Difference Between Hard Cost and Soft Cost
Hard costs refer to those costs which are directly related with the construction of the building or incurred for its development, whereas, Soft Costs refers to those costs which are not related directly related i.e., they are indirectly related with the construction of the building or its development.
Cost is of different types and categorization, and every industry has a different name given to a particular cost. Although some cost more or less remains the same and it is generally considered to be of the same nature within all sectors and industries. However, in real estate, when we talk about construction companies or developers, there is a specific name given to costs, which is a hard cost and soft cost.
These two types of costs are used widely in the construction industry. The developers and builders are often keen to know which types of cost is being incurred in the construction projects.
Hard Cost vs. Soft Cost Infographics
Key Differences Between Hard Cost and Soft Cost
- Hard Cost is those kinds of cost, which is directly related to the construction of a project in the real estate industry. Cost like raw material, direct labor, which is resulting in the construction of a building and is increasing the percentage of completion of a project comes under hard cost. Soft cost, on the other hand, is not directly related to the physical construction of a building and is not contributing to the construction of a building. These are an ancillary cost that is indirectly related to the construction of a building.
- Hard cost often refers to as brick and motor cost encompassing the actual physical construction of a real estate development project. These costs generally cover the labor and material cost. Soft cost, on the other hand, is less obvious than hard cost as it encompasses anything and everything which is not directly related to the physical development of a building.
- A significant distinction between hard cost and the soft cost is that hard costs don’t incur once the project completes. Whereas, on the other hand, the soft cost may or may not continue to incur even after the project completion and delivery. For example, there is a legal case going on the project even after the completion of the project. Hence, the company needs to incur legal and litigation fees on the project even after the project completion.
- Examples of HC are raw material, labor, fixed equipment, which often classify as hard costs. Examples of SC are legal fees, off-site cost, indirect labor, moveable equipment’s which usually classify as soft cost. Other examples of hard costs are foundation cost, interior finish, etc.
Now, let’s take a look at the Hard Cost vs. Soft Cost comparison table.
|Hard Cost||Soft Cost|
|It is directly related to the production and the development of a building.||It is an indirect costIndirect cost is the cost that cannot be directly attributed to the production. These are the necessary expenditures and can be fixed or variable in nature like the office expenses, administration, sales promotion expense, etc.Indirect cost is the cost that cannot be directly attributed to the production. These are the necessary expenditures and can be fixed or variable in nature like the office expenses, administration, sales promotion expense, etc. and is not directly related to the physical production of the building or the construction project.|
|It is relatively easy to estimate as the cost is as and when incurred and is easy to forecast, depending on the progress of the project.||It is not easily quantifiable and is not easy to forecast, as it may continue even after the project has been completed and delivered.|
|It is generally tangible, and the company needs to acquire assets and other resources to complete the construction project.||It is generally intangible and can be incurred on behalf of the client or otherwise. As it is not easy to estimate|
|Raw material, brick, and motor, construction material direct labor are some examples of hard costs and are completed and not incurred when the project been completed or even before the project has been initiated. These costs are incurred only during the project is in the construction stage.||Insurance Cost, legal cost, Set-up cost are few and is generally incurred even before the project has been initiated and started|
This article has been a guide to Hard Cost vs. Soft Cost. Here we discuss its top 4 differences along with infographics and comparison table. You may also have a look at the following articles –