Cost estimation is the primary task for any construction project. It involves a lot of experience to arrive at the cost. Many components need to be taken into account. If omitted inadvertently it can lead to change in the estimates which reflect in all activities related to construction.
Cost estimation is like budgeting which is the foundation of a project. It entails procurement of materials, labor expenses, travel expenses, rent of materials, etc. This task is professionally performed by estimating software these days. Prior to its introduction, all these were done manually.
Manual cost estimation involved a lot of paperwork and preparation of blueprints. This had to be arranged safely and circulated across various departments. It included a lot of practical difficulties, some of which are as follows.
- Difficult to insert changes- Manual work involves preparing a lot of blueprints. All these have to be sent to the client for approval. When the client proposes any alterations it is very difficult to insert the changes. The whole thing needs to be reworked which is a waste of time and effort. This has a considerable effect on project cost.
- Limited information-For preparation of cost estimates for the current project, a contractor has to look into previous projects, their budgets, and so on. When it is done digitally, the job is very simple. Just locate the project file and look into the details. There is software for data analysis that help compare the market changes, and make projections according to trend. All these if prepared manually are very challenging since there are chances of missing out on details.
- Spending a lot of time- Manual work involves a lot of time in preparation of estimates, getting it across various sub-divisions, and then getting it approved by the client. A single project may take forever to complete forcing you to limit the number of projects at hand. This is not a viable alternative for a business if it is to flourish. Software gets the job done quickly and so contractors can concentrate on more projects at a time.
- High costs- Spending a lot of time on a project automatically postpones timelines. This indirectly increases the cost of the project. Higher costs may not be appreciated by the client. This can create issues during the construction stage.
- Integration of work is difficult- As we have seen above, construction activity is an integration of various other related activities. The workflow among these has to be smooth and unaffected by the delay caused due to manually preparing estimates. Digital estimates help maintain the workflow among teams like finance, procurement, IT, design, etc.
To conclude, using software for your construction cost estimation helps eliminate all the above disadvantages.