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How to Improve Cost Control in Construction? 5 Tips for Contractors


The perfect balance between costs and profits is the sacred goal of each entrepreneur. The construction sector also requires a delicate contractors’ attitude to expenditure-revenues ratio. For the best budget-planning experience, it is critically important to undertake a comprehensive process that includes estimating, costing, bidding, quoting, and analytical routines.


To start with, it is better to pay attention to the accuracy of your construction estimates. It will become your win-win baseline of perfect cost control arrangements. For this purpose, it is recommended to use cost estimating software (read here). This way all the estimating routines will be automated and well-managed through the digital tools you have chosen for your business.

Nevertheless, thorough estimates come as one of these eight necessary aspects of construction cost control to take into account. There are four other critically important items that are considered essential constituents of the risk-free cost control process.

5 Tips for Your Perfect Construction Cost Control

In most cases, the comprehensive approach makes a difference. The same story is with cost control in construction. It is useless to pay attention only to some questions while leaving others overlooked. The most optimal variant is to optimize all the items that matter for cost control at once. Use these tips to arrange everything properly and do not miss any detail.

1 – Get Ready with Your Pre-Construction Phase

Estimates take place in the pre-construction phase. That is why your task is to pick sides with all the arrangements required for an accurate and risk-free estimating process. Digital tools, automation, and other modern strategies will come in handy for thorough estimates. To be sure that your estimating background is sound, follow these recommendations:

  • Quit the vacuum in the context of estimates. Check all the insights from your team members. Do not use only historical data or just new data entries for analytics.
  • You need to take into account all the insights given by your estimators and other team members. This way you will get only realistic estimates with accurate labor, material, overhead, and other costs predicted.
  • To skip an overrun budget, you need to always analyze your previous projects. Sometimes you can see the regularity of errors or unexpected budget items in your previous building tasks. For example, you and your estimators did not plan any funds for permits and certifications.

You always have a chance to improve your estimates. First, be sure that you use great software for this purpose. Secondly, practice the comprehensive analytics approach while using fresh insights and historical data with errors, imperfections, and positive experiences.

2 – Improve Your Communication

Your team should understand all your corporate needs. That is why your departments should obtain each update and optimization via well-thought and timely onboarding routines. Additionally, you need to hire a supervisor who is going to be responsible for your communication channels. Just share all the communication responsibilities with the competent manager or another specialist.

This way you will be able to schedule meetings, some reports, and other events where all the team members will be engaged in the process. You will get regular insights and discuss weak spots of the project without any hidden pitfalls that take place because of poor communication. Your cost control also will be improved through constant dialogue and conversations between:

  • Estimators;
  • Marketers;
  • Accounting specialists;
  • and other niche experts in your company.

Do not forget to have sound communication with your partners, investors, project managers, and customers. These parties are essential for your success. That is why imperfections in your communication channels matter when it comes to the cost control progress and other stages in the context of pre-construction, construction, and post-construction phases.

3 – Prepare and Tailor Your Backup Plans

This is one more essential arrangement for your perfect cost control. You need to have plans for any cases, force majeure situations, and updates to your project at any stage. That is why I think of backups beforehand. Estimate all your potential risks and have leverages to cope with this or that unexpected circumstances.

4 – Entrust Your Tasks Only to Reliable Subcontractors

If you hire individual specialists, they should be reliable. Sometimes, contractors can poorly control costs if their subs perform. For example, they cannot meet deadlines or provide low-quality results in plumbing, roofing, insulation, and other areas you would like to cover with quality subcontracting.

Your task is to find trusted subcontractors who will understand your requirements and will speed up your progress through efficiency, proactivity, professionalism, and other positive features. Good digital tools for time tracking and monitoring of subs’ performance can help you not only with cost control but with your staff performance statistics.

5 – Post-Project Analytics

Do not forget about conclusions after each realized project. It is possible to find some win-win strategies through ready-to-use decision-making experience. The same story is with your historical data and errors. They matter for your further progress if you can analyze each undertaken step and apply efficient ones for your new orders.