Consumers typically get estimates for projects. Most of these are some type of construction project. For instance, renovations, painting, window replacement, roof installation, and so on. Almost any company engaging in this type of work provides estimates to clients before contracts and work begin. Most clients get more than one estimate on a project before deciding on a company to hire.
What is a Professional Estimate?
An estimate is an explanation of costs to a potential client. An important fact to note is that estimates are not contracts. They do not commit either party to the job or the cost. Potential clients expect estimates to be fairly accurate. There are different types of estimates. For instance, the first estimate given may be over the phone or by email. This may be a ballpark estimate, because the information is limited, and the contractor can’t see the actual site.
If the potential client likes what they hear, they may decide to go a step further. In this case the contractor will gather more information and may provide an estimate based on square footage. This is usually based on industry standards. An assembly estimate breaks down the calculations even further and takes into consideration each component, such as flooring, foundations, roofing, and so on.
The final estimate is one in which both parties may make a commitment. This estimate is the most accurate and is broken down into a great amount of detail in terms of cost to the client.
Clients ask for bids on projects in order to see which company has the best offer. This doesn’t mean that a client will always go with the lowest bid. The choice normally takes into a variety of factors such as time, price, and quality of materials to be used.
What to Look for in an Estimate
When looking over an estimate for a job, there are several factors to take into consideration before making a final decision or signing a contract. First, look at the outline of the project, and take note of who is responsible for each part of the job. Secondly, for most people, time is of the essence, so be sure to look at the start date and the time until expected completion. If you are on a deadline, it’s important to pay attention to the completion date.
The terms of payment are extremely important and can vary from contractor to contractor. If there are any discrepancies or disagreements about the terms of payment, these should be addressed before work even begins.
Depending on the project you are hiring out, you may need permits. The estimate should include the permits needed and the cost of the permits. Lastly, hiring certified, trained professionals is important. Be sure the contractor is licensed and carries liability insurance and bonding. Understanding what to look for in an estimate is crucial to choosing the right contractor for your project. Take your time, and look each one over thoroughly before making a decision when it comes to your project.
Marc Poulos began his real estate and financial services career, but he soon realized that his true passion was beautifying homes. He started working with various small craftsman shops before serving an apprenticeship with the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Chicago. His commitment to excellence won him Top Apprentice from Washburne trade school in Chicago – the country’s premier school of its kind.