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Last edited 16 Oct 2020
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).
A report published in July 2018 by Construction Manager and Commercial Risk Management found a worrying gap between the margins construction professionals think they should be earning and what they actually earn. For example, nearly two-thirds of respondents said they would expect the appropriate profit margin for a main contractor under a design-and-build contract should be above 5%. In fact this is well above the average achieved in the industry.
Jason Farnell, managing director of Commercial Risk Management, said; "The survey responses are communicating clearly that the ratio of risk to reward in contracting is seriously imbalanced – put simply, the margins that contractors may expect to earn from projects is insufficient compensation for the uncertainty and risk exposure they face in delivering them.”
NB: 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.
 Find out more
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
- Code of Estimating Practice.
- Cost overruns.
- Cost planning.
- Head office overheads.
- Profit and overheads on construction projects.
- Project overheads.
- Relevant cost.
- Tender documentation.
- Tender evaluation.
- Tender processes.
- Tender settlement meeting.
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