How to evaluate and compare estimates

Chantilly painting estimates

How to evaluate and compare estimates

You should know several things about professional estimates for a painting project, including the best way to obtain, evaluate, and compare estimates. Most importantly, never get an estimate over the phone. Never work with an uninsured, unlicensed contractor.
Here are four other things you should know:
      1. Meet in person: It doesn’t matter how well known the contractor is, or how many of your friends recommend them, you should always meet them. You should discuss your project in person, and you need to feel comfortable with them. Do not accept an estimate over the phone from anyone who’s not seen your project in person. It’s the only way for a contractor to provide a reliable estimate!
      2. Meet Virtually: Due to the pandemic this year, there are some who are not comfortable meeting in person. It is still important to discuss your project with the estimator virtually through FaceTime, Zoom, and/or connecting with them over the phone.
      3. Evaluation: A reputable contractor will want to evaluate the full scope of the work for themselves. Sometimes it’s their estimator that will come out and do the evaluation. That’s fine as long as it is someone authorized to provide a reliable quote. They should not give you an estimate based strictly on the square footage of the project. That isn’t a reliable strategy. You can read more about why that is in this blog post.
      4. Pricing: An estimate that seems too good to be true probably isn’t. It could mean that the contractor has cut costs somewhere. That isn’t a contractor you should work with. It could be that the contractor doesn’t properly insure its workers or his business, hires lower-skilled or underpaid workers, or uses low-quality materials. It might be that they’re not licensed and don’t invest in things like safety training or industry certifications. Typically, estimates from reputable contractors will be relatively similar.
      5. Transparency: Estimates should be detailed, including price, and describe the full scope of the work to be completed. Look for details such as the materials they will use, like paint brands. All costs to be incurred by the client should be listed. The process for change orders in case of unexpected changes in the project should be included. If you have any questions, never hesitate to ask the contractor to explain something.
As you compare estimates from several painting contractors for your project, consider the four tips we outline above. If you would like to meet with us for a free, no-obligation estimate, please contact our office to schedule an appointment.
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