Last edited 05 Jan 2018


The Code of Estimating Practice, seventh edition, published by the Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB) in 2009 suggests the term ‘margin’ refers to:

‘The sum that is required by an organisation, from a project, as a contribution towards its head office overheads and profit.’

Where profit is the money the project makes after accounting for all costs and expenses, and overheads refer to the costs of running the company, often described as head office administrative costs (although in some cases there may also be factory or manufacturing overheads).

Confusingly, profit may also be referred to as a ‘profit margin’. Profit margin is the percentage of the gross revenue that represents profit.

The term ‘mark up’ refers to the sum added to a cost estimate to arrive at a tender sum, including margin, allowances for exceptional risks, and adjustments for commercial matters such as financial charges, cash-flow, opportunities (scope) and competition.

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