When planning a project, it’s essential that all variables are taken into consideration. It’s not enough to assume a project will cost this much and take this long to do, and will require this amount of manpower and this amount of resources.
Large projects with large budgets need to be estimated as precisely as possible. By using certain estimating techniques, you can plan a project with as much precision as possible. The most important factors that need to be taken into consideration are time, cost, manpower and resources.
An estimate can never be 100% accurate. However, here are some important factors to consider to help make your project estimations as precise as possible.
When estimating how long a project will take it is important to register a breakdown of each task for a more accurate assessment.
Before beginning a project, work out how long each individual task will take then add them together to make a rough estimate for the project as a whole. Later, a more detailed estimate can be worked out.
Take into consideration unexpected events that can delay a project such as sickness, problems with supply deliveries, equipment failure, on-site accidents and emergencies.
There are also human aspects to consider. Many workforces overestimate their capabilities. When estimating a project, a portion of time should be included for a more realistic assumption of the time it will take to complete each task.
There are four general methods of estimating a building project:
- Bottom-up estimating – estimate the project as a whole and work out the time it will take for the entire project to be completed.
- Top-down/comparative estimating – using past experience on similar projects to determine how long a present project will take.
- Three point estimating – Consider the best-case scenario (how long a project should ideally take to complete), the worst-case scenario (problems and delays that can cause a project to seriously overrun), and the realistic case scenario (the most accurate probability of how long a project will take to complete).
- Parametric estimating – work out how long it takes to complete a specific task and then multiply it by the other tasks that have to be completed.
All projects have budget. It is imperative when estimating that all variable costs are taken into consideration. A budget must be agreed before any work begins. To calculate costs the following should be implemented.
Look at similar past projects. Use a comparative cost guide to estimate as accurately as possible.
Start with the essential costs: the absolute necessary tasks to get a project up and running. The essential costs must always be far lower than the total budget.
The budget must be monitored continuously to allow for changes during the project.
Apart from the main budget, it is important to have a contingency budget set aside to allow for any changes and unexpected costs.
Another factor to include are manpower costs. Salaries can vary and need to be reviewed especially in the case of a large project.
It’s necessary to keep track of hours worked and ensure that all the team are working to their full potential. Labour costs can seriously jeopardise the overall budget if the actual man hours worked are overlooked.
Although a contingency budget needs to be set aside for unexpected costs, an estimator also needs to bear in mind that potential errors can occur when budgeting for a project.
Costs can be omitted in the initial budget. These can include soft costs such as permits, licences and fees, and hard costs such as materials.
Assuming that costs have been covered when they actually haven’t, can often occur when planning a large project. Be aware that wrong assumptions can add additional costs to a budget.
An estimator should bear in mind that material and labour costs can change once the project is underway.
It is also necessary to budget for eradicating certain problems before the building work can actually begin. A major threat for any building site is the presence of Japanese knotweed.
This invasive weed can damage foundations and drainage, causing planning permission problems and property devaluation. If Japanese knotweed is present on a site then the costs for eradicating it permanently must be accounted for in the budget.
TP Knotweed Solutions offer the highest level of service to safely eradicate this invasive weed. To talk to one of our experts today, call us on or contact us online.