Why Builders Struggle to Provide Accurate Estimates

Perway Construction Services
June 13, 2024

When it comes to planning a renovation, homeowners often juggle two main concerns: the quality of work and the cost. Naturally, many of our clients come to us seeking an estimate for their dream project. However, nailing down a precise cost early on can be one of the trickiest parts of construction.

According to the Cambridge Dictionary, an “estimate” is simply a guess about the size, value, amount, or cost of something. And that’s where the challenge begins. Providing a rough estimate, especially for renovations, is a bit like predicting the weather—possible, but prone to surprises.

The Complexity of Estimating Costs

Each building project is unique, making estimation a tough nut to crack. Factors influencing costs include:

  • Client priorities
  • Quality of finishes
  • Completion timeframes
  • Project nature and site conditions
  • Procurement choices
  • Site access constraints

For builders to offer reliable pricing, they need a detailed design plan. This involves interpreting and understanding drawings and site conditions, checking with suppliers, and meticulously assessing the project line by line. This process can take several days of effort and precision.

The Value of a Detailed Proposal

As a homeowner, it’s crucial to recognize the importance of a detailed proposal. Precision in the inputs leads to precision in the cost estimate. Here’s how you can avoid unpleasant surprises:

  1. Design and Concept: Collaborate with a designer to create a concept design based on your needs.
  2. Preliminary Costing: Receive a Quality Build Estimate for initial cost considerations.
  3. Finalize Design: If the preliminary costs align with your budget, proceed to finalize the design to the working drawing stage.
  4. Selections and Details: Make your final selections.
  5. Accurate Costing: The builder will then provide a detailed proposal with an accurate job costing.

Avoiding Costly Surprises

Inaccurate pricing can lead to costly mistakes, causing multiple project variations that disrupt timelines and budgets. Some builders might be tempted to offer a low estimate to attract clients, but this often results in higher variations later on.

To ensure a smooth building journey, invest in preliminary and final costing. Though it may require an upfront financial investment, it’s worth it to prevent surprises and delays down the road. Always look for a builder who is transparent and has a strong reputation for delivering quality work. This approach will help you achieve the best possible outcome for your project.