What makes a great home remodeling estimate?
Article written by Clear Estimates as a guest blogger.
Estimates are the backbone of any remodeling job. It’s the first interaction had with a customer, and it’s the framework for financial commitment between both parties. NJ Home Remodeling Estimates should always be upfront, inviting and completely transparent regarding the work involved. Some estimates may take weeks to complete after multiple back and forths, while others can be drawn up in a few minutes. Estimates are important to both parties as a contractor needs to price correctly, and a customer needs to understand what’s within their budget. Estimates are also a great way to outline scopes of work, understanding what is and is not included.
The First Interaction
An estimate is typically the first interaction between customer and contractor. It’s important to completely understand the customer’s wants and needs and to draft an estimate accordingly. It sounds simple, I know, and there are likely many revisions to occur. Different qualities of items, stone vs plastic, import vs local, engineered vs handcrafted. All can lead to quite a bit of back and forth. This is a crucial phase for the estimator to get right. Your customer has faith in you to work with them in finding the right material for their budget. More importantly, though, they have faith in you to bring their vision to light! It’s about finding that sweet spot between quality and price, ensuring that the scope of work meets the customer’s needs.
Transparency and scope of work
Does the estimate cover the entire scope of work? This is an important aspect between contractor and customer. Be sure that both parties are on the same page, as you don’t want any disputes later on over expected work. An estimate with great transparency is how you can accomplish this. Be sure that your estimate has a complete itemized breakdown, outlining the scope of work in its entirety. Be sure to also include any kind of legal language necessary. You want to make sure that both parties are aware of the ramifications if the contract is broken or not completed. Since there are no such things as “general legal language” for something like this, be sure to consult with a local attorney that specializes in contracts.
In the image below, you’ll see that the contractor has completely outlined the scope of work. Each item carries a sentence of text previewing what the task is and how much of it is being done. A categorized breakdown is typical, in the order that the scope of work should be performed.
Home Owner & Contractor Personalization
Make sure your estimate has a personal touch. Not only for the contractor, but also for the homeowner. This is your opportunity to stand out from the competition. How are you different, what sets you apart? Be sure that your estimate has a company logo and even a few pictures related to the customer’s home or materials that might be used. Take it to another level and include past reviews, links to your Houzz and Home Advisor profiles. The more you can show your previous work, the more trust a potential customer might have in you and the work you do.
Home Remodeling Contractors Professionalism
How is your estimate drafted? If it’s transparent and personal but drafted on a piece of paper, you’re going to lose some legitimacy. A great estimate is computer generated and formatted consistently throughout. This gives the customer an easy to read and easy to understand professional format.
Estimate Presentation For Home Remodeling
After you’ve done all that work to make sure the estimate is transparent, personal and professional, how do deliver it to your customer? If you’re drafting back and forth, email may be the best option. It allows for flexibility and for both parties to make revisions in the quickest fashion. In the final stages, though, you may consider an in-person meeting. This is a great time to discuss the estimate, making sure both parties understand the estimate and scope of work (transparency), discuss job timeline and most importantly, solidify the relationship between both parties. Be sure that the final version of the estimate includes room for a signature, and outlines the total cost agreed upon. If a payment schedule is in place, be sure that is included as well.
About Clear Estimates
Clear Estimates is an easy-to-use program that allows you to quickly determine a project’s cost in a variety of fashions, manage and customize a part library, maintain a customer and project database, produce several types of reports and proposals, process change orders, integrate with Quickbooks Pro (c), and update price information in the part library through an automated price updating service. Price updating services provided by RemodelMAX cost books quarterly for 400 regions in the U.S.