We draw buildings provide building estimates for Homeowner Clients and Contractors.

Building Estimates For Homeowner Clients

Estimates – If you already have plans drawn up, we provide estimates for building work. See the different methods below to choose which level of detail you prefer. In many cases, a cost per m2 is sufficient. We can split estimates into materials and labour, architecture and interiors and trades. Alternatively, contact us for assistance.

If you do not have plans drawn up, we can still help. We can cost a sketch based on some basic dimensions. This is an inexpensive way to get size your project according to your budget.

View some example building estimates at the bottom of this page. Every estimate is slightly different. Call to discuss what you need.

Visit the contact page

Building Estimates For Contractors

We produce building estimates in a number of ways, according to your needs. This takes the pressure off the admin side to keep your business running smoothly. This allows you to concentrate on the building work. Read on to see the different types of estimate we produce, or contact us.

Visit the contact page

Area Take-off

The Area Takeoff usually drives the quotation. It lists out the areas, perimeters and lengths. These multiply up to give the amounts of materials and labour. We perform the area take-off using Autocad, or if you provide a paper plan we can use a scale rule. Some customers only need an area take-off from us, so they can assign their own costs and create their own estimate.

Which Building Estimate?

There are different methods to create estimates, shown below. The first one is a method you already use. Just tell us how you do your calculations. Next we have other methods. The simplest is based on the area per m2 multiplied by a price per m2. We use this in methods 2 & 3 below. The most complex and detailed estimate we provide is method 4 below – the full elemental method. It splits the estimate into trades and goes through each material assigning a labour cost to the task. This creates a very thorough report of roughly 25 pages. This is not necessary for most small building work, in fact methods 1 & 2 are our most popular.

Method 1 – Your Method

You may have a method for creating your quotations which you are happy with. If you would like us to calculate it your way each time, explain your calculation to us and we can pick it up. Our estimates are tailored to each builder and we don’t impose new calculations upon contractors who already have their own tried and tested ways of doing things. We can save you time by preparing the area take-off (if needed) and do the quotes for you while you work. This means we can help you line up a continual stream of work by preparing all your quotations in advance.

What we need from you:







Company Name

Your Name / Main Contact

Phone Number(s)

Email Address


Client Name


Site Address (if different)

Project Description (eg. single storey rear extension)

Method 2 – Square Metreage Calculation

The simplest estimating method we use is based on square metreage from the floor plans. Once we have the area take-off we multiply it by a factor which gives a price. An example is for a full build extension. We receive the plans and accurately measure the floor plan to obtain a square metreage. Tell us what you would like it multiplying by – for example £1500 per m2 for an average specification. This can go up or down according to the client’s desired outcome, project location, or how much you would like to do the job for.

1) Extension – Full Build – Square Metreage Calculation

For this we would receive the plans and carry out the area take-off. As described above, we would then multiply it by (for example) 1500 to create a figure for the entire build.

2) Extension – Full Build – Square Metreage Calculation – split into trades

From analysing a number of previous full build estimates we can use the square metreage result above in example 1. We divide it into architecture and interiors and then into a number of stages for the build.

3) Specialist Trades

Using the above information derived from square metreages we can highlight a specific trade and remove all the others. This will give an overall likely cost for that trade.

4) Materials & Labour

Once we have the square metreages, we can show the ratio between materials and labour. Like all costs, these fluctuate and are open to negotiation per builder and per estimate. This can add useful detail to your estimate totals, as many clients appreciate the detail.

5) Labour Only

Using the square metreage calculation, we can use the ratio above to split into materials and labour, and then omit the materials from the quotation. This is good for people who just want to quote for their work where materials will be provided by the client.

6) Materials Only

Likewise, we can omit the labour and just provide a figure for the likely materials costs. This works better for larger items such as brickwork – for smaller trades it is better to use the “shopping list” method known as the elemental building estimate.

Method 3 – Simplified Elemental

These estimates are more detailed than the first method as they are derived from the more complex elemental method (method 3 below). We have reviewed the elemental information we hold and simplified it into main tasks. This makes the end result shorter than the full elemental. They are aimed at particular trades rather than full build.


1) Brick / Block Estimate – Simplified Elemental

A bricklayer may have a job where he is required to dig the foundations, reduce the levels for a concrete slab, pour the foundations and build up to DPC, pour the slab, then build up to the roof. This estimate bundles all the materials (elements as in method 3) required for those tasks, and splits labour & materials for each task. It is presented more concisely than method 4.

Method 4 – Full Elemental

This method is very in-depth and lists each material or labour element separately. It is sometimes known as a Bill of Quantities. We have used historic information, as well as talking to builders and finding prices from the internet, and we are open to input from builders to get their quotes right for them. This estimate requires much deeper analysis of the plans, so the area take-off takes much longer. Each measurement is input into the correct cell in the spreadsheet, creating the costs for labour and materials. Once the costs have been calculated a number of additional costs are added, such as Profit, Overheads and Contingencies to give an overall total.

Enquire about Building Estimates

Call the office on 0113 318 3078 or 07772 750 855, email or send a message via the contact page.

Full Build Estimate for 2 storey extension based on cost / m2 at £1650 per m2

Building Estimate for a 2 Storey Extension – Brick and Block – Labour Only:

Area Takeoff for 3 Storey Apartments – Decoration:

(Provided in metric and imperial measurements)