What To Include In Your Remodeling Estimate

What To Include In Your Remodeling Estimate

A contractor in any trade should be prepared to write an estimate for the job. But, as you all know, each estimate will look different depending on the trade. For the remodeling pro, creating a comprehensive estimate is important not only to organize the project, but to win the bid.

Potential customers who are ready to remodel their home are looking for as much detail as possible about how you will complete the project of their dreams. However, there is plenty to remember when it comes to a big remodeling job. Here are a few items to include in your remodeling estimate that will help win the bid.

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Why Prepare An Estimate?

Estimates are an important part of your sales strategy to win the job. The more detailed you are in your remodeling estimate, the better the customer can understand the work you will complete. Every customer has fears when hiring a pro. Providing them with a well-written estimate can help alleviate some of these fears so they understand the services they are paying for.

Contact Information

The first thing you should be sure to include in any estimate is your contact information. It’s important that the customer knows how to easily contact you if they decide to hire you for the job.

Additionally, you’ll want to include the customer’s contact information as well. Not only does it help you identify what project this is, but it also tells the customer that the estimate you’ve written was custom to their needs. This speaks volumes about your customer service and differentiates you from other contractors who may not take the time to do so.

Project Summary & Plan

Remodeling jobs typically have many tasks within the overall project, like lighting installation or plumbing. Because there are so many moving parts, it’s best to write a summary and plan for how the work will be done. It helps to map out how you will do the work and mitigate any problems before they happen. For example, if you intend to relocate a toilet before the plumbing is moved, that could be an issue. You can utilize this as your roadmap as you begin to work.

Additionally, this will allow the customer to see what they can expect and if it’s in line with what they were thinking. If not, they have a chance to discuss any issues before there is a permanent change. The more detail you include, the greater chance you have at exceeding their expectations and earning a loyal customer.

House Construction

Payment Specifications

It’s a good thing to let the customer know what you expect as far as payment specifications up front, to clear up any issues before any of the work is started. Make the customer aware of your payment policies and schedule, as well as how you handle payment for any materials. Providing this information upfront will certainly help in the long run, to ensure an on-time payment.


Arguably one of the most important parts of the estimate is the costs. It’s important to be as detailed as possible and account for any miscellaneous items. Here are a few things you shouldn’t forget when creating a line-item list for remodeling costs.


Many remodeling jobs require a complete restructuring of the room. This means tearing down walls and fixtures. Demo work in a home does have added costs, such as a dumpster or screen to keep the dust out from other parts of the house is a must. You may even consider hiring subcontractor to help with post-construction cleaning. Relay these costs in the estimate.


For older homes, asbestos and lead is common in current materials. This is hazardous. It’s important to have these homes tested for toxic materials and properly removed by a pro if found. In addition to discussing with the homeowner, plan to have the remodeling job tested before beginning and include it in your line-item list.


Because a remodeling job calls for the expertise of other pros, it’s a good idea to prepare to bid out the work. These pros are specifically skilled in their trades, like plumbing and electrical work. They’re familiar with common codes and know how to do the work properly. Be sure to price fairly for the work you bid out. To learn more about choosing the right sub-contractor for your remodeling job, read How To Bid Out A Remodel.


Add to the line-item list any materials you will have to purchase to complete the remodel. Don’t forget to include even the smaller items, so the customer is left with no questions about what materials their money is buying.

A Plan for Surprises

With any remodeling job, it’s a smart idea to have some sort of retainer amount for the unexpected. Who knows what you may find! Sometimes, it may be damages that have occurred over time that need to be fixed before continuing. Always discuss with the homeowner before making any unplanned changes.

Include Building Materials

Permits Needed

In the estimate, make the customer aware of any permits needed to do the job. Residential building permits vary by city or county. Be aware of what’s needed for your remodeling and inspections that will be needed.

Guarantee of Work

Finally, include any guarantees of work satisfaction. This helps assure the customer that they will get what they pay for and the customer service they desire. This might also be a great place to display any licenses and insurance you have, giving further assurance to the customer.


Crafting the perfect estimate for your remodeling job doesn’t have to be tricky. It’s important to try and include as much detail as possible. Keep these estimate tips in mind as you write your next estimate to help win the job.

Looking for more tips on what makes a great estimate? Watch What To Include In Your Estimate for seven things you must include.