Project estimating mistakes

Project estimating mistakes handyman have to avoid

When choosing a handyman/contractor for a home improvement or remodeling project, one of the most important factors the final customers’ decisions are based on is the price estimate. Moreover, the thing that frustrates them the most is when a handyman doesn’t stick to his own estimate and demands a higher payment than they expected and budgeted for.

While in major long-term home improvement projects some price variations are totally acceptable, especially when the price for the chosen materials changes or the customer asks to include an additional feature, ordinary remodels and repairs should remain within the estimated price.

Thus, handymen and general contractors have to learn how to give the most accurate estimate to their clients not to disappoint them after the job is done, as well as avoid payment issues.

These are the common estimating mistakes one has to avoid:

  1. Conducting a prompt estimate – eyeballing is totally unacceptable
  2. Doing estimates via the phone/skype calls even for the minor repairs/remodels – you need to visit the spot and base an estimate on the information you collect on your own.
  3. Including last-minute changes – it’s not nice to leave the customers without a choice right before the start of the project. If you predict price changes, make sure to warn the clients about such a possibility in advance.
  4. Underestimating labor expenses, especially when the third-party contractors who charge by hour are involved.
  5. Not including spare materials – don’t run too tight on the materials to lower the estimate, as at some point of the project you’ll regret not ordering the extras.
  6. Forgetting to double check the math and asking a certain party to go over the list to check if everything was included, priced and calculated correctly – a second opinion won’t harm.
  7. The lack of the risks prediction – it’s better to estimate the risks and complications the certain project may be related to and charge your clients less when those don’t happen than charge more than the customers are ready to pay.