/ BLOG

How to Estimate Home Improvement Jobs

Nov 16, 2022 · 6 minutes to read

Estimating home repair and remodeling jobs is both an art and a science. Many formulas are available to help you price your services, but every job is unique. There’s bound to be a curveball, special consideration, or customer preference that makes estimating a remodeling job more complicated than plugging numbers into a calculator.

Tradesperson working with drill in the workshop

This quick guide will show you how to price home improvement jobs, so your small business can be profitable.

Why are accurate estimates so important?

It’s essential to give your customers accurate estimates as often as possible because:

  • It shows your skill and knowledge. An accurate estimate reinforces that you know what you’re talking about and can be trusted to get the job done right.
  • It shows your professionalism. Telling customers one price only to come back later with a much higher one makes you look unprofessional (or potentially dishonest). There’s a good chance they’ll tell their friends and family or leave you a bad review if this happens.
  • It helps keep you profitable. You may be able to bear the cost of one or two low estimates, but over time, inaccurate pricing eats into your profits and may put your small business in jeopardy.

Now that you better understand why accurate estimates are important, let’s break down how to price home improvement jobs.

How to estimate home repair, improvement & remodeling jobs

Here are five steps to help general contractors and handymen provide accurate estimates.

1. Visit the site

Even if it’s a job you’ve done a million times, it’s still crucial to visit job sites before you start writing an estimate. There are typically multiple steps involved in home repair and remodeling jobs. The work necessary for a particular project may not be clear over the phone or by looking at photos.

Every room is different, and there may be unique factors that impact pricing. These might include utility placements, structural issues, or safety concerns that can only be assessed in person. At the very least, you’ll need to take measurements and your own reference photos.

2. Refer to past estimates

If you’ve been in business for a while, checking past estimates for similar jobs could help you build a new estimate. You could use this information to give customers a quick ballpark figure (while cautioning them that their job may involve more work). Past estimates might also help you decide if the job is worth your time and effort. If similar work wasn’t very profitable for your business, you might refer the customer to another contractor.

New contractors and repair people won’t have their own past estimates to refer to, but you might know someone who does. A trusted mentor may let you view their estimates for similar projects.

3. Calculate materials cost

The next step is to put together a list of materials necessary for the job. There are many apps designed for contractors to help estimate building materials such as concrete, wood, and brick.

Depending on the work to be done, you may decide to offer multiple estimates. Running the numbers using low-end, average, and high-end materials gives the customer options that fit multiple budgets. It also highlights your knowledge and customer service skills.

4. Calculate labor cost

Estimating home repair labor costs is often the trickiest part of writing an estimate. This is also an area where many contractors and handymen either sell themselves short or misestimate how long a job will take. Either way, you run the risk of pricing your services too low.

Home repair labor costs are more than just your hourly rate. If you’re using subcontractors to get the job done, you need to factor in their rate, as well as Workers’ Compensation insurance, benefits, mileage, and other costs you might be covering for them. You’ll also need to include the cost of specialized labor and overtime, if applicable.

5. Add your markup

This is another trouble area for many handymen and contractors. Markup is where you make most of your profit, so paying close attention to these calculations is crucial.

The markup on an estimate provides you with some wiggle room in case something goes wrong. Adding a little extra to your labor and material costs can help you account for unforeseen events, like project delays and increased material prices.

You’ll also want to consider other costs associated with running your business when calculating markup. Necessary expenses like business insurance, vehicle mileage, license and permit fees, and phone and internet are typically included in markup figures and added to your hourly labor rate.

Growing your business with better estimates

When you accurately estimate remodeling jobs, you create trust between you and a potential customer. Providing them with a price that’s as close as possible to the final bill is good customer service, which may lead to more jobs. It also helps build your success by charging the right amount to help your career thrive!

How to estimate home repair jobs checklist:

  • Visit the site to assess the work to be done and take measurements.
  • Refer to past estimates for similar work (if you have them).
  • Calculate the cost of materials needed to complete the job.
  • Calculate your labor costs, including the cost of hiring subcontractors (if necessary).
  • Add markup to your labor and materials costs to account for general business expenses and unforeseen issues.

Looking for business insurance for contractors and handymen? BizInsure is here to help! Get instant coverage online in as little as 10 minutes and get back to your day. Start now!

As with any insurance, coverage will be subject to the terms, conditions and exclusions contained in the policy wording. The information contained on this web page is general only and should not be relied upon as advice.The number of quotes provided varies between products, occupations and other underwriting factors determined by the insurers.
© Copyright 2022 BizInsure LLC, 2015 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED BizInsure LLC; CA DBA: Simple, Smart, BizInsure Insurance Agency LLC; NY DBA: BizInsure Services LLC; NH DBA: Simple, Smart, BizInsure Insurance Agency; PA DBA: BizInsure Services LLC. 2950 Buskirk Ave Suite 300, Walnut Creek, CA 94597. License #0H81929

Get Free Online Quotes and get coverage instantly

The coverage you need for your business.

Business insurance is divided into different policies. We offer 4 types so it's easy to design the coverage that fits your business.

Professional Liability Insurance

Get a quote

General Liability Insurance

Get a quote

Business Owner’s Policy (BOP)

Get a quote

Workers Compensation Insurance

Get a quote

Let's find

The coverage you need for your business

Professional Liability Insurance

Get a quote

General Liability Insurance

Get a quote

Business Owner’s Policy (BOP)

Get a quote

Workers Compensation Insurance

Get a quote

Very good information patience was shown. Much help from Kaled, satisfied with the amount of insurance and good coverage. Affordable is what you need with starting a small business until you grow. Old saying is go as you grow.
Jacquelynn W.
21:53 20 Jan 23
Professionals at what they do! easy to navigate and very good people to lead to to the best coverage!
Magnifier 2.
20:37 17 Jan 23
I have been shopping for business liability insurance for several months. I am happy to share that BizInsure ranked #1! The representatives were polite, patient, and empathetic. They accomplished what most companies struggle with achieving: they did what they said they were going to do, they were on time, and they had empathy. They delivered a policy for 25% less than the closest competetor, and even included $50k of cyber security at no additional cost! I only write reviews when I receive exceptional experiences- highly revommended; keep up the great service BizInsure!P.S. I own a professional referral service in Hawai'i and I am going to see if BizInsure offers an affiliate program.Aloha!
John S.
05:51 23 Nov 22
They respond quickly and give you quotes immediately ...
Regean K.
23:55 09 Nov 22
The agent that I spoke to was very experienced and could tell that I was new at this and was very understanding and took the time to explain everything to me.
lotanga J.
00:04 15 Oct 22
Easy to work with and very responsive. Glad to have them as my broker.
Edward G.
18:54 13 Sep 22
We’re very happy with BiInsured LLC. VERY AFFORDABLE
Paul A. F.
19:20 11 Sep 22
Jasmine Q was on the spot professional, she knew where to direct me and explain to me my concerns and request; she delivered my personal information within minutes of me asking policy questions.That young lady is a true ROCK STAT!!!
Shaka 3 Z.
23:09 15 Aug 22
For a small non-profit, the package I was given was affordable. The representative was polite, patient, understanding, and knowledgeable.
Gertrude R.
18:06 15 Aug 22
Asked for a specific venue to be place on our certificate of insurance and it was done within one business day. Yay! Bizinsure!
Melinda S.
17:02 01 Aug 22
The process was fast and easy and the professional staff was very knowledgeable with any questions that I had and ready to help
VALERIE M.
06:40 31 Mar 22
Friendly agents. Timely replies. Fair pricing. This is a good fit for my business! Thank you, Noah, for all your help.
Beth Anne V.
19:27 28 Mar 22
They are awesome
Tony H.
00:41 07 Jan 22
Noa made sure I had all the information I needed for a first time business owner . He helped me understand what I needed to secure a quality policy and he was super helpful when explaining how the policy would serve its purpose to my company. I was very satisfied and had an Awesome experience, I think people like that make the company look good!
Wayleen O.
04:36 15 Oct 21
I was in need of WC, GL and PL coverages for my business and was able to shop, discuss, confirm and purchase all the coverages in two days! This was a great experience, especially when "Time is Money". Noah Bowman was very professional and knowledgeable. Thanks!
AmeriCreed 1.
15:42 23 Sep 21
MOVING FORWARD, I WILL BE SENDING ALL OF MY BUSINESS TO THIS COMPANY !!!! Incredible customer service!!! Thanks
THEODORE W.
19:49 09 Sep 21
Their representative clearly explained different kinds of policies to help me select the one appropriate for my needs and then helped me enroll by phone painlessly. By the end of the call, I had a policy in place.
Dissent D.
22:21 02 Sep 21
Eugene was Awesome!!!!
Lakesha G
17:19 21 Jul 21
Excellent solution for writers and authors professional liability policy as well as coverage for copyright and trademark infringement. Service was prompt and excellent.
Lane
18:22 22 Jun 21
Done in less than an hour!
William O.
00:30 02 Jun 21
Efficient, and great value. The agent was able to give us a quote and a new policy in a short period of time. Thank you
Brenda J.
20:30 24 May 21
I had a great experiencing obtaining several of my insurance needs as a landscaping company here in Northern Colorado. BizInsure's team took care of my needs and was very responsive to help with paperwork needed to secure a potential client account!
Arik S.
16:34 10 May 21
Very efficient they were able to help me out with my request promptly....highly recommend this companyI am very happy to have them
Elba P.
18:50 26 Apr 21
I need a help getting errors and omissions insurance along with general liability. Jose was very friendly informative and was very patient with me during the process. He found me some of the best rates for the coverage that I needed. Highly recommend
Casper M.
19:51 20 Apr 21
I had numerous conversations with several business insurance agents over a month's time. I also had several conversations confirming the policy inclusion/exclusions and asked many questions. My BizInsure agent was professional, knowledgeable and most important—detail oriented. Even after having an initial conversation a month earlier he knew and *remembered* all my personal/professional insurance needs. When I asked for additional information on the third call he was able to provide me with details very quickly. He was also VERY patient. That is a big plus in my opinion. It illustrated a high level of respect for my needs. I also found when I called back and asked to talk with the initial agent, the person who answered the call was able to get in contact quickly and my agent responded and returned the call within 5-10 minutes. The transaction was smooth, and I think it's a good sign should I ever need to make a claim. I highly recommend BizInsure.
Poetic F.
21:00 07 Apr 21
The rep was extremely helpful actually lowered my quote and made sure I was covered to fit my needs with my growing business! 5star!!
Franklin B.
19:04 16 Mar 21
Excellent service and prices.
Cassiopée V L.
23:13 09 Mar 21
Mr. Daniel Scott was very responsive to my professional needs.
Stephanie W.
17:38 18 Feb 21
Eugene deserves a raise! First time purchasing insurance and he made the process so simple for me. His patience and attention to detail left me feeling confident in my decision to choose BizInsure. Gracias Eugene!
Esined P.
23:32 17 Feb 21
The customer service provided by Jose was outstanding. He explained everything in a very clear/logical way and answered all of my questions. After providing all the information to obtain general liability insurance, Jose sent me the declaration page of the insurance for review. All of the information matched what I provided over the phone and there were no typos. The next day I called back to purchase the insurance which was easy and fast. Overall, my experience with BizInsure including the customer service by Jose exceeded my expectations.
Joe W.
03:29 12 Dec 20
Hiscox/BizInsure made getting Liability Insurance very easy and reasonable.I expected it to be a long and complicated process and it was a nice surprise that they made it so uncomplicated. Thank you. Lisa
Lisa W.
21:51 24 Nov 20
Eugene was incredible. I called 4 other brokers before him who were impossible to get any help.
rhonda H.
23:26 12 Nov 20
Very quick to get in touch with you and good with follow up. Had some trouble retrieving my quote to log into my account initially but Daniel assisted me and the changes were made to get me into my account. Great value for the money.
Fran S.
16:34 20 Sep 20
Very happy to be insured with this company. Professional, Timely, very helpful. Thank you Juan, you made it so much easier for me to understand.
Aileen D.
19:55 15 Sep 20
This company responded when I needed them to respond while facing a deadline. They are an excellent choice for business Insurance.
Michele H.
01:52 12 Sep 20
Jose Quintero took such great care of me and was very patient explained everything I did not understand and got me set up quickly. Fabulous customer service
Christina R.
02:41 27 Aug 20
I can't say enough good things about Daniel Santos kind and effective communication skills as an insurance agent. Daniel was so pleasant, friendly and efficient with helping me obtain insurance as a teacher. If I were to give Daniel a grade, he has earned an At . He made the process easy to understand, it was far easier than what I anticipated. Nancy S.
Nancy S.
00:47 26 Aug 20
I was in need of professional liability insurance for my sole proprietorship. A friend referred me. Everythng was quick and simple and AFFORDABLE!
hope J.
20:31 25 Aug 20
If you need Private Home Care Provider insurance for your company, BizInsure, LLC can get it for you!
Pamela C.
16:45 24 Aug 20
Great and fast service!!!! The representative was very professional!!!!
Tanya S.
19:51 14 Jul 20
I was tryi9ng to find commercial liability insurance for my new comp-any and BizInsure was easy to use and very affordable which is great for me as a new business.
Jimmy S.
19:01 14 Jul 20
Great service insurance prices are great for professionals looking to get insurance for businesses....
Rhonda G.
22:34 22 Jun 20
The provided very professional service and made the process easy.
Paul R.
21:51 04 Jun 20
Bradley Hoyle from the Biz Insure team was excellent to work with. Everything was quick and smooth. Great service, much appreciated!
Kristene S.
02:03 04 Jun 20
Anthony Spencer was great!! Very quick response time!! He was very Professional! I would suggest him because he helped me find a affordable rate and explained all the technicalities..
Fre H.
16:38 28 May 20
I was referred to Bizinsure by a industry trade group that I am a member of. It was easy to get a quote online and then received excellent customer service from Bradley H. to complete my policy purchase over the phone. I have shared this company information now with other business owners for their policy needs.
Dawn T.
22:11 08 May 20
This company was very precise with explaining services and made sure I chose the right business insurance coverage, great customer service at purchasing.
Nekeisha B.
01:30 05 May 20
Amazing
Jasmine Q
14:31 02 Dec 19
Trish is the most patient, professional and understanding insurance agent I’ve ever worked with. Trish has taken care of all my business insurance needs for the last couple years. I am really happy that I found an insurance agent that I know will take care of me & all of my concerns. I feel like a valued customer & I appreciate the great customer service that I get every time!!THANK YOU!
Dr. Youssef C. A.
17:21 14 Nov 18
Tricia helped me get insurance for my business. The task of obtaining a quote was really starting to frustrate me until I was referred to BizInsure through a different agency. Tricia got me a quote fast, and even took a down payment over the phone and issued the proof of insurance the same day. a+ service, would do it again in a heartbeat!! Thank you!!
Josh M.
18:07 22 Jun 18
BizInsure was a great find! I did not have to fill out applications, and Tricia was able to quote and bind business insurance for me within half an hour.
Allison Y.
17:28 21 Jun 18
Started doing business again and needed a policy fast. Ramez was reasonable, helpful and the rates are OK. Buyer beware? Sure, for me it turned out OK this time. Worth a call.
Mark W.
23:42 13 Nov 17
Great customer service. I've been very inpressed with my dedicated representative that had helped me navegate my insurence needs. Thanks so much!
Graham B.
22:12 23 Jun 17
js_loader

Popular Searches

Google Rating
4.4
Based on 82 reviews
×
js_loader