Government Affairs

Our mission is to influence public policy to protect CEDIA members, the electronics industry and consumers.

Workforce Development

The future of smart home technology depends not only on the technology, but on the people who are desigining and installing it. 

Standards & Best Practices

CEDIA is committed to producing ANSI accredited standards and best practices that ensure professionalism in the industry. 

Design & Build Outreach

The CEDIA Outreach Instructor (COI) program enables members to provide continuing education to their local industry partners. 

Market Intelligence

Improve your business through knowledge of the latest trends statistics in the smart home industry.

Events Calendar

Search the CEDIA Calendar to locate all the up and coming events, training, including boot camps, workshops and more. 

Tech + Business Summits

Introducing the new and improved CEDIA Tech + Business Summits—the latest in innovative new technology and world-class, business- and tech-centric education to help you achieve your goals.


CEDIA Expo brings together home tech pros and exhibitors to the leading global event for smart home technology. 

Integrated Systems Europe

ISE showcases the world's leading technology innovators and solutions providers of four days of inspiring conferences. 

Smart Home Awards

CEDIA's Smart Home Awards programs recognises the top projects, products and individuals in the smart home technology industry. 

CEDIA Academy

The CEDIA Academy is the leading online learning portal for all your home technology integration learning.

In-Person Training

Elevate your expertise in smart home technology with our in-person training sessions. Gain hands-on experience and practical knowledge.


CEDIA Certification is a set of credentials that reflect defined areas of knowledge in the Smart Home Technology industry. Certifications are held by the individual; you earn the certification, and you carry it with you as you continue your career.

White Papers

CEDIA white papers dive deep into applications, recommendations, and advice on a wide range of topics: from software and hardware to best practices, standards, and formats.

Tech + Business Summits

The CEDIA Tech + Business Summits are one-day events showcasing upcoming technology and future trends in the smart home industry.

Cost Estimating: Bottom-Up vs. Top-Down

Generating revenue is the light at the end of the project's tunnel, but one of the first steps toward profit is accurate cost estimating.

Creating a proper cost estimate involves detailing every expenditure you expect to make throughout the duration of a project. Compiling this information will help you charge your client enough to make a profit on the job and will also guide you in keeping the project within budget.

Generally, there are two styles of estimating used in home technology installations: bottom-up and top-down. Each entails accounting for each item and labour cost, but there are particular projects and instances where one may be better than the other. It's important to know which method of estimating is best applied depending on the situation.

Bottom Up Cost Estimation

In the bottom-up style of cost estimating, project managers tally their costs upward, starting at the bottom and accounting for each expected cost. In sum, the total costs should equal the finished project. While bottom up is a basic method of estimating, the benefit is that it's the most accurate means of estimating a project's total cost. Accuracy is achieved just through the process of starting at the very foundation of a project and working your way up through each cost on the project work breakdown structure.

However, because of the effort needed to detail each and every possible expense – labour, equipment, indirect, direct – using the bottom-up approach is time-consuming. Thus, streamlined and efficient processes are critical in bottom-up estimating, like using standardised work packages and formalised structures.

Bottom-up cost estimating – because of its accuracy – is best applied in large, multifaceted projects. Reining in costs and keeping to a budget is usually critically important in such projects, and bottom-up estimating allows you to work in just that manner.

Top Down Cost Estimation

The top-down estimation approach starts with identifying every major aspect to the project. In home technology installations, you will typically start with the components and features of the job. Then, you will create different labour categories that apply to each task. The cost of the project is measured by estimating how much labour will go into each piece of the job. The set cost of the labour category is multiplied by each relevant task.

The top-down approach requires a history and knowledge of project pricing to accurately estimate. Smaller-scale installations are commonly the best environment for top-down estimating.

Bottom Up vs Top Down

While there is no inherent differentiator or drawback, each method of estimating has its own benefits in certain elements and situations. It's up to you, as the project manager, to know the best method for the best outcome.

Get CEDIA Certified in Project Management

To learn more about how Project Managers operate in smart home installations, and how to deliver projects within budget, enroll for our Project Management Course.

Project Mangement