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How Long Should It Take to Get a Quote Back From Your Contractor?

September 1st, 2023 | 5 min read

By Michael Flory

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As a homeowner with a vision for transforming your living space, you've likely found yourself eagerly researching contractors and envisioning the remarkable changes that lie ahead. Amid this excitement, you encounter a common challenge that homeowners often face: the anticipation of receiving a quote from your chosen contractor.

It's understandable; you're ready to begin your remodeling project, and the quote is the pivotal starting point. However, the uncertainty surrounding how long it should take to get that quote back can create a sense of unease.

You're seeking not only a timeline but also reassurance that your project will be accurately evaluated and financially outlined.

At Custom Built, we've spent over 15 years refining our remodeling processes and understanding the unique needs of homeowners like you. We recognize that obtaining a quote is not just about numbers; it's about setting expectations, establishing trust, and ensuring clarity in the journey ahead.

In this comprehensive guide, we aim to alleviate your concerns and provide you with a clear understanding of the timeline associated with receiving a quote from your contractor:

7 Factors That Influence the Quote Timeline

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When you're eagerly awaiting a quote from your contractor, understanding the variables that impact the timeline can provide valuable insights into the process. Various factors come into play, each contributing to the time it takes for your contractor to provide you with a comprehensive quote.

While a typical timeframe is 2 weeks (from the In-Home Consultation to the Project Proposal Meeting where you receive your quote), the following factors can increase or decrease that time accordingly.

Here, we delve deeper into these elements to give you a clearer picture of what to expect:

1. Project Complexity

The complexity of a project plays a significant role in determining how long it takes to receive a quote from a contractor. Projects that involve intricate design elements, specialized materials, or unique construction methods often require more time for accurate assessment.

Contractors must carefully evaluate the project's complexity to provide a quote encompassing all necessary details. Whether it's a complex kitchen remodel with custom cabinetry or a multi-level deck addition with intricate features, the contractor's time investment in understanding the project's intricacies directly impacts the duration it takes to receive a comprehensive quote.

2. Size of Project Scope

The size of the project scope is another vital factor influencing the timeline for receiving a contractor's quote. Larger projects, such as whole-house renovations or expansive outdoor living space designs, naturally demand more time for evaluation. Contractors need to assess not only the project's immediate aspects but also consider how various components interact and impact each other.

From material quantities to labor requirements, each detail of the project's scope must be thoroughly analyzed to provide an accurate quote. As the scope of the project increases, the contractor's careful examination becomes more intricate, contributing to the extended timeline for receiving a detailed quote that aligns with the project's scale.

3. Consultation and Communication

Effective communication between you and your contractor is vital for an accurate quote. 

Unfortunately, many homeowners don’t hear back from their contractors regarding the next steps of their project. We often hear from clients that prior contractors have promised to follow up with them after their first assessment, then never reach out to schedule another appointment. 

Collaborative discussions are necessary to clarify project details, preferences, and any modifications you want.

4. Scheduling and Workload

Contractors often have multiple projects in progress simultaneously. The current workload and scheduling availability can influence the time it takes to allocate sufficient attention to assessing your project and preparing the quote.

5. Supplier and Subcontractor Availability

The availability of materials from suppliers can impact the timeline. If certain materials have longer lead times, it might affect the time it takes to finalize the quote. Contractors need to consider these factors to provide an accurate estimate.

Additionally, general contractors could have difficulty getting updated prices from subcontractors they hire to work on your project - as subcontractors might also be impacted or bogged down schedule-wise.

6. Internal Review Processes

Many contracting firms have internal review processes to ensure the accuracy of quotes. These processes might involve different departments within the company, which can lead to a slight extension of the timeline.

7. Scope Changes

If there are any changes to the project scope after the initial assessment or if you have a large, undefined scope, it can require additional time to adjust the quote accordingly. Contractors need to ensure that the quote accurately reflects the revised project details.

Navigating the intricacies of these factors requires a balance between delivering timely quotes and ensuring their accuracy. As homeowners, understanding these variables can help you approach the quoting process with a realistic perspective, fostering a collaborative and transparent partnership with your chosen contractor.

10 Ways to Manage Your Contractor Quote Expectations

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Effectively managing your expectations during the quote process is pivotal to fostering a positive working relationship with your contractor. Here's how you can navigate this phase with confidence:

1. Open Communication

Establish clear and open lines of communication with your contractor. Discuss your expectations, project vision, and any specific requirements upfront. This ensures that your contractor understands your goals and can tailor the quote accordingly.

2. Realistic Timeframes

While you might be eager to receive a quote promptly, remember that accuracy precedes speed. Be open to a reasonable timeframe for the quote preparation, considering the factors that influence the timeline.

3. Understand the Process

Gain a comprehensive understanding of the quoting process from your contractor. This includes the steps involved, the information they need, and any potential challenges that might impact the timeline. A clear understanding helps you appreciate the time required for an accurate quote.

4. Transparency in Scope Changes

If you decide to modify the project scope after the initial assessment, communicate these changes promptly to your contractor. This transparency allows them to adjust the quote accordingly and prevents misunderstandings later.

5. Collaborative Approach

Embrace a collaborative mindset when discussing project details with your contractor. Rather than viewing the quoting process as a transactional exchange, approach it as an opportunity to co-create the vision for your project.

6. Prioritize Accuracy

Understand that an accurate quote requires meticulous evaluation and attention to detail. Prioritize accuracy over expediency, as a well-prepared quote lays the foundation for a successful remodeling project.

7. Be Responsive

Promptly respond to any inquiries or requests for additional information from your contractor. Your responsiveness ensures no unnecessary delays in the quote preparation process.

8. Ask Questions

Don't hesitate to ask questions if you need clarification on any aspect of the quote. A reputable contractor will be more than willing to address your concerns and provide the information you need to make an informed decision. Is your contractor asking you questions? If not, then they might be making a lot of assumptions about your project.

9. Factor in External Variables

Acknowledge that certain external variables, such as market conditions or material availability, can influence the quote timeline. While your contractor will strive to provide timely quotes, occasional adjustments might be necessary.

10. Trust the Process

Remodeling projects involve intricate planning and consideration. Trust in your contractor's expertise and dedication to delivering accurate quotes that align with your project goals.

By managing your expectations thoughtfully and collaborating closely with your contractor, you set the stage for a successful remodeling journey. Remember that the quote process is just the beginning of a partnership to bring your vision to life. 

Your patience and understanding during this phase contribute to a positive and productive working relationship that extends throughout your project.

Next Steps to Hiring Your Remodeling Partner

Returning to the heart of our exploration, the process of obtaining a contractor's quote, we understand the anticipation and eagerness you felt to kickstart your home transformation.

As you embarked on this journey to enhance your living space, the quest for accurate and timely quotes likely played a significant role in your decision-making process. This article was crafted with your quest for clarity in mind, addressing the very questions that arose when seeking insights into the timeline of obtaining contractor quotes.

In this guide, we've dismantled the uncertainty surrounding the timeframe for receiving a quote from your contractor.

At Custom Built, our commitment extends beyond providing exceptional remodeling services. We're dedicated to ensuring you have the knowledge and confidence to make informed decisions throughout your remodeling journey. With over 15 years of experience, our expertise is rooted in understanding the concerns and questions that homeowners face.

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Now that you know how long it should take to get a quote back from your contractor, your next step is to vet your remodeling partner options - we recommend the following articles:

Top 5 Issues you May Have with your Remodeling Contractor - Problems you might encounter after hiring your remodeling contractor

Michael Flory

Michael brings over 2 decades of building and remodeling experience to his position as the Owner and Visionary of Custom Built. Michael’s passion to make an impact on the home building industry has led him to serve for over ten years at the local and state Home Builders Association, culminating as President of the HBA of Michigan in 2020.