Contractor Estimate

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Contractor Estimate

Clients are often confused about what a contractor estimate is.  A contractor estimate can be a Free Estimate, Rough Estimate, or represent Design and Project Development.

What’s the difference between a Contractor Estimate, Rough Estimate, and Design?

  • A Free Estimate represents a contractor’s best guess price to perform the job.  After spending a few moments talking to you and looking over the work area, you get a free estimate. This is typically a single number according to a pre-calculated general per square foot number.
  • A Rough Estimate can mean two things (1) a free estimate or (2) a more careful review of the project where dialog between the client and the contractor is more fluid and engaging. Using measurements and notes, the contractor provides a rough estimate.  This figure comes from a per square foot number derived from historical projects.
  • Design and Project Development provides a detailed picture.  These plans and specifications are very thorough. After the design is approved by the client, a detailed line item estimate is developed.  This is presented to the client for approval or adjustment.

Okay, can you show me the difference between a remodeling estimate and design?

Absolutely!  Let’s keep it really simple.  We’ll use a 50 square foot guest bathroom remodel.  This has a tub/shower combination with tile surround.  There is a toilet, single sink lavvy (cabinet), and tile floor.  The bathroom has a medicine cabinet, mirror, and wall sconce light fixture.  There is a window.

Here are examples of a free estimate, rough estimate, and design and project development using the above criteria:

Free Estimate: $20,000.

Rough Estimate: $27,000.  This includes removing everything down to the studs, installing all new fixtures, new bathtub with tile surround, new wood cabinet and sink with a quartz countertop and splash, new light fixture, recess lights, new tile floor, new paint, new toilet, and a new glass tub/shower enclosure.

Design and Project Development: $24,458.32.

Contractor Estimate DAD's Construction

Ask yourself, of the three, which one do you have the most confidence in?  Which one do you think will produce the best and highest quality result?  You’re absolutely correct!  The Design and Project Development process will always produce the highest quality, most accurate price, and the best job!

Design and Project Development gives you exactly what you’re looking for – a great job that will last and be beautiful.  Why?  It’s developed, designed, and built how you want it!  You control how it’s going to look and how much it will cost.

How Can I Receive More Information on a Contractor Estimate?

If you would like more information on enjoying the best bathroom, kitchen, and interior remodeling experience in Orange County, call Dan at (949) 380-0177 or at for a free in home consultation.  DAD’s serves all of South Orange County California.  This includes Lake Forest, Mission Viejo, Foothill Ranch, Portola Hills, Ladera Ranch, Irvine, San Clemente, Dana Point, San Juan Capistrano, Rancho Santa Margarita, Coto de Caza, Dove Canyon, Laguna Niguel, Laguna Hills, Newport Beach, and Aliso Viejo.

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“Taking Care of Your Home . . . The Way We Would Our Own”

Daniel A. Derkum is the owner of DAD’s Construction, a leading South Orange County, California design-and-build remodeling and renovation contractor,  © DAD’s Home Services & Construction, Inc.  All Rights Reserved.