In any home project, whether it’s an installation, a renovation or a build of some kind, one of the most important and foundational considerations is the monetary cost of the project, and a great way to get a big-picture estimate of that cost is to use what is called a Rough Order of Magnitude (ROM). So what exactly is an ROM, why is it so important and how is one developed?
Seeing the Big Picture
An ROM is an estimate that tries to quantify the work and cost associated with a given project. It is especially helpful for determining whether a project is worth pursuing (at least in the short term), and it can also help to get the project organized in its earliest stage. Remember that it is by nature an estimate only, so there is typically a wide variance built into an ROM, such as -25% to +75%.
Getting Expectations Right
There’s nothing worse than investing a good chunk of time and money into a project only to find that you’ll be delayed for weeks or months because of financial interruptions or unexpected steps you didn’t think through ahead of time. Having a Rough Order of Magnitude (ROM) will help you avoid these kinds of mistakes and know when you are really clear to start a project so you can finish it properly.
Calculating the Cost
To go about developing an ROM, you’ll want to consider both time and money. Consulting expert advice to inform your data, write out how many hours total the project will take, how many weeks or months it will span, about how much money it will cost and what materials and tools will be needed for the job. And don’t spend an inordinate amount of time on your ROM; remember that it’s just an estimate with a relatively wide variance built-in.
Regardless of what your home project is, it’s a great idea to take the time to write out a Rough Order of Magnitude (ROM) to get a good sense of the big picture and dial in your expectations so you and your family or team can have the best experience possible.