Request a Cost Estimate: 

To request an estimate, please use the online Physical Plant Work Order Request Form

  • If you need to change or update accounting data, please contact our Business Manager, Jen Hale, at or (831) 459 - 5047.
  • If you are unsure who is responsible for supporting your service needs, please contact the Work Order Desk at or (831) 459 - 4444.   

What is a Cost Estimate?

Work Management’s objective when providing a project cost estimate is to deliver an accurate accounting of expected project costs. Typically, the more accurate and detailed the scope of work, the more detailed and accurate the estimate. Work Management will evaluate and include as necessary the following elements into your project estimate:

  • Design/Engineering Requirements
  • Environmental Review
  • Demolition/Hazardous Material Abatement
  • Construction
  • Project Management/Inspections 
  • Other Costs
  • Contingency

Project Management Services are typically estimated as 14% of the project value. This cost can vary dependent upon the project's size, complexity and value. High value, large scale projects that include contracted design services may have lower project management costs similar to the 5-10% project management fee quoted by Physical Planning and Construction (PP&C). Small projects that include in-house design support, in addition to the Project Manager's support, may have a higher fee percentage due to the additional time involved.

Other Costs category may include items such as administrative contracting support, specialized consultant fees, parking/staging fees, UCSC shop support (ex. Lock Shop) and/or any other cost item that does not fit the major category descriptions. Some projects will require services of a consultant to prepare preliminary assessments or conceptual designs before the actual design can begin.

Contingency is assigned to project costs to help cover the cost of unanticipated or hidden requirements realized during the course of the project. Typical contingency assignments are 10%, but can range from 5% to 15% dependent upon project size, type and complexity.

How Much Does an Estimate Cost?

Charges in connection with a rough cost estimate are usually less than $600. However, complex projects or highly detailed estimates can be much higher and typically range from $1,000 to $1,500. 

The Project Manager will provide you with a complete estimate of expected project costs and will explain individual category costs in detail. Any questions regarding project costs should be directed to your assigned Project Manager. Project manager contact info can be found at our Directory Page

Questions regarding the estimating process may be directed to Supervisor of Project Management, Mike Dolder at (831) 459-2754 or

We look forward to working with you.