Almost all home improvement projects are restricted by cost, which is why homeowners ask for estimates. With these pricing assessments, professionals and their clients can come to an agreement on the approximate budget for a specific project.

Estimates include labor costs and part costs, but they can also provide a projection of how long a job will take.Understanding how to interpret an estimate can help you compare professionals and get the most out of your home improvement dollar.

Why We’re Asking:

For the same project, rates can vary greatly between professionals. This disparity can leave homeowners wondering how to evaluate estimates so they get the best work done at the lowest price possible.

Our home improvement experts rely on their ability to approximate cost to attract new clients, plan budgets and manage projects effectively. To find out how to decipher home improvement project estimates, we’re asking our panel of experts.

So experts, it’s time to weigh in:

How should homeowners interpret estimates?

For all contractors, designers and home improvement professionals, how accurate are estimates?
Do most professionals shoot high and try to come in under budget?
Should a homeowner expect projects to come in on budget or just near the budget?
How should homeowners interpret differences between professional estimates?

For realtors, how are appraisals like estimates? And, how do they relate to asking price?

For green experts, how accurately can you estimate energy savings when recommending or installing an energy efficient upgrade?

Experts, post your answers in the comment field below!