Date of Award

Summer 6-2-2014

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Civil Engineering (MCE)


Civil, Environmental & Architectural Engineering

First Advisor

Keith Molenaar

Second Advisor

Paul Goodrum

Third Advisor

Matthew Hallowell


Construction estimates are an important part of the construction industry. Both owners and contractors require accurate estimates. Owners of both public and private institutional campuses require accurate estimates to plan resources and efficiently allocate funds. Contractors require accurate estimates to win projects and generate profits. Markup is a factor that estimators apply to certain items, systems, or to the total cost of a bid to cover overhead, profit, and other indirect costs. To understand why contractors markup prices, a two-part questionnaire was established to first explore the price difference on renovation projects and then explore the factors that affect construction markup. A comparison was sought between two location, one a public institutional campus and the other a private institutional campus. This research identifies the benefits of how this pricing and the established factors can help owners, contractors, and consultants alike. Similarly, the research looks at the barriers of the study and how the study can be improved and implemented by others. The results found in this research established two new factors and ranked 19 factors that affect markup. The top five factors established from this research affecting markup on the public institutional campus is: profitability, risk, subcontractor market conditions, market conditions, and need for work. The top five factors established from this research affecting markup on the private institutional campus is: profitability, market conditions, need for work, contractor markup, and complexity of project.