In order to have a good working relationship with your contractor, you must be able to understand their contractor estimate sheet. This sheet is the document that both parties provide during negotiations. The estimate is essentially the estimated amount of cost that the contractor will be charging you for the project and includes general information about the scope of work, materials, the time and dates the project will be finished, the estimated number of hours of work per day for the project and the expected completion date.
Although it seems very straightforward, you must understand the difference between a general estimate sheet and a detailed estimate sheet. Some contractors use a general estimate sheet, while others use a detailed estimate sheet.
There is a basic difference between the two sheets. On a general estimate sheet, the estimates are provided without any specific details on how much the project will cost or what the materials will be used on the project. It usually is very general and gives you a general idea as to the expected cost.
On a detailed estimate sheet, the estimates are not just general, but they include specific details of the project. The estimates give you the specific cost of the project including materials, the schedule and the estimated number of hours each day of the project. It will also include other costs such as the cost of materials to be used and any materials or labor required that the project is done.
You can expect a detailed estimate sheet to be presented in two different formats. There is the table format that consists of rows and columns and then there is the standard layout which consist of a single column with the estimate included under it.
When using the table format, make sure you know which column you are in before working on the job. If you are not sure, simply move over to the next table to make sure you get it right. Also, if you notice a mistake with the estimate, make sure you tell the contractor and have the estimate corrected immediately.
Be sure to not only read the estimate sheet but also take notes as well. Taking notes on the estimate sheet will help you when you are trying to follow the estimates exactly.
Make sure you keep the contractor estimate sheet for reference when doing future projects. This will help you be aware of how much money you will need to spend on a project and when you will be making an offer to your contractor.