Determining construction cost per square foot quickly and with a high level of accuracy is difficult however, it is becoming a requirement.
Project costs can be determined quickly by using rules of thumb. Average cost per square foot, or cost per linear foot. These can be great for quick reference and do give a quick number. However, because of the current economic environment the margin of error of these answers is not acceptable.
To get great accuracy contractors can spend a lot of time to get absolutely correct numbers. However this can easily be too time consuming and the return on investment of time just does not pay off.
A great way to handle this conflict of needs, to be both fast and accurate, is to use construction takeoff and estimating software. These programs allow contracts to rapidly work thru project cost estimates yet still retain a very high level of accuracy.
This is possible because the program takes care of the computations. It is these computations that can easily take up most of the time involved in construction project estimating.