How to Budget for a Construction Project


Overseeing a construction project can be a very stressful process. From coming up with the initial plans for a project to seeing them through to the very end, it’s not easy serving as a construction project manager.

One good way to eliminate some of the stress associated with managing a construction project is by creating a budget for it from the beginning. Budgeting for a construction project will keep things running smoothly from start to finish and make construction project management so much more manageable.

If you’re currently working as a construction project coordinator and trying to figure out how to put together a budget for a project, we’re going to walk you through the steps you’ll need to take. Here is a useful guide that should shed some light on how construction project budgeting is done.

Start by Determining the Scope of a Construction Project

Before you can come up with a budget for a construction project, you’re going to need to determine the full scope of it. To do this, you’ll need to sit down with a client and figure out exactly what they’re expecting from the project that you’re taking on.

As a construction project engineer, it’s going to be your job to ensure that your clients are satisfied with your services in the end. It’s why it’s so essential for you to iron out all the details of a construction project with them by your side.

From there, you’re going to be able to begin to hammer out a budget for your construction project. But you shouldn’t do that before knowing what the full scope of a project will be.

Break a Project Down Into Smaller Parts and See What They’re Each Going to Cost

Once you understand the scope of a construction project, you can begin to break it down into smaller parts to get a handle on what each of them will cost you. There are going to be lots of small jobs that will have to get done to help your client’s vision come to life.

Some of the jobs that will need to be done will include:

  • Laying a foundation
  • Completing framing
  • Putting in plumbing and electrical
  • Hanging sheetrock
  • Installing flooring

And this is just the start! There will be so much going on as you work towards finishing off a construction project.

You should budget for each of these smaller things accordingly and then use them to come up with your final budget. It’ll make it so much easier to keep track of your spending.

Obtain Prices for the Materials Needed to Complete a Construction Project

In addition to considering what each aspect of a construction project is going to cost you, you’re also going to need to keep tabs on the cost of the materials that you’ll need to buy to complete a project. This is especially true right now when you consider the soaring costs of lumber and other building materials.

You should try to gauge which materials you’re going to need to buy to complete a construction project and figure out how much they’ll each cost you. This will help you inch your way closer to creating a foolproof budget for your project.

Set Up a Spreadsheet With the Budget for a Construction Project

As you can probably imagine, you’re going to be gathering a lot of information when you’re trying to create a budget for a construction project. It can be challenging to keep track of it all.

Fortunately, it’s simple enough to use some basic budgeting software in this day and age to set up a spreadsheet for your budget. You can plug in the different numbers associated with your construction costs and make sure that you’re able to monitor your spending throughout the course of a construction project.

Work on Securing the Necessary Funding for a Construction Project

Unless you own a really big construction company that has plenty of money in the bank, you’re likely going to have to secure funding for a project before breaking ground on it. You’re going to want to work on doing this as soon as you feel like you have a good working budget in place.

There are lenders out there that will help you get your hands on the construction financing that you need. But they’re not going to do it unless you have all your ducks in a row. They’re going to want to see that you’ve taken the time to come up with a budget prior to extending a loan to you.

Prepare to Adjust the Budget for a Construction Project on the Fly

You can spend all the time you want fine-tuning a budget for a construction project. But guess what? There is an almost 100% chance that you’re going to need to adjust your budget as you move forward with a project!

Rather than getting frustrated over this, you should prepare for it in advance. You should look at your budget every so often and see what you might need to do to it to avoid overspending on a construction project.

If you have to spend more than you planned in one area, that’ll mean that you will have to attempt to scale back in another area to save money. By adjusting your budget on the fly, you’ll keep yourself in a good place throughout the duration of your construction project.

Be Sure Your Construction Project Plan Consists of a Detailed Budget

If you don’t create a budget for a construction project ahead of time, you’re going to be asking for trouble. It won’t be long at all before you’re spending more than you planned to and putting yourself in a position where you’ll pay for it later on.

Use the tips and tricks found here to come up with a budget for your next construction project. It’ll be well worth the time that you spend on it when you see how much less stressful your project will be.

Find out more ways to build effective budgets for your business by browsing through the other articles found on our blog.