3 Reasons to Stay Current on Construction Cost Data

When it comes to the planning and estimating stage of a construction project, accurate data is essential. Inaccurate data leads to cost overruns, and cost overruns can lead to more than just a frustrated client. They can shut down a project altogether.

We appreciate this reality, and in turn we make sure our RSMeans construction cost estimating data is the most precise and up-to-date construction cost estimating data is available. Due to this precision, RSMeans data is constantly adjusting in relation to the market. This is significant on many fronts, especially one in particular.
If a customer uses old data sets from years priors, simply put, the data will be outdated and inaccurate in terms of estimating current projects. Getting by on outdated estimating data will simply not suffice.

1. The Gap:
From the 2017 construction cost data compared to that of 2016, 79% of items changed between -5% and +5%, while 21% of items had a greater than 5% change. So if someone were to use a 2016 data set and a 2017 data set to project costs for the same project, there could be notable variations in the final pricing. When an estimate is inaccurate, someone will end up paying the difference, which could impact the final project.

2. The Stakes:
Cost overruns lead to delays and pricing disputes. Accurate bidding and estimating, however, can lead to trusting, long-term relationships. This is why using current data is essential and a good business practice. On a construction site, tension and disagreements can occur for a variety of reasons. Don’t let pricing accuracy add to the conflict.

3. The Method:
More than 22,000 hours is invested by RSMeans data experts in exhaustive cost research annually. The outcome of this effort is comprehensive data pooled from hundreds of local markets, which in turn is validated through sophisticated algorithms. This detail and precision allow for a national-local approach unmatched in the industry. RSMeans data engineers crosscheck national and local pricing throughout the year to increase accuracy. Multiple price sources for each of the 52,000+ distinct materials researched each year are obtained nationwide. Site-specific factors are further applied to the database.

Of course the market is in constant fluctuation. Accordingly, as more and more time passes, out-of-date data increasingly diverges from the present. More current data equals better data. Keeping up is not only better for you, it’s better for your business, the project, and all those involved.