How to Create a Construction Budget Template in Excel
Pro Tips

How to Create a Construction Budget Template in Excel

BuildBook Team
May 9, 2022
July 27, 2023

Step-by-step instructions on how to create a construction budget sheet with a free template in Excel

If you need a quick and easy way to create a basic budget worksheet for managing the finances of your construction project, starting from a template in Microsoft Excel is a great option.

If you don’t have Excel on your computer, you can still access the online version for free with a Microsoft account. If you would prefer to use Google Sheets instead, check out our other guide on how to create a construction budget template in Google Sheets

While the Excel template library doesn’t offer a very robust budget template for construction, they do offer a bathroom remodel cost calculator that can be used as a great starting point.  

If you’d prefer to start with a project budget template that was built specifically for construction, watch the video below and download the free construction budget template we've created.

Before digging in further, if you’d like to learn more about construction budgets, estimating vs. bidding projects, cost codes, cost categories, and much more check out everything you need to know about construction budgets

To get started creating your construction budget from an existing template in Excel online, just follow the step-by-step instructions and images below:

Creating a construction budget in Excel

  1. Click here to access the Bathroom remodel cost calculator for Excel. You’ll need to log in or create a free Microsoft account to get started.
  2. Click the ‘Open in browser’ button to get started. 
  1. We’re going to begin by adding a new sheet and naming it “Inputs”.
construction project input list
  1. Next, in cell ‘A1’ type “Cost Categories” and in cell ‘B1’ type “Line Items”. Fill in each of these columns with the individual categories and items relevant to your company and projects. 
construction cost category list
  1. Now, navigate back to the first tab to start modifying the budget worksheet beginning by clicking on cell ‘B5’ and opening the data menu to select data validation.

  2. With the data validation window open, select “list” from the ‘Allow’ dropdown, click in the ‘source’ input and navigate to your inputs tab. Next, highlight the first category in your Cost Category list and drag to highlight all of the categories below.
construction budget line item list
  1. Back on the budget worksheet tab, click on bottom right corner of cell ‘B5’ and drag it down to cell ‘B20’.

  2. To finalize this modification, click on cell B4 and rename it “Cost Category”.

  3. Starting in cell C5 repeat steps 5 through 8 to create a line item column. Your construction budget worksheet should now look similar to the image below.
construction costs worksheet
  1. Next, we’re going to delete some of the unnecessary rows and columns.
  • Highlight and delete rows 23 and 24.
  • Highlight and delete columns F and G.
  • Rename cell E4 “Unit Cost”
  1. To get the budget worksheet back in working order, we need to add the following formula in cell G5:


    Once in place, drag cell G5 down to G20 in order to copy the formula to all of the following rows.

  2. To clear the existing formula from the “Estimated” Column, just replace the value in cell F5 with 0 and drag the cell down to cell F20.

  3. Your construction budget worksheet is now ready for you to begin customizing for your project.

    Use the dropdown menus to choose the cost category and line item for each row. Specify the unit quantity, cost per unit (i.e. each, sq/ft, hourly, etc.), and estimated cost.
construction budget example
  1. As you complete each row of your budget, the total is being calculated for each column on row 20, with cell H21 indicating whether your project is on budget or not.
construction budget over budget

Hopefully you found this construction budget tutorial helpful and easy to follow. If you’d prefer to skip the steps above and create a project budget using a template that is already complete and loaded with cost categories, line items, graphs, and print-ready summaries, simply download our free construction budget template

construction cost summary graphs

Using construction budget software

Better yet, sign up for a free 10-day trial of BuildBook and use one of our construction project templates to start your project with a budget already in place. You can create a stress-free construction budget in less time than it takes to open up Excel.

construction budget software


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