Why You Need a Construction Cost Consultant

Tuan Duong

The construction industry is booming in Australia. As both public and private spending on infrastructure and building projects continues to increase year after year, more individuals and companies are looking to take on new construction projects. 

However, undertaking any type of construction project requires careful planning and cost estimation to be successful. Going over budget can spell disaster for a project, putting you at risk of running out of funds before completion or losing money in the long run. 

This is why hiring a professional construction cost estimate consultant is critical when planning a building project in Australia.

This blog post will explore the key benefits of working with a specialised construction cost consultant when beginning a new building project. 

Benefits of Working with a Cost Estimator in the Construction Industry 

There are many advantages to bringing on professional construction cost consultants and quantity surveyors when planning a building project in Australia. Their skills and experience can save you substantial time, money, and effort at every stage of development.

More Accurate Estimates

The first benefit of working with a cost consultancy firm is getting a highly accurate assessment of total project costs. Careful cost estimation early in a project brings massive value to decision-making down the line. 

Consultants have extensive experience calculating realistic prices for all materials, equipment, labour, site preparation, permits, fees, taxes, insurance, and any other expenses that may arise. Their insight ensures all costs are accounted for and prevents going over budget due to unexpected costs popping up mid-project. 

Consultants also deeply understand how to properly allocate contingency funds to prepare for potential changes in scope and market fluctuations.

Expert Knowledge of Cost Management 

In addition to detailed planning and calculation, consultants also provide expert guidance rooted in years of firsthand construction experience. 

They are familiar with the latest prices for all physical building materials and the intricacies of the full construction process from start to finish. Their awareness of common estimating pitfalls helps you avoid potential issues that may lead to delays or cost overruns. 

Consultants also stay on top of industry trends, technological advances, and changes in regulations that impact building costs.

Time Savings

Hiring a professional consultant also saves the client substantial time. Thanks to industry knowledge and standardised estimating software, cost estimators and consultants can quickly and efficiently compile estimates. 

This allows project owners to focus their efforts on design, permitting, hiring contractors, and other pressing tasks instead of struggling through the estimating process themselves. Streamlining this workflow prevents costly delays in moving from bid to construction.

Risk Mitigation

In addition to providing accurate estimates and expert guidance, a professional cost consultant also helps clients mitigate risks throughout the construction process. Uncertainty and unexpected challenges are inevitable in the building industry. 

Consultants can build appropriate contingencies into their estimates to financially prepare for changes in project scope, fluctuations in material costs, weather delays, skilled labour shortages, and other variables. Their insight prepares you for multiple scenarios, so potential issues don’t catch you off guard. 

Cost estimators and consultants also quantify schedule risks that may lead to extended timelines and higher costs from carrying financing longer than anticipated. With contingencies and risk response plans in place ahead of time, you can stick to budgets and timelines as closely as possible to complete a successful project.

What to Look for in a Good Consultant

When searching for a construction cost consultant in Australia, it’s important to vet potential candidates carefully to find the best fit for your project. Be sure to look for these key traits:

Strong Reputation and Track Record

A consultant’s past work and client reviews say a lot about what you can expect from working together. You want to see a proven history of accurate estimates and successful project delivery. Look for consultants with many years of firsthand experience in the Australian construction industry and check references to confirm strong relationships, transparency, and follow-through.

Specialised Expertise

Make sure the consultant has specific experience with your type of construction project. This experience allows them to anticipate the better: 

  • Unique needs
  • Challenges
  • Costs associated with infrastructure, commercial buildings, residential development projects, etc.

Specialisation also keeps them on top of a subsector’s latest regulations and trends.

Industry-Standard Estimating Software

Consultants should use industry-standard software to develop estimates, not just manual spreadsheets. Software that integrates real-time cost data enables more precise projections. It also allows for efficient revisions as designs change.

Clear Communication

Communication is critical when managing stakeholders across a major construction project. Select a consultant who can clearly convey cost concepts to both technical and non-technical audiences. Make sure you establish transparency upfront about how you’ll work together.

Key Takeaways 

  • Hiring a professional construction cost consultant provides more accurate cost estimates to minimise budget overruns. Their expertise identifies potential issues early.
  • Consultants offer specialised knowledge based on years of firsthand experience. They stay updated on the latest industry regulations, trends, and prices.
  • Cost consultants efficiently compile estimates with industry-standard software, saving clients time. This allows them to focus on other aspects of the project.
  • Good consultants proactively mitigate risks by planning for contingencies. This sticks projects to schedule and budget as closely as possible.

Get an estimation for your next construction project from the Duo Tax cost estimation team. Their team provides detailed, precise estimates tailored to your unique needs.


What Is the Role of a Cost Consultant in Construction?

A construction cost consultant is an invaluable advisor throughout the building process, from initial budgeting to final accounting. Their core role is to provide detailed cost estimates during pre-construction by accurately projecting all expenses associated with: 

  • Materials
  • Equipment
  • Labour
  • Fees
  • Taxes
  • Insurance
  • Contingencies
  • Other direct/indirect costs

Beyond estimating, they help assess different design options along with their impacts on budgets. During the bidding phase, consultants analyse contractor proposals to ensure quality vendors are selected. 

Once shovels hit the dirt, they monitor spending and forecasts to track variances and inform decisions. If scope changes appear mid-project, consultants update estimates accordingly. Their vigilance aims to prevent financial risks leading to delays or over-budget outcomes. 

When construction wraps up, consultants reconcile the total actual costs and create final accounting reports.

Who is a Cost Consultant?

A cost consultant, also called a cost estimator or quantity surveyor, is a construction professional who specialises in developing accurate cost projections and budgets for building projects. They leverage industry knowledge and estimating software to quantify all potential expenses associated with your next project. 

Cost consultants and subcontractors model different design scenarios along with their cost impacts to inform planning. Their oversight across preconstruction, bidding, construction, and project closeout aims to maximise value delivery while adhering to schedule and budget constraints. 

Leading consultants hold relevant tertiary qualifications along with professional certifications such as Certified Cost Consultant/Certified Cost Engineer (CCC/CCE) or Certified Estimating Professional (CEP) to affirm their expertise.

Reputable cost consultants are highly detail-oriented, adept with industry-standard software, and excellent communicators able to convey complex financial information to diverse stakeholders.

Duo Tax team working together

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Disclaimer: Please note that every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided in this guide is accurate. You should note, however, that the information is intended as a guide only, providing an overview of general information available to property investors. This guide is not intended to be an exhaustive source of information and should not be seen to constitute legal or tax advice. You should, where necessary, seek a second professional opinion for any legal or tax issues raised in your investing affairs.

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Tuan Duong

Tuan is an award winning Quantity Surveyor and leads Duo Tax Quantity Surveyors – Australia’s fastest growing provider of Tax Depreciation.

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