Why We Provide Quotes, Not Estimates
Estimating is equivalent to guessing. It's like saying "We don't know exactly what the project will cost, but here's our best guess. Oh, and by the way, if we're wrong we'll be adding to your final bill."
Quoting is different. Quoting is offering a specific price that will be charged for the work in question. It's based on facts and experience, and if the bidder has made a mistake in the bid, then the customer isn't on the hook.
At Paradigm Kitchen Design, we quote whenever possible. The kitchen we design for you will have specific cabinets, handles, countertop and installation requirements where we can be almost 100% certain of the cost. Even with renovation elements like plumbing, lighting and painting, we can bid with relative certainty. All items we have included will be listed on your quote. Items we haven't specifically chosen (e.g. handles, countertop material, etc.) will be listed with the allowance we have included. The final price may or may not change depending on what you select and how it compares to the allowance.
There are some instances where estimating is required. Areas where the work to be done is not visually apparent (e.g. behind walls yet to be removed) will be estimated to the best of our knowledge. These items will be identified on your Project Specifications and our quote (or allowance) will be noted. Once we can get in and actually see what needs to be done we'll be able to bid on the work.
In order to properly compare competing prices, it's important for you to know what you're comparing. When doing so, remember that it takes an expert to stand behind their price.
Source: James Dibben (Blue Collar Coaching)