Construction estimating services are one of the most important components of construction process. The task of estimation is vital for the stability of the building process. In addition to that, management of financial resources is also an important part of it. Finances play the most important part in any sector. It is the rule of the thumb that the more money you will have the better services you are going to avail.
This is a fact as clear as the day. The effective and efficient services require investments. Investments are not only in the form of money but also in the form of time. However, you will only invest the time when you have enough money to make the plans work. On the other hand, only having the money is not going to ensure the progress and success of the project. You will require the planning both in terms of project scope and in terms of how you are going to spend the money to build. You will require the undertaking of the process of commercial as well as residential estimating depending on the need of the project.
Since we have drawn a clear picture of why would you require having estimators onboard? You must be aware of the activities that they are going to perform. You must be aware of the whole process of estimation. What steps estimators perform? What kinds of estimation take the front stand? What are the standards and provisions for the estimates? How does market fluctuation and variations effect the estimates? What costs are parts of the estimates and which costs face exclusion from the process? How the reviews of estimates are helpful?
All of these questions require answers. Moreover, you must be aware of these technicalities since you are going to have estimators perform the task for you. We are going to shed some light on the important concepts and the processes of the estimation. This is going to help you in keeping the track of activities related to your project.
The basic concept of cost estimation:
If you are not aware of what is cost estimation, you should give the following lines a read.
Cost estimation is the summation of cost elements that are individual. This is through using the methods and accurate data. The importance of the process is that you can have the estimates of the costs of future activities basing it all on what information you have today.
Important steps in the process of estimation:
As the above-mentioned information is enough to make you aware of the basic concept, here we are listing the process of deriving those estimates.
Construction cost estimators perform the following steps keeping the important questions in mind:
Purpose of estimation:
It is extremely important to define why you are doing those estimates. Define the purpose and the scope. Clearly mention the recipients of those estimates. In addition to that, make sure to mention the level of information that you are going to provide. This is the first step towards the accurate estimates for the job.
Formulate the estimating plans:
The next step would be to plan the estimates. The plan must include the teams that you are going to assign different plans for creating estimates. You will have to make timelines for doing the task. Who is going to create estimates for dependent and independent cost? Scheduling is also the part of this step.
Define a work-breakdown structure:
The question here is what is WBS? IN simple words, WBS is an outline to guide your project. Through this technique, you can do the division of the deliverables and then design the tasks. You can further bifurcate them into smaller tasks for the ease of doing.
After defining a WBS, you can then select the estimation method that will help with the elements of the WBS. The selection of the method must be in line with the efficiency for the elements. Take the costs, schedule into account, and prepare a checklist.
Clearly define the inclusion and exclusion of elements from the estimates:
In order to ensure the accuracy in the estimates, you must list everything clearly. The list must include the excluded and included elements along with the assumptions that are specific in nature.
Find cost drivers through the data:
The construction cost estimators be able to come up with a plan related to the data collection. The team must be capable of analyzing the data to find the cost drivers.
Formulate a cost model and run a sensitivity analysis:
Keeping in view each element of WBS, formulate a cost model. After doing this, the task is to check the sensitivity of the costs to changes keeping in view the assumption values.
Inclusion of risk analysis:
The better practice is to run a risk analysis on the estimates. The possibility of the failure of estimates is not small. Hence, in order to have an efficient view of working estimates, keep the buffer for the contingencies.
Create the document of the estimates:
It is important to document every step of the process. Keep documentation and track of every activity and step that you are performing for estimation. This is what you will present to the decision-makers. This way you can access every ounce of information without exhausting the resources.
Be ready for the change:
There is a possibility of change in the estimates. You constantly have to update the estimates keeping in view the market dynamics.
The important set of information that you will need. Construction estimating services are important for the stability of your project. You can have the understanding of the process so that you will be able to better track the activities and tasks of the estimators.