Quote vs estimate for roofing/building works

Hi, we need to have some roofing/building work done. (repair rather than new build).
Most of them seem to advertise ‘free estimates’. Being the cynical sor t I suspect this is so they can then charge more than the estimate rather t han giving a quote.
However one chap said that (i) a quote would be deliberately high to allow for contingencies, so we might end up paying more by having a quote rather than an estimate and (ii) if it was discovered that extra work needs doing, a firm that has give n a quote may just bodge it/ cover it up as they are working to a fixed pri ce, rather than bringing attention to any extra work and informing us of t he cost before proceeding further (although if that happened would we reall y be in a position to say no to the extra). (he subsequently gave a written estimate rather than a quote). Part of me thinks he has a point, but on the other hand is this just part o f his sales spiel ?
What does the collective wisdom of the newsgroup think ?
Is it better to request a quote or an estimate ? (thinking of other firms r ather than just this one)
Thanks.
P.S. I am posting this to uk.d-i-y and uk.legal. If anybody thinks a diffe rent group is more appropriate please let me know.
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

build).

As well as your concerns, there's other problems especially with roofing jobs where few customers ever venture onto a roof to see what the problems are and/or what the solution is or how well the job is executed. In recent times whenever a roofer has told me there's a problem I've asked him to take pics of it on his mobile phone and show them to me... and I've looked at the pics carefully enough to be sure I'm looking at my roof not some stock pics of some other roof. And I've been up their ladders for a closer look.
In the past I've had an instance of a company's quote describe in quite grandiose terms what the necessary work/processes for a repair was. But when the men came to do the job they spent about 2 minutes doing something (bodging perhaps?) which wasn't at all what the estimate implied was needed. I complained & the firm concerned had the balls to say "do you want us to come back and do what the estimate said?". No I bloomin' didn't, if what was done was actually adequate... but at the same time if what was done was enough, I didn't plan to pay the original estimated cost... That's a company I plan never to use again.

I think it depends on the scale of the job. If you're planning to spend thousands then you want not just to say "I need x, y and z done", but to say I think there are problems p q & r - what would you do to fix them and how much will that cost - you want to know how thoughtful they are and whether they already foresee issues you maybe don't know about. You need several quotes/viewpoints.
I don't think there's a solution to the issue of whether or not some quotes will have contingencies built in. I think every company will, if they find unexpected problems, try to get you to pay more to solve them.
--
Jeremy C B Nicoll - my opinions are my own.

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On 12/08/2013 00:52, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

No estimate is 'free'.

I think he has a genuine point.

I would only give a fixed price quote for doing a specific task. e.g. 'replace those 4 tiles'. If I then found the roof battens were rotten, I would tell you, but still expect to be paid the fixed price - sorting the battens would be another job. (Example only, I don't do roofing).
--
Dave - The Medway Handyman www.medwayhandyman.co.uk

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On 12/08/2013 08:33, The Medway Handyman wrote:

That is very true. Producing a detailed quote for a larger job can amount to a very significant amount of work. In some cases you may even have to actually do some of the design work before you can even price it.
--
Cheers,

John.
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On 12/08/2013 00:52, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

I'm not sure that there's a standard definition of either term. Your question implies that you are assuming definitions along the lines of:
Estimate: A rough guide as to what it might cost, but the actual cost could be different by quite a margin
Quote: A fixed price quotation for doing the necessary work, which will not vary whatever happens
In reality, life isn't quite as simple as that. What you need is for the contractor to specify his current understanding of the problem and to give a fixed price for fixing it - and also to spell out any caveats which could result in the price increasing when he actually comes to do it.
--
Cheers,
Roger
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On 12/08/2013 09:05, Roger Mills wrote:

Indeed it would be very unwise for a business to give a firm quote without also specifying the limits to that, and allowing for additional costs if unforseen extra work beyond the scope of the initial quote needs doing.
--
Cheers,

John.
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On Monday, 12 August 2013 00:52:58 UTC+1, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

ew build).

ort I suspect this is so they can then charge more than the estimate rather than giving a quote.

w for contingencies, so we might end up paying more by having a quote rathe r than an estimate and

ven a quote may just bodge it/ cover it up as they are working to a fixed p rice, rather than bringing attention to any extra work and informing us of the cost before proceeding further (although if that happened would we rea lly be in a position to say no to the extra).

of his sales spiel ?

rather than just this one)

ferent group is more appropriate please let me know.
When I asked for a quote for my roof I wasn;t sure whether I got an estimat e or a Quote for a new roof £11.5K they produced an A4 sheet of what they were going to do. At the end there was an extra £800 to pay can;t remmeb r the details. I heard that they give basic quotes/estimates based on other properties and looking at googlemaps to work out the area of the roof. They didn't come i nside ther property to inspect the roof. Perhaps they would have charged for an estimate/quote vica-versa because so meone would need to visit.
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