Construction Quotes…Do You Know the Difference?

June 17, 2010

Construction Quotes…do you know the difference?

Since home improvement projects are high on the list these days and regardless how big or small your project is it’s important to get honest and accurate pricing from a reputable contractor.

It’s really beneficial for you to understand the different type of quotes and which ones will best suit your needs and project.  This process can be stressful, time consuming and confusing so read below for clarity. 


What’s the Difference?

An ESTIMATE is a ball-park figure, an approximation, a rough calculation based on a preliminary design or plan.  A price is devised based on the availability of information given at that time.  Usually estimated prices will change as the plan/design evolves and more permanent decisions are made.    

A PROPOSAL is written offer based on the work a contractor is going to perform which totals cost for materials, labor, equipment and time.  It will also include terms, conditions and payment schedule outlined for the work to be preformed.  It requires signatures from both parties. 

A BID is another written offer but based on specific information and descriptions.  It’s a takeoff of completed drawings or construction documents that detail the scope of the work and specifications. It states the money requirements and includes materials, labor, equipment and time.  In most situations once a contractor is awarded the bid it becomes part of the contract documents

A CONTRACT is a legal and binding agreement between the contractor and homeowner to do specific work.  It outlines the entire scope of the project including contingencies, stipulations and compensation.  It assures that both parties will hold up to their end of the deal.  A contract must be signed and dated by all parties.

A CHANGE ORDER is a “change of work”.  It is a written order signed by the contractor and homeowner to make a change that is not included in the original scope of work.  It authorizes the contractor to make the change for a specific amount of money and time. 

The final price you decide on must be as accurate as possible.  The most important thing you can do for yourself and your project is to hire a contractor that you feel comfortable with and has a quality reputation.  Don’t let the bottom number dictate who you choose because if you don’t go with a competent contractor you will end up paying more in the end.  Listen to your gut!


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Article by Cheryl Sandella, ASID Interior Designer, Fountain Hills, Arizona

©2010 Cheryl Sandella.  Sandella Custom Homes and Interiors, LLC. 

Cheryl SandellaAbout Cheryl:

Cheryl Sandella, Interior Designer ASID Allied Member and CEO and Founder of Sandella Custom Home and Interiors.  She is a talented designer dedicated to providing homeowners with a high level of design standards and expertise, while providing guidance and support throughout the home renovation process.  Presenting every homeowner with a precise plan and customized design.

Cheryl is known for her keen eye and ability to pay close attention to design and details while never loosing site of the homeowner’s lifestyle, budget and dream.   She works closely with her husband and partner of over 30 years, Al Sandella, General Contractor and together they design, remodel and build homes in the valley.

To read more about her go to   and sign up to receive the FREE Guide, “How to Create a Design Notebook” and to discover upcoming promotions, programs and services. 

WANT TO USE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR NEWSLETTER, BLOG OR WEB SITE? You can, as long as you include this complete blurb with it: Cheryl Sandella is a sought out Interior Designer who specialized in design, remodel and custom home building.  Cheryl is the CEO and Founder of Sandella Custom Homes and Interiors.  She publishes a monthly eZine called “Bespoke Home”.  If you want Tools, Tips and Guidance to design, remodel and custom home building, be sure to get your complimentary subscription at  

Sandella LogoCheryl Sandella

Sandella Custom Homes & Interiors

PO Box 18132

Fountain Hills, AZ 85269

480.836.1543 – office

480.816.4233 – Cheryl’s personal line


August 5, 2008

Hi Everyone and Welcome to my Business Blog…

I have worked in the home building and interior design industry for over 25 years and I’m excited to share my information with you.  We are a company devoted to helping people design and build their dream home.  Many have welcomed me into their lives so I could create remarkable living spaces for them.  I  love what I do and I’m sharing because I want to make a difference in people’s lives. I want to give you information that will guide you in the construction/design process so you have a solid foundation to build on.  I have a great mentor to work with, my husband and business partner for over 30 years.  He is truly an expert in custom home building and I continue to learn from him regarding the components of construction.

Be sure to visit my blog frequently and please share it with your friends. 

Cheryl Sandella

Interior Designer, ASID Allied Member

Cheryl Sandella publishes the monthly eZine “Bespoke Home”.  If you want the tools to design and build your dream home be sure to get her complimentary subscription at