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Preliminary Estimate of Construction Projects

A preliminary estimate is the approximate cost of the project that is calculated at the conceptual stage of the project. When the project drawings and specifications are not available, a preliminary estimate is prepared. It forecasts the total budgeted cost of the specific construction project. Apart from new construction, It can also be prepared for demolition or renovation works.

The anticipated cost may vary slightly or greatly depending upon the available information regarding the project. Still, it helps the client/contractor to make the initial budget and cost control plan.  QTO Estimating also provides this kind of estimation service for residential as well as commercial construction works.


Download this Preliminary Estimate Template

Depending upon the type of infrastructure, the estimation technique and units may change.

  1. For buildings: The rate per square foot/per cubic foot/per room/per occupant is given
  2. For Roads and Highways: The rate per Km is provided depending upon the thickness of layers and the type of construction material.
  3. For Irrigation channels: The cost per Km is given. It can also be based on a per hectare basis (area irrigation by the canal/water channel)

VIDEO: How to Prepare a Preliminary Estimate for Construction Project?

The preliminary cost estimate of buildings is based on areas and length measurements of various elements of the structure. Moreover, the total square footage of the plot is also considered to get the approximate cost for building the house, plaza, or multi-story building. Most of the clients require the preliminary budget estimate from contractors and It helps to get a rough idea about the total expenses for the completion of the project. So we can say that it is based on:

  • Total square footage of building
  • Linear Measurements (walls etc.)
  • Area Measurements (Rooms, Floors, etc)

This is followed by a detailed estimate that includes a list of all the construction materials along with the specifications. The detailed BOQ can be priced based on the cost of each line item including masonry estimate, concrete estimate, etc. and the total budget amount for the construction can be estimated precisely in this way. The quantity takeoff sheet can be priced easily by putting the unit cost and most of the clients require such cost filled BOQ’s from contractors.

Preliminary Estimate for Construction Projects

There are various formats of material takeoff sheets available online that can be used to prepare an initial budgetary estimate for construction works at the project planning stage. Usually this kind of estimate is prepared by using the templates and formats of previously executed jobs. The spreadsheets are modified depending upon the requirements and scope of the new project. The unit cost may also vary depending upon the type of building, project area, location of site, project importance and the construction methods.

Benefits of Preliminary Estimates

You might be wondering that why clients need this initial estimate from the contractor? The following are the major reasons:

  1. To get rough idea about total construction cost
  2. Get beforehand information regarding the major material required
  3. Helps in quick planning and initial execution of project
  4. Helps in managing the project budget and costs
  5. Allows the clients to choose the best contractor

Contractors normally give the unit cost (like cost per square foot) to the client and it can be multiplied by the whole footprint of building to compute the preliminary estimate. For multi-story buildings, the cost per floor is multiplied by the total number of floors.

QTO Estimating is also offering all kind of preliminary budget estimation, initial cost break down and material takeoff for construction and civil engineering projects. We are offering our assistance to owners and contractors who want to know about the estimated cost required to complete the construction of project. Our team is well-experienced in the preparation of all kinds of construction budgets, material takeoff services, and estimates. We are offering our services worldwide at very affordable rates many contractors are benefiting from our estimation services.

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