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Question DetailsAsked on 1/28/2014

Should I pay for an estimate to a kitchen contractor

I am looking to have my kitchen redone. A contractor has asked me for $300 to provide an estimate (amount to be included in price if I hire him). Is this the norm?

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2 Answers


I have been in business since 1975 and have never charged for estimates. I do not know of any others in my line of work that do either. If you are talking detailed drawings it is a different story as many in my line do charge for this. Once you have been to a site and measured you might give out a less detailed perspective drawing to a client for free but not a plan with cabinet sizes and such. Many larger kitchens the design is almost like an artist's work and if the design is given out a customer can shop around with the drawings at suppliers that have less skilled designers for prices.

Once again on initial visit I would not expect to pay.


Answered 5 years ago by ContractorDon


This is getting to be a distinct issue recently - if you are getting a bid on a specified scope of work with a layout plan and all he has to do it develop exact dimensions from the plan to do his bid, then no - should be free.

However, thanks to a couple of home improvement magazines and blogs that encourage "milking" contractors for ideas up front and then using parts of each with one contractor, a lot of contractors and developers are now charging for "estimates" that include developing the layout or plan of a remodel - and I think that is only fair, because basically the owner is asking them to do what an interior deisgner or architect would normally be paid to do.

There is a big differnce between just color and pattern and cabinet selection from a sample book, and creating a layout from scratch. Especially when this is effort put in by the better contractors, which some other cheaper and less detailed contractor might then get the benefit of by using it and low-balling the bid. Charging for initial consultations and copyrighting proposals became the norm in the architect and engineering business a couple of decades ago - just starting on the contractor side now.

Answered 5 years ago by LCD

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