Budget Estimating & Cost Planning

Budget Estimating and Cost PlanningSC Quantity Surveyors can provide a full system of budget estimating and cost planning in order to control expenditure, ensure that the client receives better value-for-money in both design & construction, and that the project cost is kept within the agreed budget. We will prepare an initial budget cost which is established by reference to cost data from previous projects.

We use Vector Quantity Surveying & Estimating software suite for the preparation of Feasibility Estimates and Cost Planning to meet our clients requirements.

In providing budget estimating and cost planning for our clients several benefits can be achieved:

  • The tender sum is more likely to equate with the approximate estimate
  • Greater satisfaction with end results
  • Improved building quality and performance
  • Budget and value accountability
  • There is less possibility of addendum bills of quantities being required
  • Cost-effectiveness and a value-for-money design are more likely to be achieved
  • A balanced distribution of expenditure among the various parts or elements of the building is likely to produce a more rational design
  • Cost considerations are more likely to be taken into account because of the greater involvement of the Quantity Surveyor during the design process
  • The amount of pre-tender analysis by the architect and quantity surveyor should enable more decisions to be taken earlier, resulting in a smoother running of the project on site
  • Early identification of high-cost elements
  • Cost planning provides a basis for comparing different project

Effective cost planning will help to ensure that, once a realistic estimate is agreed between the parties, everything that follows is in accordance with it, from the successful contractor's tender to the final project cost. Constant monitoring means that the risk of overspending can be seen at an early stage and prompt action taken.

Apart from providing a full system of budget estimating and cost planning, as quantity surveyors we can assist the architect with comparative costs for alternative systems of construction or finishings. This may involve, for example, comparing different plan shapes in terms of cost, or external cladding. As quantity surveyors we can also advise on the total cost implications of particular methods of construction.

The Cost Planning Process

The cost planning process consists essentially of three phases:

  1. The first of these involves the establishment of a realistic first estimate (Preliminary Approximate Estimate)
  2. The second stage plans how this estimate should be spent among the various parts or elements of the project (Cost Plan)
  3. The final stage is a checking process to ensure that the actual design details for the various elements can be constructed within the cost plan (Cost Checking)

The cost planning process commences with the preparation of an approximate estimate by the quantity surveyor, and then the setting of cost targets, which are based upon elements. As the design evolves these cost targets are checked for any under-or-overspending against the architect's details. The prudent quantity surveyor will also always be looking for ways of simplifying the details, without altering the design, in an attempt to reduce the tender sum.

Cost planning over the last decade is increasingly becoming a valuable service that the client is expecting from the quantity surveyor, to ensure that he receives better value-for-money, expenditure is controlled, and that the project cost is kept within the agreed budget. To undertake this service effectively it is necessary for the quantity surveyor to be appointed at the earliest possible stage, in order to make positive contribution at the brief and feasibility stages. It attempts to keep the designer fully informed of all the cost implication of the design.

The various stages of Cost Planning during the design & construction phases is shown in the diagram below

Cost Planning Stages in Quantity Qurveying