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Average Construction Cost

The average construction cost defines how much a project of a particular size and scope costs under normal circumstances. The average construction cost of the same project can differ from place to place as factors will differ, from cost of labor and materials to insurance costs to even dealing with inclement weather.

The average construction cost can be determined by a project estimate. Once the domain of one or more estimators crunching numbers, most estimates are now done with computer assistance.

During the traditional bid process, construction estimate software covers the amount it would cost a general contractor to build a project, pay its employees and make a small percentage of profit. The estimate covers the cost of items like concrete for the foundation, cables for electrical wiring, flooring, plumbing, carpentry and HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning). In this case, construction estimator software does not cover the cost of building or project design, as an architect has been hired by the property owner through a separate contract process. This separation might make a difference in the average construction cost.

In the design-build process, the construction estimator software needed is more involved. In this process, an architect and general contractor combine as a team and present a building or project design and construction contractor services in one proposal. The design-build process is used by those who believe an architect-contactor team with a past history of working together would be more efficient and, as a result, cheaper than an architect and contractor working together for the first time. The collaboration here might mean a lower construction cost, but the design-build team may also overestimate their abilities, leading to cost overruns.

Construction estimate software used as part of a construction manager at-risk (CM at-risk) project falls in between the two. The architect is hired separately from the general contractor, but the contractor is involved in the project from the pre-construction process all the way through completion. The estimate comes in the form of a guaranteed maximum price, which covers all services rendered from pre-construction through the building process.

Construction estimate software has largely replaced human estimation, as they are able to determine the average construction cost faster than a human accountant operating alone. There are a number of programs that can break down cost estimates into subsections, as well as delivering the overall total price.

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