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4 Min. Read

How to Write an Estimate: 2 Ways, Tips & Template

How to Write an Estimate: 2 Ways, Tips & Template

If you’re a freelancer or an independent contractor, chances are you’ll need to write estimates. Properly written estimates are crucial for your potential clients. These estimates dictate who they’ll end up choosing for a job, and ultimately how their money will be spent. If you need to write professional estimates for your potential customers, be sure to keep reading. We’ve gathered the best ways to write estimates, as well as helpful tips.

Here’s What We’ll Cover:

2 Ways to Write an Estimate

Tips for Writing Estimates

Estimate Template

Key Takeaways

2 Ways to Write an Estimate

Check out 2 ways to write an estimate below!

1. Handwritten and Researched Estimates

When writing estimates, individuals with a lot of experience tend to be able to come up with costs based on past jobs. While this won’t work for everyone, it can for experts. They’ll be able to provide an accurate estimate after evaluating the job they’ve been tasked with. Because of their experience, they’ll be able to predict project costs for job estimates with minimal assistance.

Generally, these contractors will evaluate the job. They’ll take their competitors' prices into consideration, and then they’ll research the costs of the job being requested. For the most part, the information is relayed to the prospective client verbally, and then written down after the fact. These may not be the most detailed estimates available. Generally speaking, an estimate conducted in this manner is trusted due to the contractor’s experience. Word of mouth plays a large part here.

2. Writing Estimates with Estimation Software

If you’re looking to write estimates digitally, estimation software may be more up your alley. Estimation software assists in creating estimates. Potential customers can appreciate this method due to the level of detail it provides. All aspects of estimation are covered using estimation software. A detailed estimate using high-quality estimation software will cover the following areas:

  • Labor costs
  • An hourly rate where applicable
  • Overall project cost
  • Price estimates for material costs
  • Administrative costs where applicable
  • Additional room for potential costs

Using software to create estimates is becoming common. If you’re running a business that requires estimates, consider using our estimating software! It’s packed full of useful features, and can even be used to invoice clients. Get your payment terms in line, and start getting paid with our software today!

Tips for Writing Estimates

When you’re writing estimates, use the following tips to put any potential customers at ease. A customer at ease is one that’s more likely to purchase your services, after all.

A Detailed Estimate Makes for a Detailed Quote

Customers want details, especially when they’re paying for an important job. Any professional job estimate or quote should be highly detailed. Details should include labor, materials, and any costs that may be necessary. By giving your customers insight to all of the details, you give them peace of mind. They want to know that you’re looking at the project from every angle, just like they are.

Outline Expected Costs and Potential Costs

Expected costs should be included with every estimate you give. In addition to expected costs, it’s best to include potential costs, as well. This can include a range of labor hours, or materials that you may need. Even the best estimates can be inaccurate. If there’s anything you believe may come up during the job, include it as a potential cost. Customers don’t like it when the actual costs of a job outweigh their estimates. It’s better to be more liberal than conservative, should something else be required.

Be Highly Communicative

When a customer comes to you for an estimate, it’s important that you communicate with them throughout the entire process. Keeping them updated about where the estimate stands keep them happy. Including them on certain aspects of creating the estimate can be done, as well. Giving them options is a great way to communicate to them that you care about the job they need to do. Stay in touch with your clients.

Estimate Template

If you’re looking for a detailed how-to guide on writing estimates, check out our article on it here. It comes with a template attached for your review, as well!

Key Takeaways

While handwritten estimates are still around, estimation software is available now, as well. These are the 2 main ways to write estimates. Remember, when writing estimates, stick to best practices and be communicative. This increases your chance of success in landing clients.


If you need more articles like this, be sure to check out our resource hub. It has plenty of information regarding all financial aspects of business!


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