Construction Cost Software-Accuracy


Regardless of what we end up doing, your website is a great resource!

I went to the that you link to on your “Getting Started” page on and have a few questions.

Is the cost to build without the "contractor mark-up" what it would cost was an owner/builder?

Also, there are a few of the sections, mainly the siding and roofing where the options (1-6) have things like wood siding or wood shingles, or stucco.

Do you know what category Hardiplank siding would fall in?

And, what category world just plain “good old” asphalt shingles fall in?

Best regards!


Thanks Joyce,

Yes, an owner builder should be able to save the “Contractor Markup” that appears at the bottom of the cost breakdown form generated by the construction estimating software (Cost to Build Calculator) found on my “Getting Started” page.

As for HardiePlank® lap siding (the most popular brand of siding in America), it would most likely be covered under Quality Class 5: Average Standard Stucco or wood siding, some trim or veneer.

And, as for (good old) asphalt shingles which top the list of popular roofing materials in the United States and are the choice of 4 out of 5 homeowners, it should be covered under Quality Class 6: Minimum Standard Simple roof plan with minimum composition tile cover, small open soffit.

I say that these two building products “should be” covered under their respective categories because the process used by any construction estimating software used is not going to be that accurate.

Until you or your contractor(s) start getting actual labor material bids and completing an actual “real time” cost breakdown, any costs generated by any construction estimating software program are going to be at best an “educated guess”.

Good luck with your project,