overhead overhead budget overhead expenses overhead costs faq How do I know if a cost should be in my Overhead Budget?

If you don't include this type of expense when you're estimating, it should be in your overhead budget.

There are only 2 ways to recover an expense in your estimates.

  1. It's built into the cost of a line item calculated in your estimates (e.g. 100 labor hours or 1200 sq. feet of pavers)
  2. It's recovered in the price you charge for the items that you estimate (and overhead markup is a part of your price)

So for expenses that you don't include in your estimates, they have to be part of your overhead budget so that they get recovered in the price you charge for your estimated costs.

Common examples include:

  • Building/yard/shop rent
  • Utilities
  • Cell Phone/Internet
  • Software/Computers
  • Office Wages/Salaries
  • Meals + Entertainment
  • Accounting/Professional Fees
  • Advertising
  • Insurance
  • Overhead vehicles (e.g. the owner's truck, a salesperson's vehicle)
  • Small, consumable materials (garbage bags, string line, marking paint)
  • Small tools + equipment
  • ... and many more


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