Wednesday, 16 November 2016

How to Avoid Major Material Cost Overruns When Planning Your Concrete Construction Project

Given our economy, saving money on construction projects is becoming everyone's concern. But, even more important that saving money, is correctly estimating the costs, so they don't go over. Cost overruns are a major concern with any construction project. With the price of construction materials like concrete and sand increasing, this is more important than ever.
Everybody is out to save money. But unfortunately, what ends up happening more often than not, is estimates are done incorrectly. This means that a project that seems inexpensive at first can end up exploding. And before you know it, costs overruns have doubled or even tripled the cost of your construction project.
This can be especially true in concrete construction. One of the biggest mistakes that people make is not considering everything that is required for a project. They may go out and consider the cost of a bag of concrete for example. And then figure out how many square feet that bag of concrete will cover. Multiply it by the number of square feet that needs to be finished, and think that is enough to make an estimate.
This type of reasoning is not enough however, and if this is how you have done your estimate, you are in for a big shock. There are too many factors that have not been thought about.
For example, have you thought about the condition of the surface you want to place the concrete on? Is this a new install, or is it a repair? If this is a repair, are you better off tearing out the old concrete and repairing it? Or should you try and patch? How long do you want your repair to last?
Prep work needed is also an important part of your calculation in cost. Not just from a labor standpoint, although that is important, but also from a materials point of view.
By all means, when you are starting your estimate, you need to figure out the square footage of the area you will be installing the concrete. You can also do a simple calculation to figure out how many bags of concrete you will need to purchase.
Next however, based on your answers to the questions above, you need to determine the quality of concrete you want to purchase. This needs to be decided after figuring out the purpose and usage patterns for the type of work you are doing. Different applications will require different quality products.
Along those same lines, you need to decide if ad-mixtures will need to be used. For example, you may need to add product to speed up, or slow down the drying process. Or, if you are installing in an area and at a time of year that freezing can occur, you might need to do an ad-mixture for that. Do you want to tint the concrete, or make any other changes that need to be done while the concrete is being mixed? All of those will add to your final cost.
After making those decisions, you might think you are done, but you are far from it. Next you need to think about what type of foundation and framing you are going to need to do. Will you need to buy lumber to build a frame? You may also need some bedding or foundation material.
Finally, you need to take into account how the concrete is getting to your site. Are you mixing your bags on site, or are you having it delivered? This might seem like more of a labor cost consideration, but the type of delivery system you are using will also factor into the cost of materials. It will also figure into disposal costs, because if you are purchasing individual bags, the empty bags will need to be disposed of. This could be significant on a large job.
As you are now aware, there are a number of different factors you need to consider when estimating the cost of materials for a construction job. There is a lot more than just calculating the number of cement bags that need to be purchased. These added costs, which are often not thought about, can become large. Especially with the rising costs of construction materials. Here in Panama, construction costs have gone up over 10% in the last 20 months.
For many people, it makes sense to contact a qualified contractor to come out to your home or business to give you an accurate estimate. The cost might seem higher at first, but a qualified construction professional will be able to give you an accurate quote. And may end up costing you much less in the process. Because of the purchasing power a contractor has available to him, the actual cost of material might end up being much lower than the final cost of materials if you had done the job yourself.
The next time you are putting together an estimate for a concrete project, and are looking at saving money on construction costs, remember to consider all of the factors involved. Do not base your expected costs savings on just the cost of cement. Your project will end up costing much more in the end.
Above all, if you are unsure of all the different factors you need to consider for your concrete construction project, you might be better off contacting a qualified construction professional. It might end up being your biggest opportunity to save on your overall construction costs.
Carlos Duncan is the founder of Constructora Cali S.A., a Panama Construction, property inspection and renovation company. They can be found online at: http://www.concali.com.
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Carlos_Duncan/577642

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