Construction Cost Spreadsheet
A construction cost spreadsheet is used during the estimate and bid process to determine how much all aspects of construction will cost a contractor. More commonly used and written out by hand before the introduction of computers and the internet, construction estimate forms are now largely filled out on a computer.
A construction cost spreadsheet is used to set the cost estimates for projects of varying construction methods. The traditional method is to use the design/bid/build approach, where an architect or engineer oversees the project. They handle the design, produce construction drawings, oversee bids and contracts and the building process itself. The links between the architect, the client and the main contractor are direct. The contractor can win a project through the lowest blind bid or through the construction manager at-risk method, where the contractor guarantees to deliver the project within a guaranteed maximum price. Instead of simply serving as construction manager, the contractor also serves as a consultant to the owner during the design and development processes.
The design-build method has been increasing in popularity over the past decade. In design-build, the owner doesn't hire an architect to design the project, then seeks bids from a contractor. In this case, the owner solicits bids from a architect/contractor teams, who develop their own designs and include complete design and construction costs in their bids. This is different from the traditional process, where the architect completes the design before the contractors put in their bids.
In the management procurement method, the owner holds the greatest amount of control. Instead of hiring an architect to handle the project in construction, or hiring a consortium, the owner oversees every part of the process. They hire the architect, the construction manager and, in many cases, the subcontractors. Proponents of this method believe it speeds up the procurement process and increases flexibility throughout the building process.
Regardless of the construction method used, a construction cost spreadsheet is a highly useful tool. It breaks down costs one by one and allows the contractor to see how much money is being spent, and where.
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