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There’s a lot of confusion about the terminolog­y used for pricing a job. An estimate is just that: an educated but quickly reckoned and non-binding guess of what a job might cost. A fixed-price quote, meanwhile, is an agreed price based on work shown on a drawing or specificat­ion (and the accompanyi­ng terms and conditions). So provided nothing changes, that’s the final sum you’ll pay – but any variations to the spec will attract an ‘extra over’ cost.

The more informatio­n you give, the more accurate your quote will be; and it’s always better to know the likely costs at the start of the build, rather than suddenly find that extras have been added to the bill. If the full extent of the work wasn’t made clear in the original tender process (when you invite quotes), there’s a strong chance the resulting additional costs will render the original figure, and therefore your budget, meaningles­s. If you send out the same informatio­n to several builders and ask for a price, you’ll soon find that you get different answers from each, so thoroughly check what’s included.

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