Construction Cost Estimates – Why You Need One and what to do If Your Estimate is Higher Than Your Budget.

So you have decided to take on a construction project!

You have a clear vision of what you want and you have a dollar limit in mind for the work.

Are you ready to move to the next level?

If the dollar limit you have for your project is not based on a construction cost estimate the answer is no!

It is important to note that a construction cost estimate and a spending limit are not necessarily the same.

Your budget should not be based simply on how much money you have available.  Your budget should be based on a well-developed estimate that meets the scope of work you want.

You will need to do a little legwork in order to be ready to develop your budget.

Make sure to invest in preliminary studies and conceptual designs to document your vision.

Don’t be discouraged if your first concept comes in higher than you expected.  There are a number of design options to help lower costs without compromising your vision.  Work with your concept designer to modify your concept until the design has been optimized.

If your optimized design still exceeds your available funding you have three options:

Shrink your program.

If your vision was too grand, you might want to consider a smaller version of your vision.  Perhaps you can do with less square footage or one story instead of two.

Phase your project.

Do you need everything all at once to operate, or can you build a portion now and the rest later?  Consider a phased approach which allows you to begin operating while you generate revenue and save for the next phase of work.

Secure financing.

There are a number of financing options that can help you reach your dreams.  Perhaps you can finance the cost of the project and actually hang on to more capital. Preparing an estimate will arm you with the information you need to anticipate your funding needs.   You don’t want to start the project unless you know you have the funds to finish the project and you wont know this without an estimate.


Be prudent in your project planning.  Don’t move forward with the next phase of work until your concept and your budget are aligned.  This will give you the confidence and the information you need to be successful.

Let me know your thoughts and write me if you have questions.

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