From an estimating standpoint, Finishes does not represent a heavy cost area of the overall project cost. However, from the construction standpoint, it is one of the most important. Upon taking possession of the building, the owner cannot see the piles you had to drive in winter conditions while working on unstable ground, or the good quality of work that went into the structure of the building.

The most visible components are those in the finish work: the paint job in the main office area, the carpeting in the executive area, the vinyl flooring in the production area. Therefore, when estimating the finishes for any structure, this is one category that should not be allowed to be "cheapened" to get the job or get back on budget.

Many buildings are built on a "spec" basis, that is, built before they have tenants committed, on pure speculation that someone will lease or purchase the structure or at least part of it.

In this case, the party financing the project may take one of two paths while completing the building. They might seek to attract a client by finishing the building in a handsome, attractive but generic manner, or they may leave the building unfinished, perhaps finishing only the lobby or common areas, if the building warrants it. Either way, finishes are an important part of the overall project, even if they represent a relatively small portion of the whole picture.

Common "Finishes" include:

  • Drywall and plaster construction
  • Tile work
  • Terrazzo
  • Acoustical treatment
  • Flooring
  • Painting and wallcoverings