Getting a good remodel estimate

With spring coming up, many homeowners are considering a little spring remodeling. If you’re thinking about a remodel then getting a good remodel estimate is very important. Make sure you do the following to maximize your chance of getting the best remodel estimate for the work you need.

get a good remodel estimate

Make a plan – your plan should be completed before you ever contact a professional contractor. Your plan needs to include the room/s you’re having remodeled, what you’d like done, the time frame you’re interested in and then get down to the nitty gritty. Make a list of all the items you’ll be buying for your remodel including color, size, style, model number and brands. Jot down  in your plan personal home specifications such as if your bathroom cupboards are framed (or not), what sort of edge you’d like on counters, the color of paint for the walls, and if you’re expanding the space you’ve got to work with. Basically a good contractor should consider all of the above and more, so by planning ahead of time you’ll get a better estimate.

Get your estimates at home and plan for more than one: One home estimate is not enough. You need to shop around just like you would for any other product or service. Even if you’ve worked with a contractor before or they’re a pal, you need to get an official estimate. Also plan to have contractors come to you. A contractor can give you a better estimate if they see the remodel space because that’s the only way to one, get the full picture, and two, to anticipate construction or other issues that could add to the costs.

Find out what the estimates cover in total: Reasonable services covered beyond the remodel work should include daily clean-up, gathering the proper permits, renting a dumpster, taking old items to recycling and so on. Contractors expect to take care of this stuff and it should be included in the estimates.

Choose the most reasonable bid: The most reasonable estimate is often not the lowest bid. You should be suspicious of very low bidders because the costs may shoot up during the remodel or the contractor may not finish your remodel in a timely manner. I’ve even heard of low bidders who end up having to take extended breaks from one client in order to take a job with another to gain the cash needed for the first project. When you call a contractor you should have some rough estimates in mind about cost. Once you hear the average offered by all your contractors, choose an average bid that makes sense.

Get it in writing: Before making a choice get your estimates in writing from all potential contractors. Also, a super smart move is to give them a night to think over their estimate. Sometimes people think of costs after the fact that are necessary, but slipped their mind during the initial visit to your home. For example, call the contractor the following day and ask, “Did you think of anything else important with regards to costs?”

[image via stock.xchng]

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