Protect your profit margins


Protect your profit margins to build success

Master your budget and control costs for the financial success of your construction business and great outcomes for your clients.


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Follow these practical tips to keep project costs under control

  • Regularly review and understand your overhead costs and make allowances to recover them within your P&G items.
  • Using a comprehensive project management software is best if you’re preparing estimates yourself.
  • Lock in client decisions on fixtures and fittings before the build starts.
  • Track labour inputs and project bills in real-time to maintain control over costs.
  • Keep your onsite team in the loop on what is in and out of scope, so they can flag any variations.
  • Review the project progress report on a weekly basis and update each building task with percentage completion.
  • Send an invoice as soon as each variation is complete for smoother cash flow.

Lay a solid foundation

It all starts with a comprehensive and accurate takeoff of the project. Quantify all the required subtrades, labour, materials, and preliminary & general (P&G) items. You can do this yourself, outsource to a quantity surveyor, or prepare from a merchant takeoff.


Use the right tools

A specialised project management software, like Builda Price, provides a robust structure for preparing estimates or quotes, while making efficient and accurate job tracking easier. Some builders still rely on spreadsheets, but it’s worth noting that there’s a high risk of there being an error somewhere in the spreadsheet.

Avoid last minute wobbles

Order all fixture and fittings so they’re available onsite when needed. Last minute changes can add both time and expense to the project, as well as being stressful if you’re scrambling to source alternative items.

Measure accurately

Use timesheets to allocate labour right down to specific tasks, and track bills for materials and subcontractors to various job stages so you can monitor costs accurately.

It comes down to communication

Effective communication between onsite and offsite teams, as well as with your clients, is crucial. Early discussion and planning are essential if any stage of the project starts to run over budget. Decisions can then be made to implement measures to bring the budget back in line, or adjust the remaining project scope.

Keep your finger on the pulse

At each stage of the build, use project management software like Builda Price, which can provide a detailed progress report, adjusted forecasts of the finished project costs and highlight areas where you’re at risk of going over budget.

Look after your client and your cash flow

Invoice variations separately to avoid potential hold-ups to your main invoice being paid on time. If the impact of variations on the project forecast is significant, the client may need to find additional funding or reduce the project scope to stay within their financial means.

Meticulous planning, accurate estimation, efficient tracking and clear communication will help you stay on top of project budgets and costs. Implementing these strategies and utilising project management tools can ensure project profitability and visibility while delivering successful outcomes for your clients.



Amanda is a regular contributor to NZCB's InHouse magazine

This article featured in the April/May 2024 issue.



In House - NZCB magazine - April May 2024 issue


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