We' re interested in having new siding (Rustic Series by Woodtone) and insulation installed on our aprx. 1100 sq. ft. home. We've had 2 different estimates - one for $18,000 and the other for $30,000. Which one is closer to the actual price? Should we keep looking for another siding estimate?
There's a couple of factors that go into pricing a job, one time to complete and two number of employees required to complete the job in the timeframe required.
Specifically, in your case, you have two estimates already. Generally, three estimates is standard if you're shopping around. It sounds to me like you've received the high-end and low-end estimates and a third would likely come in somewhere in between.
I will say that the $18,000 estimate is a rather precise number indicating to me that the contractor calculated out their costs and rounded up to the nearest whole number. Whereas the $30,000 estimate strikes me as a generalized number. Again, there are a lot of factors that go into an estimate and some unknowns that must be factored in as well (typically called "contingency") that the higher estimate likely added where the lower estimate may not have.
You can see why having a third estimate is a good idea, at the very least is allows you to see an average you can't see with just two quotes.
Something for you to note if you want to make sense of your quotes. If you take the estimate value and divide by the amount of days (minus weekends) to complete, that will give you a daily cost total. After that you can divide it further by how many employees there will be onsite which will give you a rough idea of what the hourly wage paid daily is. That is, if each estimate is labour only. If it's "time & materials" then you'll obviously take the time separate from materials.
Eg. $18,000 / 10days = $1800/day --> $1800 / 4 ppl = $450/day labour per person --> $450 / 9hrs = $50/hr
Keeping in mind that there are overhead costs being calculated into this value ($18,000 or $30,000) that aren't directly labour rates. Meaning, rather than employees being paid $50/hr they may only be getting $16-$25/hr .. plus the overhead costs.
Hope that helps you out and good luck.
Personally, I'd be a little weary of the lower price for a few reasons.
A lower price can mean a higher potential for change orders during the construction process. For instance, is new building paper (ie Typar or Tyvek) included in the $18k quotation.
Woodtone products, though widely used and of excellent quality, can be above average in cost and the rustic series is a good example from that.
Tim`s advice is excellent in that a third quotation is required as a check quote on the first two.
Also, get a breakdown from the first two quotes- see where their material and labour costs land when compared to each other. Material costs should not swing in price between each contractor.
Hope this helps.
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