Estimate vs Quote

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    John Clements

    The file that is sent to the customer is called “System Integration Quote”, we do not do System Integration and the first pass is not a Quote. Our estimate gives a very detailed description and scope of what is will be performed in each location. Is is so that we educate the client on the size of the job and that they can make an informed decision especially when comparing with other Contractors.

    The scope can only be entered at the location and for this we plan do a cut and paste from a document. Would prefer that the Description in D-Tools be downloaded and become the default description. This would also allow us to build in a checklist for the Designer to use.

    What is the difference between an estimate and a quote?

    An estimate is what the seller thinks the work will cost based on past experience. It is not a firm offer to do the job at that price, but is a realistic guess. An estimate can be useful if you just want a rough idea of cost. Once you get an estimate and decide to use that seller you should then get a proper quote in writing. You would expect the price in the quote to be no greater than 10% more than the estimate, provided nothing changes between the time of the estimate and the quote being given. Prices for materials may go up.

    A quote is an offer to do a job at a certain price, if you accept a quote than the seller can’t charge you more than the quoted price. Make sure you ask for a quote in writing so if a problem arises you have a record of your agreement with the seller. A written quote should include what is to be done, how long it will take and the cost of materials. It should also say how long the quote is good for. Make sure you check whether the quote includes GST.

    What should I know about getting a quote?

    Make sure you are clear about what the work which needs to be done is and when you need it to be done. It’s a good idea to get quotes from at least 3 different providers so that you can compare a range of prices and materials.

    Make sure that you get the quote in writing (sometimes there may be a small charge for making a quote, so check this before you ask for a quote). There is no obligation to make a deposit once you’ve accepted a quote, and it’s best to try and avoid this. Definitely don’t pay the full price up front.

    My plumber quoted me a price for a job but now says there is extra work that needs to be done. What can I do?

    Your plumber has to check with you before doing any extra work as this may mean you have to pay more than the quoted price. You always have the right to refuse extra work. If you choose to accept work above the quoted price, then make sure you shop around and that the costs are fair and reasonable.

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