A quote is the cost that should include all aspects of the job, and gives the client a projected final cost for the project. A quote (or bid) can take days or weeks to obtain. Most plans are not detailed enough to provide all the information needed by the contractor for a bid, but starting with obtaining a quote, will give a clearer idea of final cost (A quote should be within 10-15% of the final cost).
If you desire a bid, we suggest you give your potential contractor a list of bidding instructions:
Detailed list of items to include (or not to include) in the bid
The date you prefer to receive the bid back by
How you would like to have the bid itemized (Do you want a bottom line price or an itemized pricelist?)
If guidelines are set for each contractor to follow, it will make it easier for you to compare the bids/quotes and then evaluate them. Keep your guidelines realistic & simple for better & quicker results.
Another option is working on a “Time & Materials” basis, which means the contractor works for the homeowner on an hourly basis with a certain percentage added on to sub-contractors and materials fees. Some of our sub-contractors also work in this way helping to save the homeowner thousands of dollars.