I work for a building contractor and I spend most of my workday giving on-site estimates. I mainly go to people’s homes, discuss the work they want done, inspect the site, and give them a quote.
Robert: You want to expand your kitchen, is that right?
Abigail: Yes, with our growing family, we need more room.
Robert: It looks like it’s about 200 square feet right now. You want to double the size?
Abigail: That’s the idea, but I want to get it done quickly, say within two months. Is that possible?
Robert: Well, we’ve finished jobs like this before in under three months, but that’s without any delays. Sometimes getting the exact materials the client wants or finding structural problems that don’t appear until we start work can set us back.
Abigail: That’s my greatest fear. I’m afraid of delays and cost overruns.
Robert: Well, we try to be upfront with our clients by giving them a breakdown of the costs of the materials and labor involved in the project. We also give them a schedule of when the work will be completed. You’ll get a detailed estimate in writing, at no charge and with no obligation.
Abigail: How long does it take to get the estimate?
Robert: We usually mail or fax the estimate within two days.
Abigail: That’s great. Let me tell you exactly what we have in mind...