How to estimate construction time

If you are involved in a home remodeling project or a major commercial job, building scheduling is an important tool to keep the purpose in motion. A schedule keeps builders, designers, contractors and project owners accountable and establishes a set of guidelines that help the progress of work.

To develop a construction program, you will first need to estimate the time required for various activities and then determine how they relate to each other.


  1. List all the activities needed to complete the project. For example, if you are remodeling a bathroom, these include demolition, plumbing and electricity, luminaire installation, ceilings, floors, paint and finish. Larger projects may require hundreds of activities.
  2. Add administrative tasks and material delivery times. The first ones you can include are signing the contract, selecting the materials or approving the products. The second are all items that are not readily available, including custom finishes, lamps and equipment.
  3. Connect these activities in terms of relationships. For example, roof work can not start until the demolition is complete, so the start of these jobs must be linked until the last day of the demolition. If you are using programming software like MS Project, these activities are easy to link to. Small jobs can be simple to attach with a pencil and paper. Do not forget to link things like approval and deadlines for materials, at the beginning of the corresponding activity. If the doors will take eight weeks to ship after approvals, your installation can not start until at least that time period after the project starts.
  4. Estimate the duration of each activity, and determine how many work days are required. You may need to consult your subcontractors or other project team members to help with this task. For example, if you can place 100 square feet (3048 cm2) per day in a ceramic tile installation and have 1000 square feet (30480 cm2) with two people, it will take five business days to complete the task. Repeat this process for all activities on your list. Set the durations next to each activity.
  5. Present your program to suppliers and contractors, and ask for their opinion. Confirm delivery times of materials and durations of activities. Ask them how long certain activities will take if their estimates differ from yours, ask for a breakdown in terms of work and productivity if the duration is too long. Adjust the program as necessary to reflect comments received.
  6. It examines the list of activities, duration and manner in which each activity relates to the others. With this list, you can estimate the total construction time from start to finish, as well as a projected end date.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you do not have access to construction programming software, use a general programming program such as MS Project. To perform this task at hand, create a bar chart, with bars representing the duration of specific times. For related activities, one of the bars will have to start after the first one has finished, to illustrate the relation between these activities.

How to estimate the cost of building a house per square meter

There are many ways to estimate the cost of building a house. While not necessarily the most accurate method, use the Total square meters of the house and a rule of thumb dollar per square meter for the area and type of home is an easy way to get a notion about the potential cost.


  1. Calculate the square footage. Although this seems very simple, an important factor that can skew an estimate of the construction cost is the difference between the square meters finishes and square meters, including areas such as basements or garages that do not receive the same level of work and therefore they cost less. Unfinished rooms such as basements and garages are not free to build, so are excluded from the estimate producing an artificially low figure.
  2. Identifies the price per square meter per regions and styles. Most cost estimates are given by region and assume an average house. If your home is not normal, that is, for example, you will include a luxurious interior or exterior finishes and high quality materials, using the average cost per square meter in the region will fail. Consult the manufacturer the best square footage estimated on the basis of the plan of your private home.
  3. Multiply, and if necessary, sum. In the simplest but less accurate calculations, multiply the square footage by the cost per square meter. A more accurate estimate can be obtained using different estimated costs per square meter of finished and unfinished space and adding the total amount of these areas together.
  4. Anticipates excesses. A cost estimate is just that, an estimate. Do not be surprised if only for a project incidentals (such as, for example, leveling the ground) cause the actual total cost is somewhat higher, even up to 10 to 15%. However, this does not mean that the cost cannot be less. Understand your estimate to represent an area in which the total cost is likely to fall. Do not agree a plan that is too expensive, or the excesses of routine can jeopardize funding.

Tips & Warnings

  • By working with a builder or architect, you can dramatically change the cost per square meter of a house design changing window styles, materials and other features. Asked by several different estimates based on different configurations to get the most out of your money.
  • Construction costs are always changing, so not necessarily based on an estimate old.
    Many estimates of cost per square meter do not consider unfinished areas or different levels of quality of construction.
  • When you get a cost estimate based on the square footage sure to determine how the particular estimation addresses these factors.

How to get a cleaning offer on construction again

To hire a professional team to clean up new construction debris, get offers from several companies to get the best possible price. Before requesting deals, gather pertinent information that companies will need to provide an accurate quote.


  1. Compile a list of telephone numbers for cleaning companies that offer new construction cleaning services.
  2. Consider the square footage of the building to be cleaned, the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, and types of floors. Decide whether companies will clean windows in the building, and whether the exterior areas are cleaned.
  3. Call the cleaning companies and provide them with the information collected in step 2. Arrange companies to property to make a more accurate quote.
  4. Require companies include bonuses and insurance information and referrals with the offer.
  5. Compare offers, taking into account the price, and experience and reference information of the company.
  6. Contact the company award the attempt and arrange for them to clean the property. Depending on the size of the building and some of the waste, cleaning can take several days.

Tips & Warnings:

  • We only hire a company that is fully consolidated and insured.
  • Do not choose a price based company only. The lowest bid does not always represent the best overall value.

How to make construction budgets

The construction budget is the process of calculating the cost of completing a specific building project. This process is carried out by calculators, which may be employed by general construction companies or by subcontractor firms. Budgets are usually made as part of the bidding process, where each contractor sends their budget to the owner in hopes of winning the project.


  1. Review the plans, specifications and all project information. Examine each page of the plans carefully to understand exactly what tasks are involved in the project. Look for any special materials or facilities that can be added to the cost of the job.
  2. Create an offer sheet that outlines all the tasks that will be carried out during the project. For example, a small renovation may include such tasks as painting, demolishing, carpentry, and laying floors. Larger jobs can include hundreds of different tasks. Many calculators use the CSI Master Format system as a guide when developing an offer sheet. This system will minimize your chances of forgetting certain tasks.
  3. Decide if you will need the prices of subcontractors. Examine your offer sheet to see what tasks your company will perform and which ones will be hired. Sends plans to subcontractors asking for prices for these tasks. Give them enough time to prepare their bids or budgets.
  4. Calculate the amount and cost of materials required for each task. For example, measure the total number of square feet of gypsum boards shown in the blueprints and multiply this figure by the average cost per square foot in your area. Repeat this process for each task on your offer sheet. To get average cost data to help you with your budget, please refer to the RS Building Data Costing book in the Resources section of this article.
  5. Determine the installation and labor costs for each task on your offer sheet. For gypsum boards, you will multiply the total of square feet by your average cost of labor per square foot. Calculate this cost by dividing your installers’ hourly wage by the number of square feet they can install per hour. If each installs an average of 100 square feet and charges $ 10 per hour, the installation cost equals 10/100 or $ 0.10 per square foot (0.10 square meters).
  6. Add all your costs to reach your final budget. It includes the labor, materials and the price of the subcontractor. If there is any additional cost that you have not included, be sure to add it as well. This can include things like permissions, tools, equipment rental, supervision or overhead. Once you have reached your final budget, add a percentage to cover benefits.

Tips & Warnings

  • Often, you can find updated construction cost guides in the referral section of your local library.

How to calculate construction cost

Whether you are preparing a competitive construction budget for a bidding project, or just trying to figure out the costs for the construction, remodeling or repair work you want to do, follow the steps below to ensure that Their work costs are accurate and their construction budgets are organized and complete.

Before you begin, review all the plans and specifications and consider whether you will need the services of suppliers or contractors to complete the task. If that is the case, give them the information they need to quote their construction or remodeling work as soon as possible. Usually, waiting until the last minute causes the quote to be inaccurate.

In order to ensure that you have sufficient time to receive and review the prices of your suppliers and subcontractors, set a delivery date for quotes, which must be at least one day before the tender expiration date. Ask suppliers and subcontractors to make their proposals in writing and in detail. If time does not allow it, take detailed notes of the tenders given over the phone.

If possible, obtain at least three estimates. The subcontractors’ estimates of work usually cover a considerable scale of prices and if you have three estimates for each job, you can make a better informed decision about the number you should use in your construction budgets. As the quote process progresses, make sure your subcontractors receive any changes or revisions you make.

Once you have the estimates in your possession, prepare a comparison sheet and list the major items that subcontractors will include. Often, contractors who present estimates of the same work include different elements in their proposals. Use the comparison sheet as a guide to review and collate the quotes you receive. Add money to a contractor’s proposal for something it has excluded and others have included.

Make a summary of estimates for all your costs and tenders. Divide all costs into three basic categories:

Construction materials costs include all materials, labor, equipment, etc., needed to build a building (eg foundations, windows, roof).

Costs not related to construction or remodeling, also referred to as general conditions costs or general direct costs, include all materials, equipment and costs directly attributable to the performance of the work but are not a real part of it (for example , Temporary sanitation services, waste containers, supervision costs, the cost of electricity for the project).

General overheads include other costs necessary to maintain your business, which are not directly attributable to the project (for example, rent, telephone, office electricity). Identify and quantify these costs and then increase your hourly labor rate to cover them or add a budget line to your construction budget for each project you are calculating.

General (non-production) costs can include 20 or 30 budget items, depending on the complexity of the project. Make a summary sheet and list the various costs and items you envisage. Many of these are directly related to the time it takes to complete each task, so you should have an idea of ​​the duration of the project. For example, if you estimate that you will need two temporary health services a week, you will need to know how many weeks to use them to determine the total cost.

Once you have the costs of building materials and the general conditions, determine the partial total. Your earnings, overhead, and insurance costs are usually calculated as a percentage of that total. Combine these costs with your partial total and you will get the full estimated cost.

Calculate the cost of work now

Before you start any quantity deduction of the drawings, read the specifications in writing. Often, the specifications manual includes special requirements or important differences and you must note them before continuing.

When you start reviewing plans to determine the amount of building materials and workers needed to do the work, these suggestions will help you stay organized:

  • First, check all the blueprints to get an idea of ​​what the job will require.
  • When making your detailed deductions, use felt-tip pens or colored pencils to mark the drawings. So you know when you have included something.
  • There are many ways to obtain the amounts you will need to prepare the estimates.
  • If you first calculate the quantities of all materials, it is easier to go back to allocate labor costs if you know the detail you were considering. Floor-level installation of a 2×4 lumber around a window opening requires much less work than one to 40 feet in the air under an eave.
  • The detailed description and the additional sheet make it easier for someone to review your work.
  • In the event of a revision of the plan, you can easily compare the new details with the previous ones and verify the impact of the change.
  • When the project is under construction, you will be able to more accurately compare the actual costs of materials and fieldwork. If in your estimate the work appears in a lump sum, it will be impossible to determine where it was calculated in less and where in more.

When calculating quantities, make sure you know the scale used in the drawings and the details. Check the scale with other flat sheets; sometimes the architect scores an incorrect scale on the plans. If you think you are seeing 1/4 inch drawings and are actually 3/16 inch, your quantities will be wrong and this will significantly influence your labor and materials costs.

How to plan construction costs

Most of us have heard horror stories of friends or neighbors about projects that started and never ended due to cost overruns. The key to preventing this kind of disaster is careful planning of construction costs before land is broken.


Determine the scope of your project

  • Discuss the overall objective of the project with its significant other. Having a clear understanding of the goal makes decision making easier to find inevitable obstacles.
  • Measure the area that has been added or modified to determine the number of square feet.
  • Visit local building shops and choose the necessary materials. Be sure to get a price per square foot on any material.
  • Create list materials from step 3 and price more or less what these materials will cost. Leave blank lines for the cost of items you are not comfortable estimating, such as drywall, tape and texture and material structure. Add 30 percent of materials costs to get a rough estimate of your workforce if you are hiring a contractor. If your project is an addition, you need to add the costs for the inspection and permit process.
  • Create a document detailing your goals, whatever special needs this area has and what you expect from the end result. Include a rough sketch of your project on grid paper and put the documents in a three ring folder for all correspondence relating to the project.

Determine a gross price

  • Purchase save an estimate guide building RS media on the Web or at a local building source to get a construction cost per square foot of a sum depending on the type of materials used. There are usually sections for estimating kitchen and bathroom remodeling, too. This estimate is good but can be up to 15 percent.
  • Use the bill of materials created in the last tranche to get a more accurate price and use the media guide to get the structure costs. This will give you a more accurate picture of your costs.
  • Ensure any adjustments needed to fit the project into your budget. Review your BOM and estimated cost accordingly.
  • Update your general document and get ready for review by any professionals are participating.

Call the professionals

  • Obtain offers from licensed contractors. Take analysis and give them a copy of your document. We ask that you provide detailed estimates of materials and manpower as well as an estimated time frame. If your project is an addition, a designer or an architect will need to create a plan before receiving the offers, and you need to start the Permission process.
  • Responsible to review the offers carefully against the document and RS media guides to see if something seems offline. Do not be afraid of your contractor on individual line items.
  • Choose the best global offer based on cost, experience and overall knowledge.
  • Ask your contractor if you anticipate any possible “tricks.” If so, work with him to quantify them and add their cost to your estimate.

Tips & Warnings

  • Be sure to buy at the best prices and do not forget the internet as a source of good deals. Cheaper is not always better, be sure to get materials that are able to handle your intended level of use. Listen to your contractor. He or she has years of experience in creating those remodels and additions and can have some good cost saving ideas.
  • If you see that the project you had planned will cost more than you can reasonably afford during Section 1, go back and check your scope until you can fit into your budget. On the other hand, you can always get a construction loan.

How to read the tape measure used for construction

If you are performing some type of home remodeling, which requires you to use a tape measure, you need to know exactly how to read the information printed on the tape. Although the inch lines are clearly marked, you will not always be measuring objects by the inch – and a measurement rarely falls exactly on one of the marked numbers. Fortunately, the numbers are pretty straightforward, and once you understand the tape measure, you’re not going to have a construction measurement problem again.


  1. Look at how each inch is marked with a large number. This allows you to easily see which inches you are in. Although the measure cannot fall into the exact mark, it prevents you from counting every inch of your starting position.
  2. Notice the lines more directly between the solid inch marks. These longer lines are 1/2 inch marks.
  3. Look in small lines running along the length of the tape measure. There are 16 of these small lines within 1 inch. The 1/2 inch mark is the eighth line between the 2 inches. This allows you to measure up to 1/16 of an inch.
  4. Flip the tape to measure more. Measuring tape sometimes has between meter measurements. These measures are not often used in the United States, but numbers are much easier to split. A meter (a little more than a foot) is composed of 100 cm. Each centimeter is composed of 100 mm. Each centimeter is typically marked with a number, while the millimeters are the smallest dashes between centimeters.

How to reduce the costs of building a concrete house

Choosing to build a particular home can save you money in the long run when you compare the maintenance, insulation and soundproofing of construction costs in concrete and wood. But the initial cost for building a house can be steep.

Smart builders want to reduce the cost of building a concrete house so they can save even more money with this type of construction. There are things you can do at every step of the concrete construction that can help reduce costs now.


  1. Figure out the concrete yardage needed for each concrete pour area listed in your construction plans. You will need to know the width, height and depth / thickness of concrete when being poured into an area. Multiply these together (using feet and inches units of measure) and then divide this by 27 to reach the required cubic yardage needed. Write down how much concrete you need to create each pour in your construction plans.
  2. Calculate the amount of material in the form needed to create each concrete space listed in your construction area. Shape material is provided with panels that are measured by surface length and width. The depth of a particular shape is created by using snap loops of different sizes. For example, if you have a wall pour that is 16 feet long by 8 feet high by 8 feet wide and used 4 feet by 8 feet form panels and 8 inch snap ties; You’ll need 8 panel shapes (4 per side of the wall) and 16 snap ties to make this wall. Write down how much material is needed to create each pour in your building plans.
  3. Figure out that concrete pouring can do the same day given the amount of material the actual shape you have in your hand. The more concrete you can pour at a time, the less money you spend on bringing finalists and concrete pumps out to the job site and the best price you can get in concrete. Make sure you look at the calendar for your finishers and talk to your concrete supply company before you create your casting schedule so you know that the amount of concrete that can be delivered can end sooner.
  4. Go through the drawings and identify any areas where the depth of the pour can be reduced. For example, look for structures like ramps, stairs, stairways and floor slabs. Ask the recording engineer and your local construction inspector to approve changes to these land use plans to fill deep holes to a lower level to decrease the amount of concrete spillage. You can also use additional mesh or re-functions to reduce the amount of concrete in the spill.
  5. Watch your time. Better cancel concrete if the weather promises to be disgusting and then try to run the time and pour it. The cost to protect the wet concrete during bad weather or to repair time-damaged concrete is not worth the risk.

Tips & Warnings

  • Get with your equipment and design an organized system for placement of your concrete forms. Make a plan for how forms need to be established that anyone can follow and you will save significantly on labor costs as your teams learn how to construct concrete forms more efficiently.
  • Do not make changes to the design of a concrete structure (using additional filler or reinforcement) without the permission of the history engineer and the building inspector. If you do, you will incur costs for ripping concrete out and rebuilding plans specifications.

Learning to estimate construction costs

Construction estimators used construction drawings, project specifications and the information obtained from visits to the site to estimate the cost of a job. The estimate that they contain all the material and hand of work associated with the construction and project management, as well as overhead costs, benefits and other charges.

The key to learning to develop estimates of construction is to develop an increasingly comprehensive understanding of the construction process. This allows the estimator to develop a thorough analysis of the project to develop an estimate as accurate as possible.


  1. Enroll in an accredited course. Engineering, Construction Management or Architecture can provide you a thorough understanding of the fundamentals of the construction industry. You will learn about the different materials used and how they are installed. In addition, you’ll get an idea of ​​how buildings come together, and how different construction activities relate to each other. These courses include calculus classes and use of software estimation.
  2. Looking for a specialized course estimation. Many technological institutes of the community and technical colleges offer certification programs or individual courses that teach construction estimating. These courses can help you learn the basics of the construction process and also teach you to see the process with a critical eye.
  3. Acquires field experience through internships or training in the workplace. Many elements can affect an estimate and these elements may be different in each job. Spending time on the construction site is one of the best ways to become familiar with the various factors that may affect a project. Many large contractors hire students majoring in construction, both for internships and for jobs to choose to enter the company. These students usually start working at the site as assistant project manager and superintendent. You can get a true understanding of what it really takes to build a building or other project.
  4. Learn how to read blueprints. As estimator, most of the information you need for a project comes from its planes. In general, this ability can learn on your own with a little patience and practice. If you find it too difficult, it takes courses at your local technical institute or association of contractors. Develop good habits now plan review to help you when you go to develop the estimate of a job. This includes taking note of all the information in the plane, such as symbols and numbered notes. It is also important to look for discrepancies between the different sections of the planes, and clarify these points before submitting an estimate.
  5. Improve your understanding of the mechanical and electrical systems. These two elements usually make up most of an estimated construction costs and are also considered as the most complicated. The more you know about these elements, more likely you are to prepare an accurate estimate. Consider taking a course in basic electricity or HVAC systems. Read books on these subjects, especially those aimed at commercial systems. When looking for internships, think about taking a position with mechanical or electrical subcontractor. You’ll get invaluable knowledge that will be very beneficial for your career as an estimator and you may locate far ahead of other candidates when you begin to seek employment.
  6. Familiarize yourself with the Master Format system developed by the Construction Specifications Institute (CSI). This system is used throughout the construction industry as a way to organize construction activities, project specifications and other components. As an estimator, you will notice that most of your estimates are organized according to this system. Most software estimation are also organized according to the Master Format. They are 50 divisions in the system and each is divided into dozens of individual sections. For example, Division 22 is for plumbing, and Sections 22 01 to 22 20 containing various elements of plumbing materials and methods. Using this system helps an estimator to develop a comprehensive offering less omissions.

List typical overhead in a construction business

The companies building must provide sufficient leeway in their contracts to cover general business expenses. These costs are more difficult to calculate and apportion to different customers when compared to the direct costs of materials and hand labor to complete a construction project. In general, there are three types of overheads. Direct, indirect and fixed Managing these expenses and post them in the bidding process is crucial for a company building for a profit.

Direct overheads

Workplaces have several direct construction overhead. These include temporary offices, equipment rental, administrative salaries and profits. These overheads are necessary to complete the construction in the workplace, which needs electricity and water to complete construction outlay. These costs are transferred to the customer and should be budgeted during the bidding process.

Indirect overheads

Indirect overhead costs include items such as utilities, insurance, employment taxes and retirement plans. The construction company must pay for these items on a regular basis, whether or not the company is actually building something. When calculating a tender, the estimate should include enough money to cover these expenses for the company to be profitable. Rent, communications and equipment used by more than one job are also included in the category of indirect overheads.

Fixed overheads of the company

Fixed overheads of the company include payroll taxes, unemployment insurance, bid bonds and licensing. The amounts may vary due to fluctuations in the number of contributions and the amount of labor for a project, but must be considered in the preparation of tenders and estimates for customers.