This Resource Page from the Whole Buildings Design Guide details how throughout a project's planning, design, and construction phases, cost estimating is employed as one of the main tools of successful cost management. It explains how once an initial budget has been established, it is important to test its assumptions by employing a series of increasingly precise cost estimating techniques that coincide with further development of design and construction details. It offers an understanding of the most common types of estimates, tools for estimating, historical database sources, and formats of estimates
This resource page also explains how although estimating typically is concerned with the initial costs—or first costs—of accomplishing new construction or renovation projects, it also plays a large part in life-cycle costing of design alternatives. It recommends that estimates be provided by a professional estimating firm either as part of the design team, or directly for the owner.