complete. It is based on limited information and is used to provide a rough idea of the cost of the project. A contractor who has an understanding of the local market will be able to offer the best insight during the conceptual phase.

  • Preliminary estimate – A preliminary estimate is prepared when the design is partially complete. It provides a more accurate cost estimate than a conceptual estimate, but there may still be some level of uncertainty due to incomplete information.

  • Detailed estimate – A detailed estimate is prepared when the design is complete or near completion. It provides a comprehensive breakdown of all the costs associated with the project, including materials, labor, equipment, and overhead costs.

  • Bid or tender estimate – This is used when a contractor is bidding on a project. It provides a detailed breakdown of the costs associated with the project, and the contractor will use this estimate to determine their bid amount for the job.

  • Change order estimate – If there are changes to the project scope or design once work is underway, a change order estimate is prepared to provide an estimate of the additional costs or savings associated with the changes to the job.

These and other estimates provide different levels of accuracy and detail. By working with an experienced and local general contractor, you can be assured you’ll get the most accurate estimate and honest advice every step of the way.

To learn more about cost estimation in South Florida or if you need help deciphering an estimate you’ve already received from another GC, give us a call at Seacoast Construction. We’re happy to explain what we see and offer up our professional opinion at no cost to you. Get in touch to schedule a free consultation to discuss your SoFla buildout.

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