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A SURVEY OF COST ESTIMATING PRACTICES OF CONSTRUCTION CONTRACTORS

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ABSTRACT

Cost estimating is a key activity in quantity surveying profession and in contractor's organisation. The research work is to investigate into current cost estimation practices of contractors in Akwa Ibom state. The objectives were to identify the techniques used in cost estimating by the construction contractors, identify the causes of inaccuracy in construction contractors cost estimates and determine cost estimating risks influencing construction project estimates. Relevant literature on current cost estimating practices of construction contractors were reviewed and an exploratory field survey was undertaken to examine the objectives of the study. A total of 159 questionnaires were distributed to construction contractors, of which 127 completed questionnaires were returned, representing a 81.41% response rate. The data obtained from field survey was analysed using mean item score. The study shows that group decision making, expert judgment and reserve analysis are the most frequently used technique of construction cost estimating employed by contractor. The major causes of inaccuracy in cost estimating are unforeseen change in prices of materials, Lack of experience on similar project and instability of market condition. The result also shows that the major risk factors in construction cost estimating include variations in labour productivity data, estimator’s deficiency and error in design and specification. The study recommends that construction contractors and estimators should ensure that a frequent market survey are done for material and labour before estimating is done.

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