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common errors in construction cost estimation

Common errors in construction cost estimation and how to avoid them with Planswift Software

Having a cost estimate is essential for any construction project, after all, this ensures that the project is delivered on time and does not fall out of budget planning. The more accurate this estimate is, the better the control and the less costly the project will be. This is because, based on a well-prepared cost estimate, it is possible to predict possible losses and draw up plans to avoid them, as well as seek alternatives that are still efficient, but cheaper, to solve the same problems.

Therefore, errors at this stage can result in budget overruns, delays in completing the work, problems with documentation and, of course, general frustration.

A huge responsibility, right? However, there are processes and tools that can make the task easier and ensure exact accuracy in your cost and material estimates. And Planswift Software is at the top of this list.

We have already talked here on the blog about the various advantages of this system, but in this content we will explore the most common errors that haunt construction cost estimation and ways to avoid them with the help of Planswift Software. Want to know how to eliminate inaccuracies and improve efficiency in your projects? So check it out here!

Common Errors in Construction Cost Estimation

Before we understand better how to avoid common errors in construction cost estimation, we need to know what these errors are and their main causes. Therefore, we have listed below the most frequent problems in projects and their negative impacts.

  • Underestimating material costs: not considering the true cost of materials needed for the project, leading to inadequate budgets. This can result in unnecessary expenses (going over budget) or a lack of materials due to lack of funds.
  • Underestimating labor costs: Ignoring the costs associated with hiring skilled and unskilled labor. Whether in employee training, supervision, documentation or even transportation and food costs.
  • Do not take into account indirect costs: fail to include indirect expenses such as insurance, licenses and administrative costs.
  • Not considering changes in scope: failing to anticipate changes in the project scope, unforeseen events and accidents. In other words, all those threats that can increase costs (a lot!).
  • Disregarding weather conditions: not taking into account weather conditions that could affect the progress of the project and increase costs, such as periods of rain, drought, snow, hurricanes etc.
  • Not assessing risks: disregarding potential risks, such as supplier delays or quality problems, which could impact final delivery or generate redoes.
  • Not updating estimates regularly: Not reviewing and updating estimates as the project progresses, which can lead to budget surprises. You must remember that your estimate can and should be revised!
  • Not using suitable estimation tools, such as Planswift software, for example, to optimize the process.

How to avoid the main errors in estimating construction costs?

Now that we have identified the common errors in construction cost estimation, the next step is possible solutions. We need to remember, however, that each project has its own particularities and some solutions may make more sense than others, in addition, there are different stages and moments in the development of each project.

Therefore, these tips do not exclude the need for assistance from a project management specialist and should be considered according to the reality of your budget, team and project.

Let’s look at the most efficient ways to avoid these mistakes?

  1. Use estimation software: and here we must give full emphasis to Planswift software, after all, this system is capable of automating calculations, improving accuracy and speeding up the estimation process. Everything very precisely and safely.
  1. Develop a detailed plan: create a detailed project plan of your project. This plan must include all steps and requirements, taking into account the full scope of the work and possible threats.
  1. Consult experts: as mentioned above, each project has its own characteristics. Therefore, involve engineers, architects and other specialists who can provide accurate information about materials, labor and deadlines.
  1. Research suppliers and prices: finding reliable suppliers is essential for meeting project deadlines and ensuring that all materials are of high quality. Additionally, it’s worth requesting up-to-date quotes from at least three places before deciding on where to purchase materials and hire services.
  1. Consider contingencies: don’t forget to include a budget in the budget to deal with unforeseen events or changes to the project.
  1. Assess the main risks: every project has risks! Therefore, don’t trust too much and skip important steps. Identify and assess potential risks that could affect the project, such as adverse weather conditions or supplier delays.
  1. Keep accurate records: have a detailed record of absolutely all project expenses. As well as updating estimates as the project progresses.
  1. Empower the team: if possible, involve the entire team in the estimate to ensure everyone understands the processes and tools used.
  1. Establish performance metrics: how do you know if your project is in line with estimates and if any updates are needed? It is very important to track actual performance against estimates to assess accuracy and make future adjustments.
  1. Consult a software expert: if you use software, consult an expert on its operation and features to make the most of its capabilities.

Advantages of relying on Planswift Software

Planswift software offers several advantages for construction projects that require cost estimation. This is because one of the biggest advantages is the improvement in the accuracy of estimates. Common errors associated with manual estimating are virtually eliminated, ensuring cost estimates are reliable and accurate. Furthermore, it avoids unpleasant surprises in the budget throughout the project and also saves time and resources.

Speak to our expert consultants

Do you want to know how to avoid common errors in construction cost estimation in your project? Then contact our team of consultants and get your first estimate at no cost!


Read too: 5 effective ways to simplify complicated construction project management tasks