One of the most important aspects in any construction project is cost. With tightened budgets in every corner of our market, true cost knowledge becomes critical. In my personal experience, I have seen many times when a project has gone out to bid and the bids come in over budget. Also, in rare circumstances, projects come in grossly under budget. Why does this happen? I believe that a lack of understanding of the size of the project, what contractors are bidding and the bid market are to blame. In general, the scope has not been fully understood.

Identifying scope on a project is the most critical element to cost. Scope goes far beyond the nuts and bolts of the project. Schedule, time of year, site conditions, phasing, bid market, even who the owner is, all have an impact to the scope of the project.

Silva Cost Consulting approaches every project by identifying everything that is not shown on the drawings. By working closely with clients and owners, Silva Cost Consulting helps to bring projects in line with budget concerns and design intent.

In addition, we scope every project from “scratch”. Assuming that all school projects are the same, or all police stations are the same, is the surest way to bust your budget. This method may work for conceptual or preliminary budgeting, but we let each project stand on its own merit when it comes to the final construction document estimate.

Pricing is equally important to understand. Labor rates, material pricing, even fuel costs impact pricing. It is difficult to predict where certain costs will be in the future. With ties to material suppliers and the subcontracting community, it is possible to minimize any pricing uncertainties. A true understanding of current bid market conditions coupled with true cost knowledge (not just unit price knowledge) is invaluable to any project budget.

Silva Cost Consulting uses some of the most current take-off tools and computer systems for preparing estimates. Therefore, estimates are done quickly and accurately. It is the desire of Silva Cost Consulting to help with your projects budgets, large or small.

Our main client list includes architects and design professionals who have to meet a contractual requirement to provide cost estimating services during design.

We also work directly for Governing Agencies and School Districts, who need a second party opinion of cost for reconciling.

Sometimes we work for owners, who need a check number to compare against a contractor to ensure they are getting a fair price.

Developers sometimes need an estimate for proforma purposes and to make sure that their construction budgets are realistic.

We work for CM firms, who need estimating when their staff is over burdened. We act as an overflow firm, and provide complete estimates, or partial estimates (i.e: structural, architectural, civil, etc.) when needed.