Estimating the Cost of Your Animal Shelter
Numerous sources provide methods of arriving at a “ballpark” cost for your proposed shelter. While no formula substitutes for a fully developed feasibility and programming study, we think the approach outlined in Animals in Print – The Online Newsletter provides a reasonably sound means of developing a rough estimate of the size and potential cost of your facility.
Building costs vary from year to year and from region to region; as a general rule, they rise consistently within a healthy economy and overall building market. This makes it difficult to develop a highly accurate construction cost at the outset of a shelter project -- indeed, any project -- but once the scope of the project is clear and the site has been selected, you can create reasonable working estimates.
One important step is making sure that you consider not only the construction costs, but the the full range of project costs, These include:
- Cost of land
- Legal fees
- Cost of feasibility study
- Architectural and engineering fees (usually 8-10% of construction costs)
- Permits and application fees
- Site work
- Building construction
- Builder's risk insurance
- Financing fees
- Interest during the construction period
These figures tend to vary somewhat from project to project, but they represent a reasonable assumption of construction cost allocation. There should always be included a planned contingency allowance of at least 10% of the construction cost to account for changing market costs and potentially unforeseen items usually associated with site work.
Overall, this methodology provides you with reasonable preliminary cost estimate for your facility -- a step that will allow you to consider the details required to begin planning the facility.