Have you ever had a client come to you in the middle of a job – or worse, at the end of a job – saying, “This isn’t what we talked about”? Probably. Cover your butt by creating a detailed estimate and get things right from the start.

3 Reasons why detailed estimates are awesome:


Detailed estimates are more accurate. There’s nothing worse than underestimating – it means working for free. If there’s crown molding around the room and a picture rail that the client wants painted in a secondary color, noting those details will help you accurately estimate the time and materials you need.

Customer Satisfaction!

Clients will appreciate seeing the details you plan to pay attention to on their project; it shows them you care about the job and their satisfaction. They’ll also appreciate an accurate timeline.

Clear communication!

You, your customer, and your crew can easily be on the same page about the expectations of a project. This cuts down on mistakes, which cost time, money, and customer satisfaction.

As with anything else, building detailed estimates takes practice.  If you’re not already in the habit, here are a few ideas to get you detail-oriented:

  • Are there areas that require extra prep or repair work?
  • Look for things that will add to prep and clean-up time (like if the work is on the 3rd floor accessible only by a narrow staircase)
  • Are there any unique surfaces that require special treatment or materials?
  • Note the width and style of trim around ceiling, baseboards, windows, doors, etc.

Detailed estimates are awesome because they are more accurate.  They show clients that you care about their project.  They make it easier to communicate clearly with clients and your crew.  Get in the habit of creating detailed estimates and make more money!