Building cost estimation would have to be the most asked question to a Builder and the hardest thing to explain to a prospective client.

Building is unlike any other product you will purchase, with so many components to include and all of this before we take into account the logistics of managing the project.

I want you to consider this before I explain Building Estimating and the process. For example, take the purchase of a new vehicle, have you ever considered why a Ford Falcon is half the cost of a BMW. Why pay double the price for something that can be purchased for half the cost? This is a genuine question raised when considering the purchase of a new vehicle. Another question I bet buyers don’t ask the BMW Dealer “Can you break down the costs so I can compare the two vehicles against each other?”. It would be impossible.

Now I’m sure when it comes to building a home or a major custom home renovation we all compare building quotes. We get cost comparisons broken down so a more informed decision can be made. However, when comparing quotes it needs to be stated that all items must be comparable in size, quantity and quality to come to a decision.

Whilst at the early stages of gaining estimates of building costs another typical question prospective clients ask is “Can you just give me a square metre rate on the costs?”. Now most good Builders should be able to come up with an answer to this question, shouldn’t they? This method, of course, relies on the Builders past experience and this form of estimation is what we in the industry call ‘guesstimation’! It shouldn’t be used for any more than a rough guide to what the true cost will be. There are so many more variables to consider when carrying out a full cost analysis for a building quote.

The reason that prospective clients ask for a square metre quote – “Before I spend thousands of dollars on drawings, engineer designs, soil tests, energy efficiency reports, surveys and building applications – I need to know how much this is going to cost?” Unfortunately, the answer is that having been given a square metre rate you only have a range for what the costs will eventually be.

The only way for a Builder to arrive at a fixed price for a building contract is to carry out a thorough mathematical calculation and estimated cost analysis on your detailed drawings, combined with your other documentation and specifications. If you want value for money this should be the only method used to arrive at a building cost estimation.

My advice to prospective clients is simple – the only way to ensure predictable cost outcomes, right at the earliest stage of the process, is to work with experienced Builders who are trained in building cost management and who use mathematical calculations to arrive at accurate outcomes. Before you contact a Building Designer to design your next project it would be wise to contact Constructive Homes. Before you spend thousands of dollars on plans and documentation, we can walk you through our process from concept to completion and you can rest assured you are working with a professional builder.

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