How to Make a Construction Budget in MS Excel?

Budget is one of the prominent requirements when starting a construction project. That is why owners often ask the construction companies or contractors to provide them the right estimates to get the idea of the capital required to pay for the services and the materials. Writing a detailed budget is challenging, but it can be simplified with the fantastic and useful features of an Excel sheet. This software is specifically used to represent vast numbers and calculations that you can insert using some formulas. It works on a serial number basis. For example, if you write Sunday in one cell and drag down the cursor from that particular cell, the other weekdays will appear automatically.

Thus, while using it for budget planning you can calculate and sum the total amount easily only by dragging or applying some simple formulas. This file is also capable of representing charts and tables for the demonstrative representation of the plan. We have given a brief rule description below, following which you can make a construction project budget quickly.

Create a New Workbook

Open MS Excel and click the ‘Budget’ button on the right top of the page or go to the ‘Search’ bar at the top and type the Budget. It will show you a collection of budget templates, choose one that fits your requirement or go at the back page and click on the ‘Blank Workbook’.

Insert Construction Company or Contractor Information

Put the cursor in the first cell of the page and enter the names, addresses and contact details of the construction company or the contractor in different rows. Also, specify the name of the project which can be the name of a building or an apartment. If there is no name yet, you can provide a thorough description of the project by describing the property, such as school, hospital, hotel, to name a few. If you are building or repairing only a part of the property, then cite it for accurate specifications. After that, write the name of the property owner and the property location. If you are using a template, proceed with editing the highlighted word/s and sentence/s. Also, read the unhighlighted ones if they do no suit to your project contract dialogues.

Start Categorizing Details

Once the basic details are added, start categorizing months, weeks, or given construction timeline in each cell-like ‘Jan in A8’, ‘Feb in A9’, etc. Also, add the rate or cost of services and materials at the last column below the timeline row. Fix the columns for recording each outgoing expense. The outgoing expense of a construction project includes some major categories, services, materials, workers, contractors, subcontractors, planners, etc. Specify them all in each cell in a column and sub-categories the services and works that come under them in the next cells of the other column. Also, place the works and tasks under the fixed timeline they are promised to be completed in. Add an estimated cost of every service or material you write in the individual ‘cost’ column cells.

Sum the Costs

Once, all the material and service details are added in the sheet, put the cursor on the first cell of the cost column and drag it down till the last cell with a rate. After this selection, you will get the sum amount required in the project at the bottom of the sheet indicated with “SUM”. Enter the amount in the last cell and write the total in its preceding cell. Write down the total amount you have planned to spend on it in the next row. For example, if the total amount required is written in ‘G34’ then write your investment amount in ‘G37’. Now write ‘Net’ in the first column of ‘G39’ and this particular cell ‘G39’ add the formula ‘=G37-G34’ and press ‘Enter’. It will give you the number that you need more to add to complete the project or the number you can save following the plan strictly in positive ‘+’ or negative ‘-’ result.

When giving costs breakdown, make sure that you calculate accurately, especially for materials and salary. Materials usually come in bulks or pieces, so count them precisely because one less material may jeopardize the estimation, and you may end up paying for it. And depending on the purpose of your budget estimation, your unit cost may be the actual price of the item or a close round off. To calculate the total amount of doubly to avoid any internal mistakes and disputes.

Draw a Representation of the Budget

Lastly, to give the owner an idea of where the percentage of the budget goes to, especially in a complete pre-construction estimation, you can create a graph or pie chart. While it is optional, it can make more sense to your client. They would appreciate you going out to give them more insight into where they are allocating their hard-earned money. Add a chart by selecting the entire plan, click on the ‘Insert’ at the top, go to ‘Recommended Charts’ and choose anyone that better represents your calculations. It will automatically draw all the calculations.

Save the file

Once, you are done making the plan, add a signature line for both the parties involved in the construction contract. Review the plan from top to down one more time to rectify errors and press ‘F12’ or go to ‘File’ at the top and select ‘Save as’. It will show you the save workbook window, write a title for the document, choose a preferred location at the desktop and press ‘enter’ or ‘done to save.

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