Building Cost Estimating - Keep These Considerations In Mind When Planning

Building cost estimating may not be the easiest job in the world, but it is surely a fulfilling one! After all, is there anything more rewarding than watching your dream home come alive right before you?

If you want to make the experience enjoyable and hassle free, go through my tips on project cost estimating here!

How do I estimate house construction cost?

  • It's simple really. The best way to go about making a building cost estimate is to look at a house that is already under construction in your area. Take a look at the house and their specifications in the county planning department. The house you are looking for should be as close as possible in specifications to the one you are trying to build.
    You can either ask their general contractor on site how much it is costing your neighbors to build their house or ask your own general contractor what his estimate would be. Subtract the cost of land from the total costs of that house and voila! You have the best estimate of what it might cost!

  • Estimating construction cost is all about planning, right? When you are estimating cost, don't forget to include increases in labor rates, material costs, etc.

  • Don't forget to correctly calculate the specifications inside. If you are calculating the prices of a simple home, but your building a luxury home, your cost projections to what it will really cost will greatly differ.

  • If you do not find a similar house in the neighborhood, look up home plans here. There are a number of pages specializing in home plans. Project cost estimating becomes easier when you look through these plans.

Okay, I got that. What are the things I need to watch out for?

  • Keep the specifications of your house in mind before calculating the costs. It is best to round off the size of your home to even numbers. It prevents a waste of materials. It is also a good idea to dig less than 33 feet into the ground. If your house is any deeper, you might need specially designed roof trusses.

  • Rectangular shaped houses will cost less. The more angles and corners you build into your house, the more you have to pay for labor and materials. A house that is dome shaped would also cost you less.

  • You should also include such factors as site preparation when you are estimating construction cost. For instance, are you building on a flat lot? Will the site need grading or dirt clearance? All this might shoot up your house construction cost, so it is better to have an idea about it beforehand!

  • Keep inflationary factors in mind. If you are planning to build the house when baby Alicia is in high school, factor in additional costs you might have to pay due to the inflation!

  • No matter how well you plan out your costs, there is always a chance that you will exceed your building cost estimate. Ideally speaking, you should keep at least 10-15% cash reserve at hand, in case you are taken by surprise.

How do I minimize house construction cost?

Many experts agree that fixing your budget for your home is one of the toughest jobs you'll come across! Let me just say that sticking to it is even more difficult. Follow this five step project cost estimating process, and you will be on your way to a great start:

  • Acquire a home plan for your new house you are building.

  • Decide on the materials you are going to use. For instance the flooring you want, the roofing of your choice or even the windows you prefer.

  • Decide on the number of contractors you are comfortable with. For instance, are you more comfortable with a single firm? Or would you prefer handpicking all the professionals required?

  • Make sure you get quotes on all the phases involved in your project. An informed decision is always a better one. Add the best quote you get to the material cost of your house and you have a rough building cost estimate of what you are in for!

  • Other costs you might want to consider include building permit fees, insurance, architectural fees and legal costs that may be involved. These are important in estimating construction cost, so don't forget to take them into account.

  • Hiring out some of the work as a general contractor might not be such a bad idea, especially if your building costs are shooting up. However, remember that hiring contractors can be tricky! Have an honest estimate about your abilities and know how. This will prevent you from making costly mistakes in the future!

Remember, there are many factors involved in building cost estimating. It may even appear too much for you at times! However, with the right approach and my tips above, you can do a good job. After all, isn't your dream house worth the effort!

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