What should be included in an “estimate?” Based on my personal experience, we provide a detailed estimate for every project. We do our best to include every detail discussed during the visit and when a design is provided, we provide an accurate estimate based on the design. There are times, when we visit, that we determine the renovation is not in the best interest of the client or they have an unrealistic budget. A client does not need an estimate if they have a budget that is half the value of the project or if the renovation doesn’t fit the present or future need of the client. We are honest about this process and discuss priorities for home renovation, expectations of return on investment and how long the client plans to stay in the home. These are factors that determine if a renovation is actually needed. In summary, it is okay to have “free estimates” but it is important to ensure that the estimate actually provides the information required to make an informed decision and affords the confidence that the work will be done as per the estimate. Otherwise it is better to invest a little to ensure you get values, not just “free.” I hope this article has provided some insight into the process of requesting an estimate and how clients and contractors can both have a successful renovation project.

to do the job. We don’t mind good competition on projects, as long as the other contractors provide the same service, have the same standard of care and are fully insured and experienced. The onus of the client to research the contractor and ensure they have the credentials to do the job right. Another benefit to having three contractors visit your home is it allows the client time to interview the contractors before they hire. To be completely honest, when I visit ahome, I am interviewing theclient to see if they are someone I wish to work with. This interview process is often the most important part of the process. You should get a feeling of confidence and comfort with the contractor during the interview. If you don’t, it can be a signal of challenges to come, regardless of how good the price.

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