Construction Cost Estimating & Management

PROJECT: Mansueto Library, University of Chicago

Be confident about your costs

Achieve an actionable understanding of all costs and manage them throughout all phases.

We provide independent Construction Cost Estimating for improved risk mitigation, more accurate budgeting and greater peace of mind. 

The safest way to examine the financial feasibility of a construction project is with an accurate construction cost estimate. Our Cost Estimating services are an invaluable tool for achieving an actionable understanding of all costs associated with your project, and then carefully managing those estimated costs throughout all phases of design.

We work to establish an objective view of the project budget and reduce the risk of project cost overruns.


As an architect, engineer or owner, you understand the importance of the project budget. Our construction cost estimating team can assist you in establishing an accurate view of the budget and reducing the risk of cost overruns throughout the course of your project.

We achieve this by integrating our multi-disciplined staff of cost estimators, mechanical, electrical engineers, and quantity surveyors with our state-of-the-art construction cost estimating software and technology.

All of our cost estimates are prepared “in-house” by our knowledgeable and experienced staff of cost estimators, engineers, quantity surveyors, and project managers who have the ability to help clients manage their construction costs. We provide cost estimates at all typical design stages and for all construction disciplines including architectural, structural, civil, mechanical, electrical and plumbing.

We utilize state-of-the-art technologies for estimate preparation, leveraging the latest in Building Information Modeling (BIM) technology to prepare detailed and accurate estimates. This methodology involves the utilization of a software platform consisting of On Screen Take-Off (OST) by On Center for quantity take-off, Assemble for extraction of estimating data from 3D models and Interactive Cost Estimating (ICE) by RIB.


We are an independent construction Cost Estimating firm, which means our estimates are accurate, unbiased and objective.

An independent cost estimate helps lessen your level of risk and provides considerable peace of mind during design. It can also help you determine financial viability of a proposed project, tackle any cost-driven corrections early on, avoid conflicts at the time of bidding and construction and ultimately guide the design and construction phases in the most cost-effective manner.

For significant change-orders, we produce independent estimates to assist in the evaluation and negotiation process. The use of On Screen Take-off enables us to efficiently confirm the correct quantities of both the additions and deductions within the change-order. As labor rates and mark-ups are typically predetermined in the contract, it only leaves the productivity factor for any negotiation. This takes much of the emotion out of the negotiation process and gives the Owner the confidence in agreeing to an appropriate price.

Construction Cost Estimating can help you...

PROJECT: Kenwood Interdisciplinary Research Complex, UW-Milwaukee

From Budget to Close-out

Our Cost Estimating Process

Over the past 27+ years, we have compiled an extensive cost database, which we continuously update with costs obtained from recent project bid results, GMP reconciliation, change order negotiations and regular material, and equipment and labor rate price checks. We use the latest project cost control techniques to establish realistic project budgets. We then carefully monitor the design of your project as it progresses through all phases to keep it in line with the approved budget.

Also, we assist in bid review and analysis and with implementing effective cost control measures during the construction and close-out/occupancy phases of the project.

01. Order of Magnitude

Determine financial feasibility and forecast construction costs.

This is a preliminary estimate and the first serious attempt at forecasting the overall cost of the construction project and determining its financial feasibility. At this time, the project scope is discussed, construction methods are considered and alternatives are explored.

02. Conceptual Design

Take your cost estimate further by determining an accurate budget.

In this phase, a more complete cost estimate is prepared to compare with the budget and feasibility determinations. Detailed design criteria are explored such as construction materials, drawings, renderings, conceptual plans, foundation requirements, utilities, etc.

03. Design Phase Estimating

Develop the project scope and design, and incorporate materials.

In this phase, the project scope and design are developed and materials are selected. Information needed for this estimate may include floor plans, engineering design criteria, preliminary schedules, equipment layouts, etc. Estimates are typically prepared at each of the major design milestones.

04. BID Evaluations/Analysis

Establishes a basis for comparison with bids and quotes.

This estimate is used to evaluate contractor bids. Probable costs are developed for comparison with bids and used to determine the reasonableness or unreasonableness of the bid being evaluated.

05. Change Order Review

Prepare estimates to compare with change order requests.

A change order is an amendment to the original scope of work. At this stage, an independent estimate is prepared and compared with the change order request.