Construction Estimates 101: What Are the Common Types

4 min read

If you're thinking of renovating your home, you're probably aware of the different estimates that come with your construction project. After all, remodeling companies list all the materials, services, and other expenses required for a particular job. However, these estimates can be complicated to understand, especially if you must be better versed in the common construction estimates and how they work.

Good news because this article will discuss some of the different types of construction estimates and how they reflect the unique aspects of a project and its phases.

Order of Magnitude

Also referred to as a "rough order of magnitude" estimate (ROM), this type is considered the most basic conceptual estimate as they are primarily used to provide a general idea of the magnitude of a project. Order of magnitude estimates are often created during the early planning stages of a project and use a very high level of detail. They are often based on square footage, material prices, and other industry averages.

This estimate is usually based on limited information, such as the square footage of the project and the type of materials required. As a result, the ROM estimate usually needs to be more accurate and can change significantly as the design phase progresses and more information is gathered. Nevertheless, a ROM estimate is a good starting point for budgeting and understanding the project's cost.

Design Estimate

This type is one of the things homeowners look forward to the most since it involves getting an idea of how their finished product will look. Design estimates are created during the design phase of a project and use a high level of detail. They are based on the project's specific design and can be more accurate than a ROM estimate.

Detailed Estimate

If you want to find out the remodeling company's estimated cost for a specific task, you'll want to ask for a detailed estimate. This document breaks down the cost of each task and lists the specific materials they will use.

However, it's important to note that detailed estimates are usually only created after a contractor has had a chance to inspect the project site. This is because your contractor needs to:

  • Understand the scope of the project
  • Calculate the amount of time it will take to complete the project
  • Estimate the cost of materials and labor

Only after your contractor has taken all of these things into account will they be able to provide you with an accurate, detailed estimate.

Expert Estimate

Remodeling companies usually conduct this type of estimate during larger projects, such as a kitchen or bathroom remodel. It involves taking measurements of the area to be remodeled and noting any specific needs or wants the client may have. From there, the contractor will create a detailed proposal that includes the estimated cost of materials and labor and a projected project timeline.

However, note that this estimate can be quite expensive since it requires time and effort on the contractor’s part. So, if you’re on a short budget, you may want to consider a less comprehensive estimate.

Feasibility Estimates

Some people tend to rely on the timing of their construction projects because it affects their daily life. This is usually the situation for individuals who live in homes with active construction zones. In this scenario, a feasibility estimate is created to ensure that you can complete the project in the required time frame without disrupting the homeowner’s life.

This estimate is usually conducted by contractors who are bidding on a project. It includes a review of the blueprints, schedule, and budget to ensure that they can complete the project within the proposed time frame and within the proposed budget.

Preliminary Estimate

Although this type draws similarities to the ROM estimate, the preliminary estimate entails the following:

  • The use of approximate quantities
  • No design drawings are used
  • The purpose is to provide a basic understanding of the scope and cost of a project

A preliminary estimate is often used to help clients decide if they want to proceed with a project. It is also used to get a general idea of the cost of a project so that the client can budget for it.

However, note that this estimate is usually conducted by contractors who are NOT bidding on a project. It includes a review of the drawings, specifications, schedule, and budget to ensure that you can complete the project within the proposed time frame and within the proposed budget.

Definitive Estimates

Unlike other estimates, a definitive estimate involves a price quotation, schedule, and scope of work. This estimate is used when a contractor is bidding on a project. The contractor will provide a project price and a schedule showing the duration to complete the project. The contractor will also list the scope of work, including the work they will do and the materials they will use.

Final Thoughts

No matter the estimate you use, it's important to ensure that all the costs associated with your project are considered. This includes the cost of materials, the cost of labor, and any other incidental expenses. By doing your homework and using a reliable construction estimate, you can ensure that your project remains on budget and track.

Cost Certified helps remodeling companies get an accurate estimate of their construction projects through reliable and high-quality estimate software that helps companies save time, money, and resources. Request a demo to see how our software can help your business!

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