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Easy Home-Improvement Estimators

Easy Home-Improvement Estimators By Laura Horwitz
HIPhome Columnist
December 31, 1969

Having a home-improvement estimate done before meeting with a home contractor can help make your life easier. How? It provides you with information about the cost of the project, required materials, and the potential man-hours involved, which in turn helps you negotiate with contractors and plan your own budget and timeline.


Get an Estimate

Depending upon the extent of your home-improvement project, you can get an accurate estimate in several ways. For many jobs, you can browse online for resources about the number of gallons of paint to buy, how much drywall you might need, or what various carpets cost.

Or, for do-it-yourself junkies, you might prefer to buy a room estimator gadget that electronically measures a room and does the required math for you.

Make Sure Your Estimator Is Reliable

With the number of Web sites on the Internet these days, you need to determine if the estimator you're using is actually reliable. How do you do this?
  • Consider the source: Is it a reputable company? How much experience in giving estimates do they have?
  • Extent of the data: Various factors impact home-improvement costs including location, materials, contractor markups, and exact dimensions. Does your estimator take all of this into account?

Deciphering the Estimate?

Once you have a reliable home-improvement estimate, you still want to call several contractors to compare prices. Use the estimate as a jumping off point for negotiations, and to keep yourself informed about the types of materials you want used and a guideline for how long you should reasonably expect the contractor to take to complete this job.


About the Author
Laura Horwitz has worked as a freelance writer and researcher for five years in both London and the US. She had a monthly landscaping and tips column for the Sussex County magazine RH Review, and her articles have also appeared in Film Focus, 6 Degrees Film, and BizBash magazine.

*Before you apply any of the advice described on the Hip-home.com website, you should consider if the advice is safe and suitable for your individual home situation and consult experts as necessary to evaluate the suitability for your circumstances.
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