Investigating critical factors of cost estimates in the construction industry
This study aimed at investigating critical factors that project estimators must consider, before coming up with a cost estimate for a construction project. Factors that can be noted as challenges towards producing a sound estimate are continuous scope change, increase in the cost of labour and materials, and levies and cost of complying or not complying with regulations that may change before the completion of a construction project. The study was designed to focus on previous literature in the form of textbooks and journals that deals with construction, general and cost estimates journals for investigating critical factors of cost estimates in the construction industry. The study was designed quantitatively. Therefore, professionals in the construction industry were consulted using questionnaires, to determine to which extent critical factors in the industry impacted on project cost estimates. The major findings noted by the respondents by which cost estimates are concerned are access to the site, labour workforce, and location of the project, cost overruns, type of work method and scope changes. The study divulged that the appointment of a project estimator, who has knowledge and understanding of the construction industry, is highly crucial. He or she should be able to visualise the magnitude, resources, time allocated on a project and should also be able to foresee financial risks associated with the running of the project and allow for necessary financial risk mitigation measures.