How to get the most out of your in-home estimate
We all know that the process of making home improvements can be daunting, especially in an age where it feels like options are unlimited and time is at a premium. Start that home improvement process off right, by setting up a great in-home appointment, and being informed and prepared with all the right questions before your estimator even arrives. Here’s how:
Setting up your Appointment
Here are a couple key things to think about when setting up your appointment with an estimator.
- Do a little research ahead of time. If you are considering a new deck, take a look at some of the options available, and how they best fit your needs. Is it important to you to have something that is low maintenance like Composite Decking, or do you love the idea of using a natural cedar grown right in the Pacific Northwest like Port Orford Cedar?
- If you are a two-party household where you both have a say in making decisions about the home, then make sure you find a time when you can both be there. Your estimator should bring out samples and pictures of all your options and they may not be able to leave those behind. Plus your spouse may have very different questions or concerns than you, so give yourselves the best chance of being on the same page by both being at the appointment.
- Visit the company’s physical location. Do they have a showroom with options you can see? Do they have sample materials you can touch and feel? Are there friendly staff there to greet you when you walk in the door? Do they answer the phone promptly during office hours? It may save you money up front to hire your local handyman, but what happens when you need a repair or an addition in 5 years, will they still be around and able to offer you a lifetime workmanship warranty?
- Ask about the schedule. Do you have to have your project done within a certain timeline? Make sure that you choose a contractor with a firm schedule that they stick to, and that they can accommodate your timeline. Consider asking them to hold dates for your project before they even come out, they may be able to get to you even sooner!
During your estimate
This is your time to ask all the questions you can think of and really dive in to your options so make the most of it!
- Give yourself at least an hour so you don’t feel rushed and have time to consider all your options.
- Walk the area with your estimator and be sure to confirm that your measurements are correct, and your overall vision is clearly understood.
- Ask your estimator to provide you with a price that day. Some complex projects may require further cost analysis or special materials, but if you are considering a company with a lot of experience they should be able to provide you with a quote promptly for most projects. After all, if it takes a week to get your quote back, how long will it take to actually install it?