Every project needs an accurate budget. Regardless of the size or scope of the project, a valid cost estimate can successfully establish an accurate project budget from an early stage and allow your organization to appropriately benchmark that budget throughout the course of a project. In order to be sure your estimate is valid, the estimator must have an understanding of multiple aspects of the specific job that will impact its cost. These aspects include but are not limited to labor, materials, location, schedule, and site conditions. 

Your cost estimator should have the unique ability to price various options within the project in order to recommend the best path forward based on the schedule and cost impacts. It is also imperative that the estimator possesses an understanding of market trends including escalation and tariffs. Using these benchmarks, it is the cost estimator’s role to provide insights into future or potential unforeseen costs that could impact your project.

Having an independent cost estimator engaged before the design has been completed allows the project team to make key decisions based on informed and detailed analysis.

Catherine Duffy, PE, DBIA

Catherine Duffy brings a unique vantage point to her clients throughout a project or rollout initiative life cycle. As a Professional Engineer, specializing in cost estimating, Catherine has served as the lead estimator for some of the largest construction management companies in the country and prides herself on her ability to provide accurate, detailed estimates which limit risks for her clients. As a Director at Watchdog, Catherine has served as the single point of contact and account manager for Compass, as the organization undergoes its nationwide rollout of over 100 locations.