Types Of Preliminary Estimates Calculated Nowadays – Pro Tips

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By Barry Arthur | Mar 26, 2024

Calculating preliminary estimates is a fundamental part of modern business operations, from analytical forecasting to effective budgeting. Making these estimates accurately and efficiently can help businesses make more informed decisions in the long term.

We’ll take a look at some of the most common types of preliminary estimates that are calculated today and how they apply to various functional areas within an organization. No matter what your project looks like, one (or more) of these techniques will almost certainly be useful to you!

Estimating247 also explore how technology has improved the efficiency and accuracy of estimation processes over time.

1. Preliminary Cost Estimate:

A preliminary estimate is a tentative estimate provided to provide a general sense of how much a total project will cost. It is done at the start of a project when there is little information available.

These estimations are used to determine the total budget of a project. It aids in determining the contract price. A screening estimate is obtained at an early stage. It is built on information gleaned from previous projects.

For example, a contractor may be hired to construct a backyard for a house. He had created a similar backyard a few months earlier to utilize the expense of that project as an estimate for the new project.

2. Plinth Area Cost Estimate:

Plinth Area Cost Estimate is a type of preliminary estimate used to identify the cost associated with building a structure, based on the area needed. This type of estimate takes into consideration the size of the building and any additional areas such as balconies or terraces. Additionally, it considers construction materials and labor costs that will be necessary for completing the project.

Plinth area cost estimates are typically provided by architects, engineers, developers, or contractor estimators before construction begins. By taking these estimates into account in advance, it helps ensure that enough money is allocated to complete the job successfully.

3. Cube Rate Cost Estimate:

The cube rate estimate is used to forecast the costs of construction projects. The method entails multiplying each item’s unit cost by the number of units in each item. For example, if a company wants to build a new building and chooses modular construction, it can utilize cube rate estimates to assess how much it will cost per square foot, depending on whether the company employs steel or wood.

4. Approximate Quantity Method Cost Estimate:

The Approximate Quantity Method Cost Estimate is used when there is limited information available about the project. This method uses unit costs for a similar type of work, as well as other factors such as labor and material costs, to arrive at an estimated cost for the proposed project.

This estimate can be used to determine if the project is within budget before a more extensive investigation into materials and labor requirements takes place. The main disadvantage of this method is that it does not take into account any unique features associated with the specific project, which could cause costs to increase or decrease significantly from projections.

5. Detailed Cost Estimate:

As the project’s scope becomes clearer, a precise estimate can be prepared. When further information becomes available, a preliminary estimate is usually turned into an exact estimate.

Cost, quantity, rate, description of all essential items, and so on are all included in such estimates. It is used to create a budget estimate. It assists him in determining whether he requires further funding. A thorough estimate includes the following information:

  • Complete details on the rates used to determine the cost
  • Specifications for the project
  • Drawings for all of the project’s components
  • Plans for layout

6. Revised Cost Estimate:

A Revised Cost Estimate is a type of preliminary estimate that must be prepared and submitted when there is an increase or decrease in the scope of work for an existing project. This type of estimate involves looking at the overall project costs, including labor, materials, and equipment, and adjusting them to reflect new changes to the scope.

This type of estimate can help ensure that all stakeholders are on the same page about cost projections and can help inform any necessary budget modifications. A revised cost estimate should also take into account any potential risks associated with the additional scope so that they can be addressed proactively.

7. Supplementary Cost Estimate:

A supplementary cost estimate is a document that contains an updated project or program estimate for a particular activity, deliverable, or task. It can be used when the actual cost of work accomplished differs from the initial estimate. Typically, the supplementary cost estimate includes:

  • Costs incurred before the first estimate.
  • Expenses incurred after the first estimate.
  • Costs are influenced by changes in the scope of work or other considerations.

8. Analogous Estimate:

An analogous estimate is a form of estimate that uses experience to forecast project time and cost. For example, if you’ve completed comparable projects in the past and know how long they each took, you can use that knowledge to anticipate future tasks.

Analogous estimates are quite simple to create and can be precise enough for most needs. Because these types of projects follow similar patterns from project to project, they are often appropriate for the construction, manufacturing, and service industries.


All in all, understanding the different types of preliminary estimates that can be calculated nowadays is key to determining any potential risks or benefits associated with a project. From cost estimating to risk evaluation, every type plays an important role in reaching the most informed decision before embarking on something that could potentially lead to loss or gain.

Moreover, considering how rapidly technology is advancing and markets changing constantly, it is even more crucial for all individuals and businesses operating today to be aware of these preliminary estimates and their concrete meanings.

You Can Also Read:

What To Look For When Hiring Mechanical Estimating Services?

Why Do You Need A Construction Estimating Consultant?

Types Of Cost Estimates

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Author Details

Barry Arthur

Editor | Writer

Barry Arthur is the dedicated author and CEO of Estimating247.com, a website that specializes in providing comprehensive construction estimating services. With his deep-seated passion for the construction industry, Barry has leveraged his expertise to create a platform that offers accurate and timely estimates for construction projects. A relentless pursuit of excellence and innovation has marked Barry's journey in the construction industry. His vast experience and keen understanding of the industry's intricacies have enabled him to develop Estimating247.com into a trusted resource for contractors, developers, architects, and homeowners. As the CEO of Estimating247.com, Barry leads a team of professional estimators committed to delivering top-notch services. Together, they utilize advanced tools and methodologies to provide precise estimates that enable clients to manage their budgets effectively, reduce risk, and increase profitability. Under Barry's leadership, Estimating247.com has grown into a reputable name in the construction industry. His dedication to customer service, transparency, and the delivery of high-quality services has earned the trust and respect of clients across the board. In conclusion, Barry Arthur isn't just an author and CEO; he is a seasoned construction industry expert whose contributions continue to shape the landscape of construction estimating services. His work at Estimating247.com embodies his commitment to excellence and desire to positively impact the construction industry.

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