Home Remodeling Bid Versus Home Remodeling Estimate

August 16th 2013

Home Remodeling Bid Versus Home Remodeling Estimate

What’s the Difference Between a Remodeling Bid and a Remodeling Estimate?

The words “bid” and “estimate” are used interchangeably; even by those who should know better…remodeling contractors. It stands to reason then why homeowners ask for a remodel bid when they really want a remodel estimate and vice versa. Understanding the difference between the two will save you some serious money and frustration.

Let’s start with a remodeling estimate. By definition, an estimate is an approximate calculation or judgment of the value, number, quantity or extent of something. In other words, an estimate is a guess. In this case, the remodeling contractor is making a guess (albeit an educated one) on the cost of your remodeling project.  Use a remodel estimate as a guideline for comparing contractors’ costs, but never hire one based on the numbers alone. Estimates can be half of what the actual bid is.

Say you get three estimates and narrow down your choice of contractor from there. Don’t give the thumbs up for the work to begin just yet. Now it’s time to move to the next step… the remodeling bid. A bid is, again by definition, an offer of a certain price for something and stipulates how much the buyer will pay for a product or service. This is where how much you’ll invest in hopes of a successful remodeling project becomes real. A remodel bid is (or should be) extremely detailed and lists everything (and the cost) that the contractor will do and install to complete the project.

Another difference between bids and estimates is that remodeling contractors offer estimates free, but charge a fee for bids, especially if the project is detailed or large scale. Built By Design offers free home remodeling bids and 99.9% of our bids are no strings attached. In the rare case we do charge a bid fee, it’s deducted from the final invoice if the customer opts for us.

The most important to review in a remodel bid isn’t the cost or what’s included, but rather what it doesn’t include. We’ve seen instances where a bid is $25,000 lower than others. A closer look reveals the contractor didn’t include electrical, flooring or the like. Make sure your bid includes the little things like mirrors, towel bars, shower doors and such as those can add up quickly, pushing those low bids much higher in the end. To be on the safe side, ensure your remodel bid includes a specific “excludes” list.

Comparing contractors’ remodel bids and estimates can be tough since some take what we call the “quick oil change” approach. You think you’re getting a $19.95 oil change, but can never seem to get out of there for under $40.00 once the fine-print fees are tacked on. We’re irritated with that type of approach too. No one wants to pay more than expected. That’s why our bids are fixed. And the only time that final cost will change is when the homeowner chooses a higher priced material or appliance, or we encounter unforeseen problems (like wood rot behind sheetrock). On the flip side, if the customer goes with something less expensive than what we budget, we’ll credit the difference. It’s only fair and the right way to do business.

Interested in learning more about Built By Design? Browse our home remodeling portfolio or call us today at 913-782-6311. We’re the premiere home remodeling company in Johnson County, and we pride ourselves on customer service and expert craftsmanship. You get old fashioned work ethic blended with all the modern design expertise you desire. Contact us today ‒ you won’t be disappointed!