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Free Template: How to Write A Remodeling Estimate

Optimize your remodeling business with our free home remodeling estimate template and expert how-to guide.

Houzz Pro

JULY 9, 2023

No matter the size of the remodeling job, delivering a professional, precise home remodeling estimate at the start helps avoid issues later as the project progresses. A quality remodeling cost estimate puts everyone on the same page, sets expectations for potential clients and helps assure you are earning the money needed to help your business grow and thrive.

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Customize this Remodeling Estimate Template to secure your next job.

A  home remodeling estimate template is one of the fastest ways to learn how to draft estimates because it serves as a guide for what should be included in a remodeling estimate. Our free, printable remodeling estimate template is available in both Word and Excel. The remodeling estimate template is downloadable, making it easy to email and share with clients.

Plus, this fully editable remodeling estimate template lets you customize it for your business with your brand, logo and look. Contained in the remodeling estimate template is a sample remodeling estimate to serve as inspiration for creating your own.

While using a remodeling estimate template is a great way to get started as you create your first estimate, many remodeling professionals quickly learn that it is more efficient to use a remodeling estimate software. 

Estimating software takes over the heavy lifting so you can deliver your estimates as quickly as clients expect, increasing your chances of getting the job. With Houzz Pro remodeler estimate software, a takeoff tool is built in, allowing you to create estimates 10 times faster without a calculator or the need to print plans. Explore Houzz Pro’s all-in-one management software with a free trial.

What is a Home Remodeling Estimate?

A home remodeling estimate provides an approximate cost of a project to potential customers. It is based on the remodeler’s knowledge of the proposed project, market conditions, the costs of materials and labor, and any other relevant factors. 

An estimate differs from a quote, bid or proposal because it is not typically binding, but an early educated guess to help clients understand what a project is likely to cost them. It is often followed by a quote, which is a more exact cost of the project, and what you as a remodeler will charge for the work. Sometimes, clients seek bids from multiple contractors and these are more detailed, like a quote. A proposal combines all three as well as more information about the company and past projects.  

Why are Remodeling Cost Estimates Important?

Getting remodeling cost estimates right not only helps assure that you and clients are on the same page, but helps remodeling professionals figure in all their expenses. This includes the percentage of profit you are seeking to earn to help grow your business, and the overhead costs of running your company.

There are several variables that can influence a remodeling estimate. These are some of the common ones:

  • Project Magnitude Naturally, the size of a project affects the cost of doing the work, and so does the extent of the work. A remodel of a bedroom is less likely to be as costly as that of a kitchen, for example, which has multiple surfaces and elements such as floors, backsplashes, islands, cabinets and counters. 
  • Location Prices of labor and materials can vary greatly by region so consider where your company is located and what competitors are charging. Also, figure in travel costs, and finding labor in more remote locations.
  • Condition of Home Costs increase depending on the current condition and age of the home. Account for surprises that may be found behind the walls and under the floors after demolition begins.

When do you Send a Home Remodeling Estimate?

Depending on the client, a home remodeling estimate template is often the first document remodelers provide to clients who are seeking to gauge what a project will cost them. It is typically followed by a more specific quote that will become the basis for the amount you will charge for the project. Clients may request a proposal, which is even more detailed and expansive than a quote because it includes more extensive information about your team, company and past projects. 

What Should be Included in a Remodeling Cost Estimate?

Most remodeling cost estimates include the same basic information and elements that serve as the foundation for the estimate. Using a customizable remodeling estimate template will help you tailor it to meet your specific needs. Here is a list of important details to include:

  • Company Information Besides your company name and address, including your logo and typeface makes the estimate look more professional and uniquely yours. Also add contact information of the person who will be handling the project.
  • Client Name When including the client information, also add the name of the person who will be the contact point.
  • Estimate Number & Date Creating an intuitive numbering system for your estimates will help you keep them organized and easier to locate. A date is important especially since the prices in an estimate may expire after a certain amount of time. 
  • Table of Labor & Materials This section should make it easy for clients to understand the cost of the project including the estimated labor hours and rate, as well as a breakdown of the materials that will be required to complete the job. 
  • Summary of Costs This is a place to include a wrap up of all the costs involved in doing the project.
  • Acceptance & Signature Include a space for all parties to sign and date the estimate when that time comes. This will likely end up being an electronic signature so make sure you have a process and the tools for doing so.

Optional Sections of a Home Remodeling Estimate 

Remodeling pros often incorporate other elements into their home remodeling cost estimate template depending on the job and circumstances. Here are some examples of information you may want to include to assure everyone is on the same page:

  • Scope of the Work Summarizing what work is included in the project can clarify the details and signal to customers that you understand what they are seeking as they remodel their home. It also can help avoid misunderstandings down the road.
  • Licensing Information Noting that you are a licensed remodeling contractor and providing that number, can provide credibility and assurance to clients. 
  • Timing for Completion Providing a timeline of when the work will start and end can be important for clients who are anxious to get started, and it can also help manage their expectations during your busy season.
  • Exclusions Projects that are extensive or are more complex may prompt you to clarify what is excluded in the project.
  • Discounts Note any discounts you provide for new customers, up front payments or larger jobs. 
  • Guarantees What warranties or guarantees accompany your work?
  • Terms & Conditions This is a good place to note that the estimate is not a final quote for the job, or to add information about how long a client has to inspect work, and how you handle change orders. 

How to Create a Remodeling Estimate Step-by-Step

Let’s get started on drafting a remodeling cost estimate. Here are the steps to take to bring your estimate to reality and deliver it to a homeowner:

1. Choose a template or tool Decide what tool will help you get started. With tech tools readily available, there is no reason to waste time with pen and paper. You can start with a free remodeling estimate template that is customizable, so you can easily tailor it to meet all your needs. Even better is home remodeling estimating software which makes the task even faster and easier. Both are light years better than feeling the angst of staring at a blank document on the screen. 

2. Review Project Details Go over the plans and scope of the project to make sure you fully understand the expectations of the client and the extent of the work involved. You may need to visit the job site to fill in any gaping information holes.

3. Estimate Costs Accurately estimating the material and labor costs is the bulk of the work. Here are some key costs to consider:

  • Variable Costs These are the material and labor costs that will vary by project.
  • Fixed Costs Determine the everyday costs of running a business such as rent, vehicles, insurance, computers, salaries, and more. The total monthly or annual costs need to be figured into every project to accurately understand your expenses.
  • Estimate Labor Costs The complexity of a job, the skills required, and the regional labor market are factors that  impact the number of labor hours and hourly rates for a project. Research the rates in your area before coming up with an average hourly rate.
  • Estimate Material Costs Gaining a knowledge of the wholesale prices for materials in your area combined with conducting accurate takeoffs and measurements will help you calculate the total material costs. Of course, the material costs will also vary depending on the clientele and whether they are seeking high end products or more moderately priced ones.

4. Prep/Post Work Account for the cost of any work needed to prep the job site which you will be performing. This may include removal of existing furniture, art, appliances and other items. Ditto for any post-project tasks.

5. Determine Markup Remember to factor in your overhead costs. Include fixed costs, profit and other expenses not directly related to the project and determine what percentage markup you will add to the project costs to come out ahead.

6. Calculate Total Costs Add up everything to reach the total costs that will be the home remodeling estimate tally. 

7. Seek a Second Opinion It is a good idea to ask someone you trust to review the home remodeling cost estimate before you send it to a client. They can help flag anything  you may have missed. 

8. Preview and Send Take one last look and send your remodeling estimate to the client with details of how they can reach you. Some professionals include a date by which the estimate expires to provide a deadline.

9. Track Feedback or Approvals The process does not end when you hit send. Set up a way to track any feedback from the clients and record an ultimate approval.

Alternatives to Home Remodeling Cost Estimate Templates

When homeowners decide it is time to do a makeover on what is likely their biggest investment, they expect to receive a remodeling cost estimate quickly. By using remodeling estimate software such as Houzz Pro with its built-in takeoff tool, remodeling professionals find they can create estimates 10 times faster than their competitors, and therefore increase their chances of winning the project. 

Final Remodel Estimating Tips

It takes time to make your estimates among the best in the remodeling industry. Here are some more tips to help you make your estimates better time after time:

  • Scope it Out Underestimating the amount of labor or materials it will take to complete a job can lead to uncomfortable conversations with your clients, and even worse, money coming out of your pocket. Make sure you have a clear understanding of the extent of the work a homeowner is seeking. 
  • Understand Required Skills Not every aspect of a remodeling job is created equal. Know the specialized skills it will take to complete a job and understand the going pay rate for those skilled tradespeople. 
  • Don't Skimp on Overhead Value the costs that it takes to operate a business. Including an accurate estimate of your overhead assures that you are bringing in the revenue that is needed for your company to thrive.
  • Know Your Competition How you measure up against the services and prices charged by your competitors will impact your ability to bring in a steady stream of clients. Research how your estimates compare to understand if they are matching the current marketplace. 
  • Grow From Mistakes  Learning how to create estimates is not always easy. No one is perfect and circumstances change over time. Learn from your errors and also be flexible to adapt to changes in the market as needed. 


Delivering accurate and professional estimates to clients in a timely manner is a key to succeeding in the remodeling industry. Knowing the current market climate in your region, understanding what to include in an estimate and adopting the latest estimation tools can put you ahead of the game as a remodeling contractor. A free, customizable remodeling estimate template can help you get started. 

Explore our takeoffs and estimating features specifically designed for remodelers by trying a free trial of Houzz Pro remodeling business software.

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