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What’s the difference between a builder’s estimate and a quotation?

John Conlin / 21 February 2017

Chartered surveyor John Conlin explains how builder's estimates and quotations differ.

A builder outside a house


When pricing building work, some contractors quote their price as an ‘estimate’, others as a ‘quotation’. 

What’s the difference?


An ‘estimate’ is a guide and the final bill may be different if unanticipated difficulties, delays or increased cost occurs whereas a ‘quotation’ is a fixed price. 

If you want to accept a price given as an estimate ask for it to be confirmed as a ‘fixed price quotation’.

Explaining Building Control and Regulations

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The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated. The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.