Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Website: Estimated Construction Costs

Earlier today, I spoke with a very helpful woman at R.S. Means. Some of you might know that this company compiles & publishes a wide variety of publications that provide construction cost data. They're well-used in the construction and contractor industries.

I called looking for a product that might help provide a client with a rough estimate of a commercial construction project in a specific part of New York State. Instead of being told about a book costing several hundred dollars, I was surprised to hear that R.S. Means offers their Quick Cost Estimator on their website.

It requires you to register (also free). Once there, you enter in the "Building Type" (there are 75 types of commercial structures listed in the drop-down menu), then the square footage, then the ZIP code of the project's location.

Clearly, the results are a rough estimate (and they are ONLY pertinent to the building itself - there's no consideration for the cost of building, say, a parking lot, or for landscaping, etc.). You get a "low," "medium," and "high" cost figure (I was told that you should err on the side of caution, and use only the "medium" or "high" figure).

That's the free stuff. Of course, R.S. Means offers a subscription-based product called CostWorks. A free trial is available (and it's a sure-fire invitation to hear from their sales force). This site allows you to enter more precise information about the project, so as to get a more accurate cost estimate for a project of a given size, in a given location.

News you can use . . .

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