Cost Estimating

PCS Sector Wheel

Experienced construction cost estimating professionals

At Precision Construction Services, our team is dedicated to ensuring a thorough, reliable, and fair construction cost estimating process.

We assist both public and private institutions to execute successful construction projects across the continental US and Hawaii. Our cost management team has a proven track record in a variety of different markets, including aerospace, commercial, education, healthcare, multi-family residential, and infrastructure, as well as parks and recreation.

Our cost management team has extensive estimating experience, beginning with bachelor and/or graduate degrees in Construction Management or related disciplines. Many of our professional staff is also Certified Estimating Professionals (CEPs) through the AACE International (formerly the American Association of Cost Engineers). As members of the AACE, we follow the rigorous guidelines set forth to create objective, reliable, and defensible assessments of project costs.


We are committed to facilitating successful project outcomes through a culture of collaboration, dedication, creative problem solving, ongoing education, and reliability.

Precision Construction Cost Estimates

Every project receives the attention of a project team comprised of at least one senior or director level cost estimator, the project estimator(s), and a quantity surveyor. All project estimators have been certified by the American Association of Cost Engineers (AACE) and hold the title of Cost Estimating Professional (CEP).

Our practice continually evolves to ensure that we provide accurate estimates, with particular attention to the following areas:

Quantity Basis: Materials of a project, seen and unseen, on the project plans.

General Conditions & Requirements: Conditions and requirements of a job that are required, but not shown on plans.

Cost Basis: Includes material, labor, and equipment.

Market Basis: Involves the supply and demand of contractor availability.

Location Basis: Cost of local market conditions and remote location factors.

Escalation: Cost forecasting.

Accurate Estimates 6 step process
6 steps

Project Workflow

Before any project commences, a project kick-off meeting is required. At this time, we will review all project documents, communicate special instructions, and delegate project duties into subtasks. The Senior Cost Estimator will serve as the quality assurance on the project and an outside Senior Estimator will provide quality control of all deliverables prior to client delivery. The team that begins any project will follow the project through to completion for consistency in project intimacy and client communication.

As a member of the project team, we take an active role in every aspect of the design process. Our professional estimators will attend key design meetings as requested, while providing a thoughtful, data-driven cost filter to any design choice.


Our team chooses the cost methodology for a project based on the level of design. From conception to final design, our Construction Cost Estimators efficiently and accurately determine the cost at every stage of the project.


Rough-Order of Magnitude (ROM) estimates are based on high-level information and very little detail. They are used to establish a baseline construction budget and complete analysis of a project’s feasibility.

At the earliest stages of design, we can establish ROM costs for the project budget using the following data:

Building square footages

Intended use


Market Conditions

Level of finish

Escalation for construction timeline

Site restraints

Despite the preliminary stage of design, we are able to create a detailed construction cost estimate by employing various estimating methods, including our own extensive database of historic projects. Our vast estimating experience and investment in national cost databases provide a wealth of case studies and unit rates that can be adjusted to create a strong and reliable preliminary project budget.

At the earliest stages of design, we can establish ROM costs for the project budget using the following data:

Rough-Order of magnitude Estimate
Conceptual Design estimate


At the conceptual design stage, takeoffs become more detailed and include assembly-level quantification to provide a more refined cost estimate using our proprietary and purchased cost databases. In many cases, input from our takeoff and estimating staff at this early stage helps to inform future design and specification choices.

After the project has established its feasibility, our estimating team starts to build out a detailed takeoff of materials from the architectural sketches of the conceptual drawings. Additionally, the primary type of construction (i.e. reinforced concrete, steel, metal, or wood framing, etc.) have been defined at this stage of design.

By analyzing a project’s costs through its various construction assemblies, the cost impacts of different design choices can be easily analyzed and compared. Information gathered at this stage provides the design team with affirmation of budget tracking or a necessary indicator that design adjustments are needed.

Design Development Costs

Once the architectural plans are nearing completion and preliminary structural and mechanical, electrical and plumbing drawings have been provided, we will update the estimate to the level of design development.

A design development estimate is able to examine individual project components in greater detail. For example, a wall assembly now becomes paint, gypsum board, insulation, wood framing, sheathing, and stucco.

Our team meticulously refines the scope of work to create a detailed bill of materials and outline any clear remaining design omissions. Cost estimating procedures through databases, adjusted per aforementioned adjustment factors, will still drive the cost estimate, although outside vendors may be consulted on any specialized items.

Takeoffs can be used as a measure of control to ensure that nothing gets left out as the project moves closer to being construction-ready.

Design Development estimate
Construction Document

COnstruction Document Costs

The final stage of design and the most detailed level of estimate will come once construction documents are issued and a detailed finish schedule is provided. All design elements are broken down into individual components; for example, a wood framed wall now becomes a bottom plate, studs, and double top plates.

This estimate should validate all of the preceding estimates and provide a cost estimate within 0-5% of the median contractor bid. This effort simplifies the analysis of competing contractor bids and provides a way to track progress and ensure quality control.

Since there should be no surprise cost information at this stage, the estimate serves only as a final cost validator, quality control of the construction documents, and most importantly, a quality control of contractor bids.



In the event that the design and project budget do not align, we have the tools and experience to assist the design team in finding cost saving options.

However, value engineering does not mean using the crude tools of cutting scope. We have successfully executed some of the most notable value engineering exercises on the planet for clients who demand the most efficient cost possible without disrupting quality or intent of the design. Through countless years of hard work, we have established a track record of working with owner groups and designers to find options that appease all parties.

As all projects are unique and require an individualized solution, our process can best be described as problem deconstruction. Unless the source of cost savings is already apparent, we first address where the largest project cost drivers are located.

By looking at the largest cost drivers first, we can often correct the problem and perhaps even enhance the project design by offering material or method alternatives that may otherwise have been overlooked. Since this process cannot be done in a vacuum, we created a collaborative environment for design professionals and interested parties to voice concerns, express ideas, and help navigate this process.

We offer a unique construction cost engineering lens coupled with factual project cost data and the additional resources of a large network of professionals to create expeditious, satisfactory solutions.

Puzzle Pieces. Locate, Correct, Enhance
Teamwork graphic for Precision


Project close-out meetings serve as an integral part of our firm’s continuing education program.

After every cost estimate package delivered, we take extensive time to thoroughly dissect all costs associated with the project in a collaborative, all-hands-on-deck meeting.

By taking the time to have every member within our firm attend these weekly sessions, we collectively grow and build upon our foundation of construction cost knowledge. These meetings create valuable insights, challenge our way of looking at projects, create opportunities to conserve production time, and create overall team camaraderie. These sessions serve as a great platform to discuss any roadblocks that arose within a project and what measures were taken to overcome that which was unforeseen.

Each week, we look forward to these times of reflection and believe this constant cost related dialogue sets us apart from our competition.