Ask for a remodeling estimate from three different contractors and you will often get 3 very different prices. There are some valid reasons for this, for example remodeling contractors have very different overhead costs depending on their size, level of service and method of operation.
Different Remodeling Estimate Methods
But often the price variation is due to the wide variety of estimating procedures used and the lack of understanding of proper estimating and pricing. Some contractors use what is commonly referred to as a WAG or SWAG estimate which stands for “wild ass guess” or scientific wild ass guess” . They use their experience from previous jobs to estimate an new project. This method can be accurate but often it is not and more importantly, since the contractor has not really sat down and carefully thought through the project it can lead to a lot of problems on the job site.
Two types of estimate we do suggest are unit costing and stick estimating. Both produce accurate results, are easy to modify if the project scope changes and allow for detailed, itemized estimates to be produced.
Lack of standard estimating procedures causes the majority of frustration and miscommunication between home owners and contractors. Ask you contractor what estimate process he uses, if he can’t specifically name a method and outline why it is reliable his estimate may be inaccurate.