Remodeling Estimate — What Is it?

Just what is a remodeling estimate? Many people have the perception, that it is the cost of having a room, or several rooms, upgraded or reworked from its present condition. That is only partly true.

An estimate, as defined in the dictionary states: To roughly calculate or judge the value, number, quantity, or extent of.

An estimate is just what it says it is. A rough or general idea of what you can expect to pay for a project. Not the actual project cost, but a close idea of what it will cost.

Don’t ever have work completed, based only, on a remodeling estimate. Here is where unscrupulous, or fly by night contractors will take you to the cleaners. It is only an estimate, and used as a tool to determine approximately, what your actual costs may be. Also to determine the average costs among different contractors.

Before any work begins, the estimate should be followed by a Contract for Work Completed. Or, something similar of that nature. Within that contract should be a copy of the written remodeling estimate, along with statements describing exactly what work is to be done, and materials used.

Also included is usually terms of payment. Upon completion, weekly draw, or other. The start and estimated, (the re’s that word again) completion date. It should be signed and dated. You now have a written and binding contract between the parties.

This way, if problems or unforeseen events happen, (which will sometimes happen) you will be told by your contractor, what your options are, and how much the additional cost will be. There will be no surprises.

Most unlicensed and “fly by night” contractors try to start work with only an estimate. They are not bound to anything, and they want to keep it that way. Always ask for a written and signed, proper work contract. This protects you and the contractor. It guarantees a smooth and less stressful, successful completion of your remodeling project.

Remember, a remodeling estimate is only a rough idea of project costs. A contract will spell out those costs, along with materials used, what to expect if problems arise, and exact costs for the project.

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