Planning for 2022: How to Create an Accurate Project Budget

With the new year quickly approaching, we’re well into budget season, and your team has most likely started planning your yearly budget. Financial Institutions are pros at assisting their customers and members with budgeting. But when it comes to creating a budget from scratch for a project that involves architecture, construction, and so much more – it becomes a bit more complex.

It can be challenging to configure the precise amount you need to reasonably budget for your project. If you underestimate what’s required, you’ll end up over budget. On the other side, if you overestimate, there’s a possibility the project will get rejected by your stakeholders. The unknown can also pose a challenge — we don’t want to be caught off guard by any surprises during the project, especially if it means asking for more money.

So how do you create a proper project budget, and what should it cover? Here is our tried and true method to creating an accurate project budget.


Determining the Cost

There are a lot of variables to consider before compiling your budget. The goal is to be as realistic as possible with estimating, so it’s crucial to have certain things already in place before.


Identify the Scope of Work

First, we’ll determine the type of project and what your objectives are. Is it a new ground-up, a renovation to an existing space, or a more extensive project for an operations/headquarters?


Square Footage

The size of your project will directly impact your budget. Here is where we will identify how much space you need and how to optimize it for effectiveness.


Grade of Finishes & Textiles

Depending on the condition of the interior and your scope of work, we’ll factor in the quality of your desired finishes and textiles. We’ll consider everything from the color palette, flooring, lighting, ceiling, office fronts, exterior materials, and design enhancements. We recommend basing your decisions on your overall vision for the project and the type of branch experience you are going for.


Technology & Equipment Upgrades

In banking today, it’s crucial to have the right technology to set your customers/members and employees up for success. If you haven’t already adopted self-service channels at your branch, you can upgrade to ITMs (Interactive Teller Machines) or tablets. We’ll help you determine if you need cash recyclers, tablets, digital signage, and drive-up equipment.


Building the Budget

Once we’ve determined the scope of work and everything you need to include, now we can build the project budget from top to bottom. Not only will we research the industry’s pricing for products and services, but we’ll also work with our strategic partners to obtain accurate pricing for your specific project.



With our extensive history in budgeting projects of all types and sizes, we’ve learned that project cost control isn’t achieved through one singular process. It starts with creating a proper budget, detailed architectural plans, and diligent construction management throughout the entire project. We’ll listen to you and develop one plan to carry your project from your vision all the way to the grand opening.