- Project plans
- Project activities
- Legislation and standards
- Industry context
Last edited 14 Dec 2017
Difference between cost plan and budget
A budget is a statement of the amount of money available to spend over a period of time, or on a specific thing, such as a building. The budget is set by the client (although they make seek help to do this). It may include an outline plan for how that money will be spent, and a breakdown of the items it will be spent on. Budgets set a limit for expenditure and this can help determine what is affordable. They should be set as early as possible so that expectations can be managed. It is important that they are based on evidence and that they are realistic, rather than simply stating the amount of money available, or being a wild guess, because, once the budget is set in people's minds, it can be very difficult to change.
For more information see: Budget.
Cost plans are typically prepared by a cost consultant and provide an estimate of what the actual costs are likely to be. Cost plans evolve through the life of the project, developing in detail and accuracy as more information becomes available about the nature of the project. They can range from very early initial cost appraisals through to tender pricing documents and the final account. If the cost plan exceeds the budget, it may be necessary to reduce the cost or scope of the project.
For more information see: Cost plan.
 Find out more
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
- Capital costs for construction projects.
- Construction costs.
- Cost control.
- Cost plans for construction projects.
- Difference between collateral warranties and third party rights.
- Difference between preliminaries and preambles
- Elemental cost plan for design and construction.
- Final account.
- Outturn cost.
- Quantity surveyor.
- Tender pricing document.
Featured articles and news
The first US building to achieve BREEAM Outstanding In-Use.
70 buildings from 70 years of Concrete Quarterly. Book review.
Conserving the iron roof at the Albert Dock.
Delivering an infrastructure revolution.
The admissibility of evidence.
How many can you name? 37 anyone?
CIOB respond to the points-based system.
When is the weather considered 'exceptionally adverse'?
ECA backs call for a rolling programme of rail electrification.
What does 'curtilage' mean and why does it matter?
Our duty to prevent harm and protect each other.