In Turkey, for the preliminary construction cost estimation, a notice, which is updated and published annually by Turkish Ministry of the Environment and Urbanism, known as "unit area cost method" (UACM) is generally employed. However, it's known that the costs obtained through this method in which only construction area is taken into consideration have significant differences from actual costs. The aim of this study is to compare the cost estimations obtained through "multi layer perceptron" (MLP) and "radial basis function" (RBF), which are commonly used artificial neural network (ANN) methods. The results of MLP and RBF were also compared with the results of UACM and the validity of UACM was interpreted. Dataobtained from 232 public construction projects, which completed between 2003 and 2011 in different regions of Turkey, were reviewed. Consequently, estimated costs obtained from RBF were found to be higher than the actual costs with a 0.28% variance, while the estimated costs obtained from MLP were higher than actual values with a 1.11% variance. The approximate costs obtained from UACM are higher than actual costs with a 28.73% variance. It was found that both ANN methods were showed better performance than the UACM but RBF was superior to MLP.