The basics of an estimate
Once you've had a face to face meeting and agree to the next best steps forward in completing your project, an estimate will have to be made. Completing an estimate takes time, and in most cases a fee will apply. Why? Because accuracy, even at this preliminary stage, can reveal to a client that their budget may not be realistic, or the timelines involved are unsuitable. But don't dismiss the hours required for a contractor to assemble an estimate - it takes more time than you think!
Unscrupulous clients may have no intention of hiring a contractor at all, and are just harvesting ideas and material lists. Even if a contractor is providing this information for free, it consumes time he could be spending on the job-site.
References and what you'll get
Of course, an estimate does not indicate quality of workmanship. Upon request, Richard Northey Custom Carpentry will provide a list of references that relate to your project. Check them! We encourage you to look at past projects and talk to property owners who have worked with us.
We will make sure of the following:
- That the estimate/proposal accurately reflects what you want
- That timelines and budgets are realistic
- That any additional information, necessary to a final quote, is readily available
The second meeting
For the second meeting or follow-up phone call:
- Check the references that were provided
- Feel free to make comments about what you like and dislike in the estimate/proposal
- Be prepared to talk frankly about timelines and budgets