Should Labor Cost be More than Material Cost? Discussing the Proper Cost Allocation for Construction Companies
Should Labor Cost be More than Material Cost? Discussing the Proper Cost Allocation for Construction Companies

Should Labor Cost be More than Material Cost? Discussing the Proper Cost Allocation for Construction Companies

For construction companies, calculating costs for each project and allocating them properly is one of the most important obligations. After all, charging the right amount to their clients could define the success of their business. However, the question still remains: Should labor cost be more than material cost? It is a topic that has been hotly debated in the industry for years. In this blog post, we will discuss the pros and cons of each option, and what is the best cost allocation strategy for your construction company.

Cost Calculation

First, let’s define the terms and how these costs are calculated. Labor cost refers to the total amount paid to workers for their services, including wages, benefits, and taxes. On the other hand, material cost is the total amount spent on purchasing all the necessary materials for the project, including equipment, tools, and supplies. Both costs have a significant impact on the overall project cost and should be calculated accurately.

Labor Cost VS Material Cost

Now, let’s delve into the argument for why labor cost should be more than material cost. One of the most common reasons is that labor is a higher-value asset compared to materials. Skilled workers with expertise and experience in their field are necessary for successful construction projects. Moreover, quality labor can ensure that the project is completed on time and to the desired level of quality. On the other hand, materials are more easily replaceable and can be sourced from different suppliers.

Funding Allocation

However, there is a strong argument for allocating more funds towards material costs than labor. By doing so, construction companies can reduce the risk of project delays and disruptions. They can also save money on the long run, as investing in durable, high-quality materials means less maintenance and replacement costs in the future. This strategy can also increase safety on the construction site, as investing in high-quality tools and equipment reduces the risk of accidents.

Project Type and Requirements

Another factor to consider is the type of project and its requirements. Certain projects may require a higher investment in labor as they require custom work and personalized attention. Other projects may mainly require high-quality materials, especially those that are exposed to environmental damage or high usage. Therefore, construction companies should consider their clients’ needs and project objectives when deciding on the cost allocation.


After discussing the different perspectives and factors to consider, the answer to whether labor cost should be more than material cost depends on the specific circumstances and objectives of each project. Allocating costs towards labor or materials depends on the type of project, timeline, budget constraints, and desired outcomes. It is important for construction companies to weigh the pros and cons of each option and make informed decisions. By doing so, they can ensure that their projects are completed on time, within budget, and to the expected level of quality, thus strengthening their reputation and success in the industry.