- Project plans
- Project activities
- Legislation and standards
- Industry context
Last edited 06 Aug 2018
Hard costs v soft costs
Often referred to as 'brick-and-mortar costs', hard costs refer to the cost of physical construction, such as; foundations, superstructure, interior finishes, labourers, equipment, drainage and so on. Hard costs, being 'tangible', tend to be relatively easy to estimate but vary significantly according to the project type. For example, a complex facility such as a hospital will tend to have higher hard costs per square metre than an office building.
- Land costs.
- Off-site costs.
- Loans, accounting fees and interests.
- Insurances, permits and taxes.
- Public relations and advertising costs.
Unlike fixed equipment that is classified as a hard cost, moveable furniture and equipment are classified as soft costs. This includes items such as computer equipment, telephone systems, and so on. Costs that can continue post-completion such as maintenance, security and other up-keep-related fees are also deemed to be soft.
 Find out more
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
Featured articles and news
What should be evaluated to assess building performance?
BIM standards BS 1192:2007+A2:2016 and PAS 1192-2:2013 have been superceded.
What is biophilic design and how can it increase wellbeing?
80 experts come up with the top 7 mistakes the industry makes with BREEAM.
Compliance cannot be verified by inspection on delivery.
Some electric cars have batteries that give a range of over 350 miles.
Assembling, curating, caring for, and designing the future.
A sensitive approach to renovating a building of historic stature.
UK energy policy uncertainty as Welsh project put on hold
What collaborative working achieves and how it can be put in place.
BSRIA publishes the 2019 edition of its small but concise annual databook.
Using QSAND to measure the performance of disaster response.
What U-values are, why they matter and how they are calculated.