What’s the Difference Between an Estimate and a Fixed Price?

Most remodeling customers ask for an estimate for kitchen and or bathroom renovations.  Some kitchen and bath remodeling contractors provide estimates while others offer fixed pricing.  KRB Kitchen and Bath Design Center offers both, as well as what we call a preliminary opinion of cost. But what are you really looking for?  Be careful, if you ask for an estimate, but assume it’s a fixed price, you might be very surprised and disappointed when you get the final bill.  To help set things straight let’s define all three so you can decide and ask for what you really want or need when working with a kitchen and bath remodeling contractor.

An estimate is an educated guess

A bath or kitchen estimate is really a rough “ballpark” number that a contractor can offer. This can help you get an idea of how much a kitchen makeover or custom bath remodeling project might cost.  It’s not based on a lot of facts. When first asked for an estimate, the contractor typically has very little information in the form of plans or specifications to base the estimated price on.  With this in mind, be careful when comparing contractor prices if they are just estimates.  Each contractor you speak with may make different assumptions, and without plans to go by, some contractors can better visualize a project than others. The right contractor will manage your expectations about what was assumed and how accurate the estimate is when sharing his or her estimate with you.

KRB offers a Preliminary Opinion of Cost

As a next step, to help provide a more realistic idea of what a kitchen or bathroom remodeling project at your home will cost, KRB offers a process that includes an in-home consultation and a written preliminary opinion of cost.  By visiting with you at your home to discuss and check out your project, we can offer you a much more realistic approximate cost for your project.  If you are trying to figure out what your project might cost before investing in project design, the preliminary opinion of cost process can be very helpful.  As part of the process, we create a rough set of specifications as well as a simple concept design drawing to help you visualize and decide if the project and the budget are practical for you. 

A fixed price proposal requires plans and specifications

If the preliminary opinion of cost gives you the confidence to move forward, the next step is to work towards a fixed price proposal for the work you would like to have completed.  Using our project development process, we work with you to design and specify your project. With our assistance, we help you make all your product selections. Keep in mind that with KRB, your project design and specifications will never exceed the budget we agree to before design begins.  So, unless you specifically ask us to do so, we will not let your design go over your budget.  It’s the identification of all the details and the full scope of work for your project that allows KRB-or any other contractor-the ability to put together, offer and stand behind a fixed price.

We hope you have come to see that if you are looking for a fixed price from a contractor, don’t ask for an estimate.  Also, make sure the work described in the proposal you sign is written in consumer-friendly terms so you know what you are getting and can make sure you get what you paid for.

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