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Where To Find Pricing and Cost Estimation Information on the Internet
Knowing where to find pricing and cost estimation information on the internet helps consumers understand how much unfamiliar services and projects should cost, saving them aggravation and money.
Trying to find out how much a service, home improvement, or home maintenance project should cost can be frustrating and time consuming. In the days before the Internet, if you did not have a friend in the business to help you out, you would have to spend hours waiting for contractors to show up to provide you estimates about something you knew little or nothing about. Even after obtaining contractor estimates, you were still left wondering if the estimates provided were reasonable. The Internet has made finding pricing and cost estimation information easy by providing ample resources for obtaining accurate pricing and cost estimation for just about any service, home improvement, or home maintenance project one might consider.
Where To Find Pricing and Cost Estimation Information on the Internet | Pricing and Cost Estimation Websites
It is a constant challenge to obtain accurate pricing and cost information for the myriad of services, home improvement, and home maintenance projects that one is confronted with in life. Many of these projects are one-off projects or projects that are rarely done, and therefore pricing knowledge is unknown by most people. The Internet is a powerful tool that can not only help explain what a service, home improvement or home maintenance project entails, but can also be used to find accurate pricing and cost estimation information that gives the consumer the upper hand when dealing with local contractors.
Here are a few websites that can help you find pricing and cost estimation information:
- costhelper.com - This website is an excellent resource for obtaining accurate pricing information for a wide variety of services and projects.
- homerenovationestimate.com- Home renovation project cost estimator
Using these websites to find accurate pricing and cost estimation information not only helps you save time versus getting multiple quotes in person (who has time to spend waiting around for contractors to show up just to determine if you can even afford to do a project?), but it can also save you a lot of emotional energy since you will know what a reasonable price is for a service, home improvement, or home maintenance project before you even get started. You can be assured that when you speak to local contractors that you understand what a fair and reasonable price is for the service, home improvement, or home maintenance project that you want to complete. Keep in mind that the cost information available on the Internet should be used for guidance purposes and that local pricing may vary depending upon where you live.
What to Do After You Determine a Reasonable Price For a Service or Project
Once you have a good idea regarding what a service, home improvement, or home maintenance project entails and should cost, then it is a good idea to contact a few local contractors to obtain specific quotes. Having an understanding of the project and what it should reasonably cost to complete will give you an upper hand when talking to local contractors about doing the work. You will be able to ask knowledgeable questions and avoid being mislead by contractors that recommend more work than is necessary. Most importantly, you will have a firm grasp regarding what the cost of the service, home improvement, or home maintenance project should be, and you can use this knowledge to determine if the contractor’s quotes are reasonable.
Make sure you have a contract in writing that clearly states what services will be provided and the cost for those services, so that it is clear what you expect from the contractor and what you expect to pay. Avoid paying excessive retainer fees. It is a good idea to withhold some money until the project is completed to ensure that it is done in a timely manner and to your satisfaction.
Some Advice Regarding Selecting a Local Contractor and Avoiding Pitfalls
Keep in mind that the cheapest contractor is not always the best one to hire for a project. A contractor may be cheaper because their quality of work is not as good as other contractors or they may be lacking in experience. Also, sometimes the “cheapest contractor” winds up underbidding a project with the assumption that he will request change orders for additional money once the project has started. Needless to say, the change order contractor will not be the cheapest one once the project has been completed.
Checking references is a good way to avoid problems with contractors. If you do not have time to check references, then check Yahoo Local to see there are reviews regarding the contractor you are considering hiring. Checking with your local Better Business Bureau can save you from unscrupulous contractors. Using websites such as Service Magic or Angie's List that screen contractors and provide customer reviews are also good avenues to find reputable contractors. Another way to protect yourself is to hire a contractor through a national hardware chain, such as Home Depot or Lowes. When you sign a contract for a service, home improvement, or home maintenance project with a national hardware chain, you have an additional buffer to ensure that the work done by a local contractor that is working for them is done to your satisfaction. If the contractor does not complete the work to your satisfaction, you can contact the national hardware chain to correct the situation.
If you have additional suggestions regarding where to find pricing and cost estimation information on the Internet, please provide them in the comments section below.
© 2011 John Coviello
Mikki Jamison from orange bay on July 03, 2013:
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The easiest way to shop and compare home improvement estimates.
Susan on August 18, 2011:
Another GREAT website to checkout is ECOVERYBID.COM .The pre-screen the contractors as well as give homeowners the ability to post a project and get multiple bids from contractors in our area.
Phil Plasma from Montreal, Quebec on July 29, 2011:
These are some great tips. Knowing in advance what is involved in your home reno project is a great idea. Being totally unprepared for a contractor quote can really lead them to drive up prices. Voted up and useful.