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As a general rule, if you want to know how much it will cost to fix something, such as a roof or torn siding, a free estimate should cover it. If you need our company to find out what’s wrong with something, a free estimate probably won’t cover it. If you want to know how much it will cost to get something fixed, a free estimate is more likely. If you want a service provider to determine the source of a problem, you’ll probably have to pay for the diagnosis. For instance, if you know you’re missing roof shingles and want an estimated replacement cost, you probably won’t have to pay for a bid. But if you have no idea what’s causing a leak, you’ll need a roof inspection, which can cost $$$, uncomplicated jobs, such as window-washing. Larger, more elaborate projects — like a kitchen remodel — may require a consultation, which could carry a cost if more is involved than a re modeler talking to you by phone, visiting and then offering suggestions based on the visit. But if the consultation includes detailed design work, multiple plans and revisions, a contractor may ask you to pay for a full design, which can range from $350 to $2500.
I want to charge you for an estimate? My competitors are coming out for free! Why would I charge you?
It’s easy. Once you’ve received the description of the project I say, “Okay Mr. Jones, based on what you’ve told me you can expect the project to come in between $100,000 and $160,000.”
There you go. I’ve just provided a free estimate.
Assuming you are still on the phone and didn’t gasp, scream or pass out, do you want a number scribbled on a piece of paper, or do you want a line-by-line breakdown of your project’s cost? I can now offer to give you a full-blown proposal for $X, which will be “deducted” (optionally) from the project price if you choose me.
Our company gives free estimates on jobs that we can visibly see without doing any diagnostics on.