How to Estimate Building Materials for Your Home Construction?

How to Estimate Building Materials for Your Home Construction?

If you plan to build your own home but have a strict budget to follow, then estimating the overall construction cost should be your priority. In the overall construction cost, one of the most complex, meticulous, and will probably consume almost sixty percent (60%) of your budget is the materials needed to complete your home construction project. If you want to have at least an idea of how much materials your project may use, read this guide on how to estimate building materials for your home construction.

Quality Over Quantity

Quality over Quantity

Knowing at least the estimate of the overall building materials for your home construction will definitely help you organize your budget. One basic factor that will, without a doubt, affect your budget is the material cost.

The cost of each construction material usually varies and depends on its brand, quality, and location. However, you have to keep in mind that lowering your quality option to accommodate the needed quantity of the materials needed is a very bad idea. If you want to have a quality house, choose quality materials. Adjust your budget to accommodate the quality of each material if you want to live in your house with no worries of any damage or defects in the long run.

Grasp the Basics of Estimating Building Materials

Grasp the Basics of Estimating Building Materials

The most common, easy, and used by many so far is the Unit Cost Estimation. Although this might not provide you with an accurate estimation, you will have at least a reliable idea with the estimate on the building materials for your home construction. In Unit Cost Estimation, you will simply get the single unit cost and multiply that with the area where the materials are going to be needed.

Another factor that you need to know when estimating the cost of your building materials is that their price usually fluctuates. Thus, you need to be updated on the latest price of the materials you chose for your home construction. Once you have accomplished estimating the materials cost, it is now time for you to estimate the quantity of the building materials that you will need.

Estimating the Quantity of the Building Materials

We now come on how to estimate the building materials for your home construction. Estimating the needed quantity of the building materials can be very complex. This is the reason why most homeowners prefer consulting a professional in this matter. Estimating building materials requires a lengthy process which normally necessitates specific skills related to annual estimation, proper automation, and software knowledge. So, forgive yourself if there is a big difference between your estimates and the actual quantity of the materials used. To help you with a reliable outcome, here are some tips on how to estimate the quantity of building materials in your home.

First, you have to take note that raw materials are generally categorized in two (2), the natural and the synthetic.  Also, the biggest factor that will affect the quantity of the building materials in your home construction is the build-up area. Simply put, the size of your house will matter the most. To start with, you have to begin with the base and outer layer of your house. Generally speaking, the materials used for the base of your house are cement, sand, aggregates, steel bars, bricks, lumber, paints and finishes, and tiles or marble or granite.

For cement, the usually estimated quantity is 0.4 cement bags per square foot. Cement is one of the essential ingredients in preparing concrete structures. Suppose blended well with the correct amount of sand, aggregates, and waters, the quality of your cement and its durability increases.

For sand, an estimated 1.8 cubic feet is enough for a square-foot. So, if the area of your house is one thousand square feet (1000 sq. ft.), then you are going to need an estimate of one thousand eight hundred cubic feet (1800cb.ft.). The sand’s quality is usually determined if it is well-graded and is free from any slits or other organic matter.

For aggregates, an estimate of 1.35 cubic feet is needed to fully fill a square foot. Thus, for an area with 1000 sq. ft., the required aggregates will be 1350 cubic feet. Aggregates are also an essential ingredient in concrete structures. When buying this material, make sure that they are clean and dense.

Steel bars are used to reinforce cement concrete and are available in different grade types. In estimating the required steel bars, you are going to need an estimate of 2.1 kilograms for each square foot. This means that you are going to need an estimate of 2100 kg in a 1000 sq. ft. area.


Bricks are regularly needed in masonry construction, and they usually vary in size. If you have a nine-inch (9”) wall construction, one of the most used and common sizes is nine by four by three-inch (9x4x3”). For a 1000 square feet area, the estimated number of bricks needed ranges from at least 25,000 to 34,000 bricks.

For other materials, such as lumber, which is used for framing walls, you will have to measure the length of the walls to know the estimated size and number of lumber required. For paints, you will have to consider its two types, which are the interior and exterior paints. It should be durable, highly resistant to climatic conditions, and a hundred percent waterproof. An estimate of 0.4 liters is usually required for every square foot of your house walls.

On the other hand, the estimated number of tiles which are commonly used for flooring will depend on its size and, of course, the build-up area. So if you have a two by two feet size of tile, you are going to need at least eighty (80) to one hundred (100) tiles for a 1000 sq. ft. In addition to this, you also need to include other materials in your lists, such as those needed in wall sheathing, items for plumbing, roofing, electrical system, and bathroom accessories.


The materials mentioned in this article are only those of the utmost importance to have a reliable estimate of building materials needed for your home construction. You have to remember that you should also include some of the accessory materials to complete your home. Try preparing a checklist so that you will have nothing to miss and everything is recorded. Lastly, once all the materials are bought, ordered, and delivered, it is also better if you have an inventory of all your building materials.

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