Improving the accuracy of Estimating

Nov 30, 2021

Construction estimation

Estimating is one of the grey areas of the Quantity Surveying business; the best make it appear to be a black art, but those who are slightly doubtful of their professional capabilities might be thousands of pounds off on their customer estimates. It’s vital to keep in mind that this is a “estimate”:

“roughly calculate or judge something’s worth, number, quantity, or extent”

You must be as precise as possible. The design information is typically vague at this stage of the project, and the client’s desire to make an accurate and educated decision is high because they are about to commit a substantial quantity of money into an investment property / apartment construction / new house expansion, etc.

Make estimates more accurate

To enhance your estimates, start by treating the project as if it were your own money. At the end of the day, it is the only reason the client has approached you for a quote. You have complete authority over their money and financial decisions. You must understand the significance of your work; it is ultimately the determining element for every client in selecting whether to invest in a project or whether it is feasible within their budget.

Following on from the first phase, the second would be to precisely measure as many information as possible. Is it possible to measure both net wall and gross floor areas? Is it possible to calculate a likely substructure design? Are you able to calculate the area of the pitched roof? Many complacent QS’s will simply apply general rates to the square metre floor space, which is completely useless because no two works are same. Quantifying as much of the effort as possible will always give you better precision.

Using Gross Floor Areas and applying rates to them is like entrusting your financial information to one person out of a group of five (with four criminals). It’s a complete guess, and the QS will be correct one out of every five times. Not exactly what clients who have invested hundreds or millions of pounds want to hear.

The quality of the cost data used is the third phase. Generic indices like BCIS and Spons are useful for detecting big abnormalities in estimates, but they should not be utilized as fundamental cost data. Quantity surveyors frequently make this mistake. A QS that excels at estimates will have their own cost data, whether it’s from their own labor and material rates or precise prices from recently tendered Bills of Quantities, to provide the client with up-to-date market rates for the items on their project.

The final step is to decide whether or not you want the project to benefit the client. First and foremost, you must prepare yourself to offer the estimate to the client as if they will perceive it as terrible news. A client’s typical reaction, in my experience, is that the project is too pricey for them. You’ll need to arm yourself with knowledge to persuade them that the project is feasible given the budget they’ve set. For instance, if you change the roof make-up, arrangement, or tiles to this, you will save $. This is what distinguishes the top QSs from the others. This is essentially a QS’s job, and just like a good accountant with your tax return, your QS should more than compensate for themselves in project savings. Second, you’ll be guaranteed additional fees/work if the project succeeds, including pre- and post-contract services. As a result, it’s a win-win situation for both QS and the client.

Construction project budgeting and scheduling services that are provided by Costlogic may be quite beneficial to construction firms in this situation.

Click here to know more about Costlogic offerings.