Budgets 101…Accuracy, Timing, and Frequency

While the Programmatic Needs of an organization should drive the project, the parameters of the Budget are a key component…and cannot be ignored or overlooked at any time in the journey.

  • The Owner’s budget, if known, should be discussed very early in the discovery process.

The Budgets from the Construction Professionals should become more and more accurate as the journey continues, and the “picture” of the project takes more shape with more details:

  • After the first sketch, a “ballpark” budget, based on square footage data, can be compiled.
  • After the final sketch and scope of work is created, a much more accurate budget can be calculated. This should not be based on square footage data, but an estimator’s “take off” of the sketches with the assigned materials and finishes, with allowances as required.
  • This budget is now the benchmark for:
    • fundraising
    • obtaining a loan
    • construction documents
    • organization’s approval to proceed.


This final budget from master planning is the basis for many decisions…it should be the most accurate, current data possible based on this specific project.

As the project then proceeds with Construction Documents, any “Scope Creep” can be identified with its impact to the last budget.  If all goes according to plan, the final bid amount will be no surprise to anyone…and construction can begin.


Click Here to learn more about our Master Planning Process and how Programming is used to evaluate your needs and keep the focus on your vision.  Contact Rick Lown at 717-581-9913 to learn more about how Horst can bring your vision to reality.

How Was This Article?(Required)