How to calculate construction costs

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. Generally, 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, take detailed notes of the bids that you give over the phone.

If possible, obtain at least three estimates. Subcontractors’ job estimates typically cover a large 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 budget. 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 (egg 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 which 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.
  • The costs of general (non-production) conditions may 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 taken 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 construction materials and the general conditions, determine the partial total. Your profits, overhead, and insurance costs are usually calculated as a percentage of that total. Combine these costs with your partial total and you 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 begin reviewing the blueprints 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 get the amounts you will need to prepare the estimates.

  1. 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.
  2. The detailed description and the additional sheet make it easier for someone to review your work.
  3. 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.
  4. 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, be sure to know the scale used in the drawings and details. Check the scale with other flat sheets; sometimes the architect scores an incorrect scale on the plans. If you think you are viewing 1/4 inch drawings and are actually 3/16 inch, your quantities will be wrong and this will significantly influence your labor and material costs.

How to calculate the load of a building

Occupant load describes the number of square feet assigned to each person inside a building. The calculation of occupant load depends on the density of people anticipated for a particular area, depending on their use. It is calculated differently for different parts of a building or different types of establishments. You can use the National Fire Protection Association’s Life Safety Code as a frame of reference when calculating the expected occupant load for a building. This can be increased if the number of outputs in the area increases.


  1. Calculate the net area of ​​the building. For example, the area below storage sites and large objects such as pool tables must be subtracted from the gross area of ​​the building to calculate the net area.
  2. Calculate the expected number of occupants for different areas of the building. For example, if the building will be a school, count the number of students expected to sit in the auditorium.
  3. Check the National Fire Protection Association’s Life Safety Code to determine how many people are recommended per square foot for each sector of the building based on anticipated use of the same. Divide the net area of ​​the building by the recommended number of people per square foot to get the value of the expected occupant load.

How to charge for painting a house

If you have a steady hand, a good work ethic and the need to earn extra money, you can paint houses. In addition to being a good painter and paying attention to details, you will need to know how much to charge for the jobs you do. Rates and formulas vary, depending on whether you are going to paint the interior or exterior of a home. Your charges will include labor, materials, ceiling height and the size of the surface to be painted.


  1. Determine the square feet of the area to be painted. Measure and multiply the width of each wall by height and include the ceiling. Add up those numbers. (Example: If wall No. 1 is 10 feet (3 m) high by 10 feet wide, wall No. 2 is 12 feet (3.6.m) by 10 feet, wall No. 3 is 10 for 10 and wall No. 4 is 12 for 10, you will have 420 square meters to paint. Be sure to count all the flat surfaces to be painted and esteem more if the ceiling is vaulted.
  2. Keep in mind the height of the room. In rooms with high ceilings, measure the top of the room separately, as you should charge more for areas where you will need a ladder to paint. If a room is 10 by 12 but has 12-foot ceilings, it calculates the 288 (87.7 m) square feet below the 8-foot (2.4 m) line separately from the remaining 176 ft (53.6 m) square, which are above the 8-foot line.
  3. Decide what your standard fee will be per square foot. Depending on your experience and the rate in the area where you live, you charge between $ 1.50 and $ 3.50 per square foot. Base your rate per square foot on the amount of money you want to earn per hour and how fast you can complete the job. For example, if you want to earn $ 100 an hour and you can paint a 10-by-12 room with 10-foot ceilings in 5 hours, you’ll want to earn at least $ 500 in 5 hours. If the room is 420 feet (128 m) square, you will be charged $ 1.19 per foot (30.4 cm) square. If you think it is low, it is. You have not finished the calculation.
  4. Determine the cost of your materials and miscellaneous expenses. These include transport, a ladder or rental of other equipment, paint (if you are paying for it), tape, tarpaulins and brushes. Add the cost of all items and divide it by the number of square feet you are painting. For example, if you are painting 420 square feet and the materials cost $ 210, you can safely add 50 cents to your price per square foot.
  5. Based on the examples, if the room is 420 square feet and your hourly rate of work is $ 1.19 and the cost of the materials is around 50 cents per square foot, you can charge $ 2.19 per square foot, or $ 709, $ 80 to paint the room.

How to reduce high costs in your construction business

Running a business involves many costs. But you know that already. There are many anticipated and undesirable costs that you have to deal with. I have not yet met a construction company confronted with low costs. It’s impossible. Take a look at your last month’s figures. Can you calculate the total cost? Sometimes it’s hard to pay attention to these details. You should however. The costs can nibble your money right in front of your eyes.

You can act to reduce these high costs.

Fleet of vehicles

If you manage a large fleet of trucks and vehicles, you need to know why their operating costs are growing every month. It is crucial to analyze the problem. If you do not know how to do it, ask someone to do it. Analyze the size of the fleet and the quantity of vehicles. The end result will shed light on their performance. Think about whether you should sell them and buy better models or whether you will continue to spend money on problem solving.

Opt for ecology

Everything is recyclable. The “green” environmental standard has changed considerably. What was previously reserved for households can now apply to businesses. Everything can be reused. Whether it is disks, paper, binders … If it is no longer possible to reuse them, recycle them. This has two advantages:

  • Reduce purchasing costs
  • Reduce the waste collection bill
  • Incentives

How often do your employees have a solution? They are the first users. If that has not happened so far, they should be encouraged to do so. Reward them for finding an idea to save money. If you do not know where to start, a first step is to do a brainstorming to find out how to honor your employee. You can offer employee benefits, extra leave, a free lunch for a week or just a cash bonus. If the company can save money with this idea, it deserves attention.

New technology (hardware and / or software)

Your obsolete technology costs you more money than it brings you. Retaining old technology (hardware and software) with weekly interventions significantly affects the company’s budget. It probably does not have the necessary functionality for a certain project. Which forces you to use third parties to solve your problem. And leads to additional costs. So what to do? Opt for new software or / and hardware that works. This is a one-time investment that will pay for the long term. The need for weekly maintenance will disappear. And the cost involved will be reduced to a minimum.

Multi-skilled workforce

This aspect is more complex, but it is worth the detour. At a time when all are trying to produce more with less effort, the versatile workforce is welcome. What does it mean? Look for specialists in your team who have the ability to perform multiple roles.

Order of amendment

Do not forget the change order when you build. Make sure that you have invested in a very controlled order change process. You have to make sure that everything is done properly and that everything is well documented. Any additional costs will be approved. In this way, you will have a complete view of the circumstances and changes that occur.

Tax on transactions

It’s always the last time. When you’re in a hurry, you always buy something with high taxes. You swore it would be the last time and you continue. So it never is. All building materials can be purchased duty-free and stored until you need them. I do not know if you know, but transaction taxes are not payable until the goods are actually transferred to the construction company.

Spend money

At first glance, it is the opposite of what has just been explained. If you dig a little, you will see that it makes sense. How? By investing in the future of your core employees. They must be happy at all costs. It’s a way to keep them on your side when times are tough. Invest in safety programs to reduce compensation costs for workers. Consulting them to know how to reduce the high costs is not useless to earn points from them.

How to start a Contractor Company

Contractor companies usually work for general contractors on large and small construction projects. There are many types of contractor companies, including drywall, plumbing, electrical, cement, carpentry, and carpentry finish contractors. The general contractor bids for the complete work and offers contractors parties to the project. You need all these types of contractors to complete a construction project.


  1. Develop a business plan for the type of work contract you apply for the business you will be dedicated to. You can offer residential, commercial or both services. Part of any good business plan is to consult a CPA to help you develop financial and budget plans. Consult with a lawyer to form your business. You can structure it as a corporation, an individual company or a limited liability company (LLC). Corporate Business Training (C-Corp & S-Corp) protects your personal assets from financial risks.
  2. Get a company name accepted by the local government. Registering it will cost you $ 10 to $ 25. Determine if you need a business license for your state, city and county. Because you will be providing work on other people’s property, you will need to buy insurance and civil liability unions. This will protect your business from litigation and economic damages up to the limit of the insurance policy. This type of insurance is called general liability insurance (GL). If a job is not done satisfactorily, the insurance will pay for any damage caused by your company.
  3. Buy the tools you need. Take inventory of the ones you do not have and buy them before your first job. The types of tools you need depend on the type of business you open. A carpentry contractor needs table saws, miter saws, hammers, tool belts, skill saws, circular saws and more. Plumbing contractors need pipe cutters, welding equipment, shovels, excavation equipment and more.
  4. Most people who start a contractor company have worked in the construction business before starting their own businesses. Approach a group of colleagues and general contractors you know. Let them know that you are now hiring and available to accept projects within your area of ​​expertise. Each contact can be important. A contact may end up as your employee, general contractor or future contact.
  5. It develops a resource of the best professionals of the industry. Whatever your specialty, you need talented employees. The better your staff, the better the final product. Pay your best workers well. This will keep them working for you. One of the biggest mistakes a new contractor makes is to bid less to get the project. However, you should not bid for a little, you must do it smart. Be patient and wait for the right jobs. This will keep your business open and safe from tendering a job below your cost.
  6. Develop an advertising campaign that is effective and cheap. Press releases are free and most newspapers are happy to post new business news in the local area. Develop a website that describes your services, rates, insurance and guarantees, and contact information. Add your company name and a short list of services next to your contractor vehicles. Announce at the local and all other supply stores for builders, sawmills and hardware stores.

Cost of construction

The amount includes all that relates to the construction of the illustrated home, namely materials, foundations, electricity and plumbing, doors and windows, cabinets, interior finishing and labor, a quality similar to that found in an entrepreneur’s model home.

Naturally, the costs for an artesian well, a wastewater treatment plant, earthwork and connection to the municipal power grid are not included in the cost of construction.

The price of our models is based on a square foot value including the additional elements found on the plan, such as a fireplace, an exterior brick cladding, an individual shower, and so on. However, any changes to the plan should be taken into consideration and may affect the cost.

It is important to note that this cost is only an approximate value and that there may be a difference of about 5% to 10% depending on the time of year and the area where the house is built. Also, taxes are not included.

If you act as a contractor by doing self construction, you could reduce the construction cost by 10 and up to 20% depending on whether you are doing the work yourself or have them done.

How to write the report of a Construction or Engineering Project

The end result of engineering and construction projects is usually a physical structure, a machine or another object. While the effectiveness, design, and endurance of that object give vital information related to the effectiveness of the procedures used to create it, reports focused on construction and engineering projects complement the information the object itself can provide. Writing a report of this type requires that you take into account the planning and construction methods used to execute the project.

Instructions :

  1. It generates a cover for the report, including the title of the report, the authors and collaborators, and the date it was presented.
  2. Write a summary of the report. It synthesizes it, indicating the conclusions that the report tries to reach, the construction and engineering methods that the authors used to complete the project, and a short analysis of the success of the construction project. Abstracts are normally limited to between 200 and 500 words.
  3. Establish a table of contents for the entire report. Although the cover and abstract are prior to the table of contents, include them.
  4. Make an introduction to the project. This follows the title of the report presenting the specific theme and scope of the project. Use the introduction to define the key terms of the report, whether they are specifically related to the topic being examined or to the construction methods. For example, you may need to define a gym for a school and a small state university, as well as engineering principles such as infrastructure.
  5. It details the results of the report. Because construction and engineering reports often focus on the effectiveness of the pre-engineering procedures and the actual construction procedures and the timing of the two, divide the results of the section into “Prior Engineering Procedures “and” Construction. ” In turn, divide each of these sections into “Staff Effectiveness” and “Effectiveness of Time”.
  6. Discuss the results of the report in the “Discussion” section: This section involves analysis and evaluation. It highlights effective procedures and explains the reasons for their effectiveness. Similarly, it highlights ineffective procedures, explains the reasons for this ineffectiveness, and identifies ways in which these can be improved for future projects.
  7. Summarize and conclude your report with a list of recommendations relating to the outcome and discussion sections. For example, you might suggest that future projects use an engineering preconstruction tool, either a program for AutoCAD or a method like swap design. In the same way, you should suggest that future projects avoid risks and construction techniques as workers on programmed or poorly scheduled.
  8. List your references according to the citation guidelines mentioned in your report. Commonly in the construction and engineering projects are used as reference the citation guidelines of the American Psychological Association (APA).

Tips & Warnings

  • The titles reflect both the specific area and an overall vision of the project. For example, a title such as “Gyms” is completely comprehensive, but a more specific one such as “A detailed analysis of the constructive procedures of a gym in a small state university” restricts the topic to the type of gymnasium that was constructed while limiting the view.

Passive home construction


The construction of a house is a very special project. However we are aware of the difficulties that are presented to any person who wishes to undertake the execution of a project of self-promotion. From we offer a turnkey construction.

The turnkey service, is created to provide a comprehensive solution in the construction process, whether single-family homes. It guarantees the customer, a product with a previously closed price, based on the criteria of a passive house, based on a certain quality memory, within a maximum period, and without having to worry about anything.


In theory, a “passive house” can be built in any style and anywhere. The passive house can be adapted to any style and owners do not have to limit their ideas in any way. It can be constructed with wood, steel or masonry structure and also the choice of interior materials is not predetermined. From this point of view, there are no limitations. However, in order to ensure optimum operation and energy savings and consequent costs it is advisable to provide a simple and compact and optimal orientation.


As with any type of building, even in the case of passive house construction, there are many factors that need to be examined carefully. The issue of costs is undoubtedly one of the main elements. To keep them under control requires a careful design in every detail that allows you not to generate deviations in the budget.

The total price of an energy efficient home (excluding the land price) can be placed between $ 800 and $ 1,300 per square meter.

Experience in the construction of industrial facilities

The construction of facilities is in a consolidation phase, as more and more requests for projects for complete installations are increasingly being awarded globally, and both the customer and the competition markets are increasingly global.

Suppliers who offer on the one hand the entire value chain added all in one, and on the other hand have also the financial strength needed to carry out large projects are clearly at an advantage. The classic middle class is crowded and hired as a sub-company, and as long as it does not have a unique technology that will continuously ensure competitive advantage, it is losing ground. That is why medium-sized companies are looking for more and more strategic partners to deal with the large volume of orders and to complement the necessary knowledge.

From a large number of projects, we understand the demand for the whole chain of added value in the sector, from process engineering, manufacturing (construction of appliances, tanks, pipelines and metal structures) to continuous industrial maintenance as well as the general companies.

Construction adds complexity to lease accounting

Companies that undertake construction projects along with leases must take care of the accounting effects. Certain projects must be included as an asset in the Tenant Balance, depending on their degree of relationship with the project. If the lease involves an asset that will be built, there are special rules.

An asset acquired under the current rules for operating leases is not treated as an asset in the Balance Sheet and a straight line expense in the income statement. If a company acquired the asset, however, it would record an asset and a liability in the Balance Sheet and a debt obligation to be reduced over time in the income statement. Companies may be recording improvements in leases as assets acquired if they do not have the necessary care, Soars said.

The standards, found in Accounting Standards Codification, cover the extent to which the company is continually involved in a specific asset during its construction. The situation could arise if the company decides to renew or expand an existing property or rebuild part of a property after a calamity.

The criteria or factors that would cause a particular construction project to be treated as a lease or own asset depend on whether they are qualitative.

On the quantitative side, that companies must take care of the “maximum guarantee test”, which imposes a limit on the financial responsibility that the lessee would accept and the obligation would still be treated as a lease.