Construction budgets outline the financial roadmap for a project’s successful completion. The comprehensive plan helps delineates the anticipated costs and expenses associated with every section of the construction process. Quantity surveying services play a pivotal role in ensure budget reliability. Registered quantity surveying experts can help identify and provide cost estimates for each of the budget’s components. 

The importance of Construction Cost Reports

A detailed cost report, prepared before the project commences and updated regularly, serves as a roadmap for managing finances and keeping the project on track for successful completion. By analysing your development plans, consulting industry standards such as the Australian Cost Management Manuals, and comparing data to benchmarked projects, quantity surveyors can accurately calculate the total development cost (involving at an estimated rate per m2), including GST. This information is crucial for establishing a detailed cost projection based on the size of your development, providing you with insights into where your money is being spent and enabling you to manage finances more efficiently throughout the project’s course.

Main Elemental vs Sub Elemental Project Costs:

The cost of projects can be broken down into two key criteria, elemental and sub-elemental costs. These are the costs of components within the buildings construction and are separate from the additional costs such as permit/ inspection and miscellaneous expenses.

The main elemental costs encompass the functional performance of building components, including internal and external fabric, fittings, internal services, site works, external services, special provisions, superstructure, preliminaries, substructure, and internal finishes.

Sub elemental costs refer to the individual building components used in the creation of main components. These include windows and doors, walls, columns, air conditioning, fire protection, electrics, communications, landscaping, water and gas services/supply, plumbing, columns, floors, and roofs. Quantifying these sub elemental costs provides a granular understanding of the project’s expenses, allowing for more accurate cost projections and better financial management throughout the construction process.

Components of a Construction Budget:

Site/ Property Costs:
The cost of acquiring the land where the construction will take place is one of the largest expenses in most projects. This includes the price of sale, real estate fees, interest on any loan repayments, stamp-duty, and various other land/ government taxes. Additionally, if there are existing structures on the property that require demolition, this must also be factored into the costs.

Material Costs:
One of the primary components of a construction budget is the cost of materials required for the project. This encompasses everything from structural materials like concrete and steel to finishing materials like paint and flooring.

Labour Costs:
The expenses incurred in hiring skilled and unskilled labour constitute a significant portion of the budget. Labour costs include wages, salaries, benefits, superannuation, and overtime pay for workers involved in various construction activities. Many construction projects engage subcontractors for specialised tasks such as electrical work, plumbing, and landscaping. The budget should allocate funds for subcontractor fees and associated expenses.

Equipment Costs:
Construction projects often necessitate the use of heavy machinery and equipment. The budget should account for the rental or purchase costs of equipment such as excavators, cranes, and bulldozers.

Permit and Inspection Fees:
Obtaining permits and adhering to regulatory requirements, such as Section 94 contributions, incur fees and charges. The budget should include provisions for permit applications, inspections, and compliance with building codes.

Design and Engineering Fees:
Architectural design, engineering, consulting, and quantity surveying services are required for project planning and execution. The budget should allocate funds for professional design and engineering fees.

Miscellaneous Expenses: Miscellaneous expenses encompass a broad spectrum of costs, including overheads, transportation, communication, safety equipment, and unforeseen incidentals that may arise during construction.

Budgeting for Unexpected Challenges:

Given the length of time associated with completing many construction projects, they are inherently unpredictable. Unforeseen circumstances and unexpected expenses are inevitable. A contingency fund is earmarked to address such contingencies and mitigate risks that may arise during the project. These can include everything from interest rate rises, rising material costs, to poor weather, site damage etc.  Construction projects require insurance coverage to protect against risks such as property damage, liability claims, and worker injuries. The budget should include premiums for insurance policies tailored to the project’s needs.

Role of Quantity Surveying Services:

Quantity surveying services play a vital role in the budgeting process for construction projects. Registered quantity surveyors specialise in estimating and managing construction costs, providing valuable insights and expertise to ensure accurate budget projections. Their responsibilities may include analysing project specifications, preparing cost estimates, sourcing materials, negotiating with suppliers, and monitoring expenses throughout the construction process. By leveraging their expertise, quantity surveyors help optimise project budgets, identify cost-saving opportunities, and mitigate financial risks.

Why choose quantity surveying services?

In the world of construction, having a detailed budget estimate can make all the difference in the success of your project. Engaging quantity surveying services from Section 94 ensures that your project has an experienced professional on your side throughout the entire construction process.

With over a decade of industry experience with quantity surveying services, our qualified surveyors are AIQS certified with a fast turnaround time and clear communication. Give us a call today at 0413 953 869 or email us at to discuss our quality budget services for residential and commercial builds.