How Do I Determine My Capital Budget?

The Capital Budget Template provides you with a useful tool for developing the capital budget for your project. When using the Capital Budget Template please note that line items have comments which provide an explanation of the terms, additional guidance and, in some cases, links to our glossary.

The overall capital budget for your project will be determined by a number of variables including:
  • The scope of the project: is it a small renovation or adaptation of an existing property or a large scale adaptive – re-use or new build project?
  • The size of the project
  • The location of your project, which will affect land values and soft and hard development costs
  • The complexity of the selected site and any requirements for land remediation
  • The type of development – a new build project or an adaptive re-use
  • The complexity of the design
  • The quality and complexity of finishes
  • The decision to build in high standards of environmental design
  • The impact of Heritage designation or listing of an existing property


Click here to download template


The broad financial parameters for your proposed development will be established through your feasibility studysite selection and the design/development process and tested through business planning.

By working closely with your local municipality, you will identify how they can help facilitate your development  process and with their help establish what planning and fiscal incentives may be available to you.

The specialist consultants that you hire through the design and development process will play a critical role in establishing a detailed capital budget. A cost consultant or quantity surveyor will estimate a price per square foot to renovate or build new based on the type of use, such as affordable housing, multi-unit dwelling, office, artist studios, galleries or performance space. These costs can be further refined  with investigations into an existing structure or decisions about what parts of the infrastructure can be reused and what will be demolished.

By the time the design development team has achieved 50% of design development, the estimating process transitions from square foot averaging to hard estimates from sub-contractors or trades. These can be further refined along the way, but eventually will be determined by bids during the procurement process once the permit set of plans and specifications have been completed.

When using the Capital Budget Template please note that line items have comments which provide an explanation of the terms, additional guidance and, in some cases, links to our glossary. You will find How Do I Approach the Design Development Process? especially helpful when thinking about “Due Diligence” costs, “Construction” and “Soft” costs.

Please also refer to How Do I Pay for My Project? for information on sources of capital funding.