Cost Estimation is a process of identifying the sum of the amount required to accomplish those planned tasks or activities before actually executing them. The process of Cost Estimation starts with identifying a list of components followed by quantity take-off, rate analysis, overheads, risks & Contingencies, Profit, etc (based on the type of work).
It is always important for a cost manager or quantity surveyor to identify all different types of activities and works involved in a given task. At the end of this activity, the cost manager/quantity surveyor will have a list of activities whose cost is to be estimated to get the total cost of the project.
During the process of cost estimation, identifying the activities is not a simple task. As the name depicts ‘Identify Activities’ doesn’t mean just preparing a list of activities. It means that all the activities shall be identified with respective specifications as the item is designed. The specifications include properties such as material properties, dimensional properties, aesthetic properties, execution methodology (also known as construction methodology), and some other special properties related to special items/ activities. Most (not all) of these details can be captured by reading a set of construction drawings. The more detailed information (or let us say the missing information) can only be provided by the designer. Once all the details are in place, now it is your turn (as a quantity surveyor) to continue with the next step of our cost estimation process.
For example, Central Public Works Department (CPWD) Specifications (Vol-1 & Vol-2) is the best source for a quantity surveyor to understand the specifications of different items of work related to construction projects. Remember, CPWD specifications are not applicable to any particular project unless otherwise it is specified in the contract document.
Hey, you got the list of activities and their specifications, right! Yay!!
Read about Earned Value Management. The most used Project Management technique.
Next step is Performing Quantity Take-off.
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