If you hire a contractor to do work for you and there is no written agreement between the two of you, then you lack proof about what you agreed to before the job began. The contractor contract needs to describe the work at hand and the responsibilities of both parties. It will offer evidence of the agreement if it becomes necessary to go to court in the future for any legal relief.

Even if you know a contractor personally, a contractor estimate template is a form you can use to help define the parameters of a project. In fact, if you know the person you are working with it’s even more important to use the proper contractor estimate forms. Why?

Your friendly relationship can make the agreement between you and the contractor casual and relaxed. You may agree to things during a conversation with the contractor and forget that part of the discussion. Or, the two of you might see things differently and it can raise issues in the future. With a free estimate template, you will have everything defined with pristine clarity.

Estimate Templates

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What purpose does estimate template serve?

The use of the form allows you to set and the contractor to define expectations and have them in black and white should questions arise in the future about what the job entails. A construction estimate template takes minutes to use, but it is a resource that protects your interests.

It also protects the interests of the contractor you choose. Many arguments and conflicts have a simple solution with quick implementation if the expectations of the contractor and the hirer are clear in a written document. You can even avoid having to go to court if you have the agreement in writing and both parties adhere to the document and the contents within.

When should you use the estimate form?

Anyone who is a property owner and who plans to hire a contractor to do work inside the home, outside the home, or to the exterior of the property can use an estimate template. The document allows for a job contractor to define, in writing, what the contractor will do for the client. The purposes of documenting the labor and project costs are for the clarity of all parties. Some of the reasons you might use this form include:

  • Appliance installation
  • Appliance repair
  • Cabinetry installation
  • Carpentry requests
  • Carpet installation
  • Driveway payment
  • Electrical repairs and wiring installation
  • Flooring installs
  • HVAC installation and repairs
  • Indoor/Outdoor Painting
  • Landscaping project
  • Mold identification
  • Mold removal
  • New home construction
  • Old home renovation
  • Plumbing installation and repairs
  • Roof repair
  • Room remodeling project
  • Structural fixes
  • Underground plumbing repairs

Estimate Forms

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ESTIMATE TEMPLATE – Necessary Elements in the Document

When you get a job estimate template from a professional and licensed contractor, there are some necessary elements you will want to ensure are in the document. The elements make all the difference in the world when it comes to being correct in the manner of the information it conveys.

The Estimate Contract Template Essentials

Having a meeting with a contractor and agreeing in a conversation on what the contractor needs to do is one thing. Not putting all those agreements in writing is another. When you are having the first meeting with a contractor, you might become inspired. You might discuss wants, desires, and then you’ll discuss possibilities. Things can get confusing if the contractor begins thinking possibilities are expectations or if you begin to assume your contractor knows exactly what you want. By using the contractor estimate template all expectations are clear. Nothing is remaining to question. Neither party can make assumptions later when you have writing to clarify any problem.

Time Completion for Estimate.

The contractor should include the timeframe it will take to complete the work defined in the estimate. The duration might be days or weeks. The clearer the contractor can be in terms of job completion, the better.

Contractor Contact Details.

Make sure the estimate has the contractor’s full name, mailing address, physical address, email address, and contact phone number. You might need to contact the contractor during the job or after its completion. If possible, meet with the contractor at least one time at the physical location appearing on the estimate paperwork as proof of a legitimate physical business location.

Contractor’s Licensing Information.

Also, make sure the contractor’s license information appears on the form as well. With a license number in hand, you can continue with greater confidence. You can also check to ensure the contractor is performing the work in a legal manner. Do your homework and verify the licensing of the contractor you choose.

Coverage for Insurance.

If you hire a single contractor, the individual should have liability insurance. You should do the research to verify the contractor has the insurance necessary to cover potential damages if something happens while completing the job in question. The estimate template has sections where you can list insurance information in the necessary paperwork. On the same note, if there will be more than one worker on the site, make sure the contractor has Worker’s Compensation Insurance in place to protect the contractors working your project.

Scope of the Contractor’s Project.

A project that needs construction has many small steps to its completion. You’ll have need of materials, and you’ll be paying for labor. You might have blueprints for the project, but you should have everything in writing. Each step of the project, the estimated cost of materials, and the estimated cost of labor all need to appear in the contractor’s estimate. No questions should still be open when the estimate contract document makes all project parameters clear.

Project Timing and Completion Expectations.

Make sure estimated dates for the completion of every step are in the document. If you want regular updates on the estimated times for completion and costs, make sure these expectations are in the document as well. Bear in mind the period for each step of your construction project is an estimate. This means you will need to be a bit flexible about the actual completion of the project. Reasonable flexibility is dependent on any issues that might arise during construction or work. Remember, any timeline in an estimate template is subject to change. The timing is for easing your mind, the planning of the contractor, and for having an outline of project expectations and obligations.

The Exclusions.

Exclusions describe things the contractor is not responsible for or things you do not want the contractor to work on during the construction, remodeling, or repair task. The exclusions list the amount of clean up you expect during and upon completion of the project. This area of the contractor estimate has details about demolition, asbestos removal (if applicable), and removal of other hazardous wastes. Defining cleanup of construction debris allows you to know what you handle in terms of site cleanup if anything at all. It also helps in defining special costs if special clean up and removal of hazardous wastes become necessary at some point during the project’s completion. This area of the estimate will define, in concise writing, what the contractor will and will not do.

Contractor Certifications.

The contractor estimate is something that should inform you about the contractor’s qualifications. Not only should licensing information appear on the job estimate, but special certifications and training information should also appear on the document. For instance, since the late 1970s, contractors who do any work on residential properties in the United States must have a certification showing they know how to deal with lead safely. The certification is something the Environmental Protection Agency provides. The certification process teaches the contractor how to limit the dust spread when removing lead-laden materials. The goal of such certification is the protection of the client and the client’s family members as well as workers who perform work on the property.

Project Payment Expectations.

Of course, the job estimate will have a section having information about the payment expectations of the contractor. The contractor is likely to take payments throughout the project, with a portion of the costs as a down payment. The payment schedule will vary depending on the contractor’s preferences and what you agree to when you discuss the project and your needs. Payments in milestones allow you to approve each part of the project as you go along. It also serves as an incentive for the contractor to see the project through to its completion.

Guarantees, Warrantees, and Other Promises.

An estimate template is something that should also have details about any guarantees, warrantees or alternative promises the contractor makes when agreeing to complete your project. The construction estimate template might have information about the guarantee of customer satisfaction, and the length of warranty on any materials the contractor uses for project completion. The typical warranty a customer receives is about a year long, but again, this is dependent on the material manufacturer.

 Estimate Totals.

The job estimate template needs to have a list of estimate totals. By providing you with a full list of costs, it gives you a chance to review what everything will cost you. As the hirer, you can choose to accept or decline the offer for the work completion. The contractor estimate template will have an Approved Work Order and if you ask for changes to it, you will get a change order as well. There may be some special costs associated with making amendments to the contractor estimate template.  You will need to discuss this with the contractor you choose to work with on your project needs. This area of the document will also include information about any potential credits you are receiving. An instance where you might have a credit is when you’ve already made a down payment early, or if the insurance company holding the policy for your property has given a payment toward repairs for the residential property.

Estimate Total Inclusions.

As mentioned above, you’ll get a list of estimate totals. Here is a brief list of what you can expect to see in the way of listings:

  • Appliance repair/install costs
  • Carpentry costs
  • Costs for Change of Approved Work Order
  • Drywall Installation
  • Electrical tasks
  • Exterior/Interior Paint
  • Flooring and/or carpet installation
  • HVAC costs
  • Insurance credits
  • Mold identification/removal
  • Plumbing install/repair costs
  • Prepayment credits
  • Structural repairs
  • Wallpapering

Itemized Bid Information.

This part of the estimate will list a breakdown of the costs associated with every task the contractor must complete. For instance, if you hire a plumber to install new pipes using a trenchless pipe installation method, you’ll see a listing revealing the cost of the special pipe materials. You’ll also see a listing of the equipment it will take to dig the small holes to make the trenchless installation. The plumber may charge for the use of the camera to identify problem issues within the pipes, including tree root intrusions or other obstructions. You’ll also get a list of costs for the labor to perform the repair or installation. If you must pay for special licensing to do certain works, this too will appear on an itemized bid. You’ll need to talk to the contractor to decide who handles getting necessary licenses and permits for project completion.

Estimate Sheets

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Summary

By viewing all the material you need in an estimate from a contractor, it seems prudent to use an estimate template when creating a document to offer an estimate to a client. If a contractor doesn’t offer a formula estimate document, you should ask for one or even recommend the use of a free estimate template. The document it helps you create will serve to make responsibilities clear to both parties. It also helps to ensure that both you and the contractor cover all your bases before you get into an in an agreement involving the exchange of money.

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TemplateLab June 25th, 2017