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Home Construction Cost Estimate - The Forms!


Once you begin to accumulate quoted prices, you'll need some organized way to keep track of the results. Ideally the method you use to do this will provide a way of bringing everything together logically, so that you can accomplish your goal - arrive at a Home Construction Cost Estimate that is based on what you actually intend to do. We have developed a set of Estimating Forms to help you do this.

Use the Microsoft Excel based Home Construction Cost Estimate Forms to accumulate the information on your home. If you prefer to tally your estimates by hand, the forms are also available here in PDF format, viewable on the Acrobat Reader.

There is considerably more detail on some cost categories than you may want or need. For example, the framing materials show every stud and joist. It's OK if you want to consolidate and work with say a "framing package" instead.

You can massage it any way you want. There will certainly be items included in your home building project that aren't even listed on the forms. We've left some space. Add them in!

Let’s go through the Cost Estimate Forms now
and see how they work.

COLUMN HEADINGs for home construction cost estimate forms
Look at the example below. It illustrates the column headings used on the Home Construction Cost Estimate Forms, and shows an example of how information on particular cost items are to be listed under each column.

Floor Joist - 2x8x12 24 5.25 ea 126.00   126.00

Here is what each column heading means:

DESCRIPTION The item (material, service, or both) being priced.
QTY How many of this item will be needed for your home building project.
PRICE Unit price (for one).
UM Unit measure by which item is priced (each, linear feet, hour, etc)
DRAW If this item is to be paid from a "draw" on your Construction Loan, put the the dollar amount (total of the Quantity times the Unit Price) here. Entering a Quantity and a unit Price in a row on the Excel Cost Estimate Forms automatically calculates the total and adds it here and in the "Total" column.

If you plan to pay for part or all of this item "out-of-pocket" . . . that is, not from a "draw" on your construction loan, put what you plan to pay in cash in this column.

The amount you put in this column will be deducted from whatever is shown in the "Draw" column. The amount in the "Total" column will not be effected.

TOTAL The total of the "Draw" and "Me" costs.



Click here to open an example of how Page Two of the Home Construction Cost Estimate Forms could be filled out.

This sample form is included as an illustration only. The quantities and prices shown are not intended to represent an actual real-life situation. Your numbers will be different. The forms are Microsoft Excel based and can be filled out electronically. Your computer will do all the calculations for you.

In the example, you see on lines 52 and 53 that the owner builder of this home building project has a brother-in-law who owns a tractor with a bucket and a scraper.

The brother-in-law will prepare the lot - if he can get paid on the spot. He needs it to make a payment on the tractor!


As an owner builder, you will find that you will need some cash from time to time to cover some expenses that won't wait for your end-of-the-month construction loan draw.

Basically, the "Draw" column shows what you will be able to pay for out of a construction draw. The "Me" column shows what you will have to pay for out-of-pocket, before you get a construction draw!

At the end of each section in the Home Construction Cost Estimate Forms you will see a line designated for Totals. For example, see line 79. It totals all of the costs for Foundations.

At the bottom of each page is a line for Page Totals. So that there is no confusion, you are told which lines to add together to get each page’s totals.


The final page of the Home Construction Cost Estimate Forms is a Summary Sheet to record your estimates for each basic cost category of expense. The figures from this page will be used in Cost Accounting, which is a part of your Construction Management duties . . . keeping up with all the expenditures and making sure they are all within your Budget.

For additional information on Cost Estimate Forms,
see Lesson Eleven of our online course
Successful Home Contracting

Return to Cost Estimate

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