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Builders Quote V’s Estimate – What Is The Difference

Builders Quote V’s Estimate – What Is The Difference

In the world of building there different opportunities for a builder to provide you with costings on your job. The 3 most common forms of these are ballpark figures, estimates and quotes. Each differs greatly from the other and will provide you with different types of information. Which one you should be seeking, will depend very much on the stage you are at with your project. From Builders quote to estimate, which one is right for you?

Builders Quotes V’s Estimates – What Is The Difference

The difference between each of these is the amount of information you receive with each one. Builders can be reluctant to provide a full quote if you are in the early stages of your project planning, and with good reason. It takes time to work out a quality quote, a lot of time.

Ballpark Figure

With time and experience, a builder can give you a ballpark figure for the job you are proposing. This can be given on the spot but doesn’t take into consideration any of the specifics of your job, your home, your land etc. For example, as a renovation specialist, we would often be called to “quote” on a new deck, at the initial discussion we were able to give a ballpark figure of say $40K. This figure could be above or below the actual cost for your job, as it simply an average spend for a deck to be built.

This style of quote is great for your initial planning stage, to help you understand if your job could be within your price range, and if it would therefor add the value you’d like it to.


An estimate will take some time to prepare, generally around a week, maybe 2. An estimate will give consideration to the specifics of your job, however, it generally will not include detailed specifications, and often not engineering as this has not usually been done by this stage.

An estimate is often given when you have plans drawn up but haven’t yet moved through the process of creating a detailed specification list and often have not yet had the engineer’s drawings completed. An estimate has a fair amount of detail specific to your project and may have allowances for your PC’s and PS’s


Full quotes are often given in preparation for a fixed price contract. They will include all details specific to your project. While it may still provide allowances for your PC and PS sums, it will have taken into consideration your selection needed. A full quote is a large and comprehensive document that can take up to 4 weeks to prepare. Your detailed plans will generally be sent to all trades involved for them to quote, and for this to be factored into your final quotation. Builders will very often charge for a full quote to be prepared.

Quotations can only be prepared once all relevant drawings and selections have been made, unless your builder and you make alternate arrangements, for example, allowances for PC and PS sums.

As you can see, there is a vast difference in the quality of information you receive from each one, from a guide to a good idea of what to expect, to a fixed price. It is important that your builder knows which stage of the process you are at, in order to provide you with the best information. You can expect to be asked a lot of questions when you first contact your builder so that they can be sure of what is required. This is often referred to as their qualification process.

Are you looking for a ballpark figure, estimate or quote? Are you working on a project?


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1 Comment  

  1. Nice and creative writing. Gained enough knowledge about estimate and quote.

    Thanks & regards

    The Villa Renaissance

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