Key Differences Between Expensive and Cheap Estimates

Orlando Exterior Painting

When homeowners are looking to have their home repainted, a major factor in their decision making tends to be based on the estimates provided by contractors. The sheer number of estimates and the differences between each one can become overwhelming in no time. Is the most expensive estimate truly the best choice? Can the cheapest estimate still offer quality work that will be delivered on time? Unfortunately, it is impossible to choose a contractor based on the estimate cost alone. The reputation of the contractor and their track record of excellent work and happy customers often means quite a bit more than just the numbers. However, there are a few key differences between an expensive and a cheap estimate that are worth considering before you jump on the bottom-dollar option.


When you hire a contractor for any kind of work, having deadlines met is of utmost importance. Having deadlines extended time and time again can be extremely frustrating and if you are trying to run a business at the same time, the costs associated with these extensions and the disruption they cause can be devastating. Sometimes a contractor will provide a cheaper estimate because they are new on the market and are trying to make a name for themselves. While this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, new contractors don’t always have the experience to account for the time that all the small details of a job can take up. You might still receive a high-quality job, especially because they are trying to get a good reputation and to start off with happy customers, but you will have to wait for it. Seasoned contractors tend to have the time that everything takes down to a perfect science, so when they provide you with an estimate it will be spot on unless a surprise pops up.


Sometimes a cheaper estimate has nothing to do with experience and everything to do with material prices. Some contractors choose to use lower-quality materials in order to compete with the prices of other contractors in the area when there is a great deal of competition. Although the price may seem attractive, lesser quality materials might actually cost you more in the long run than if you had paid for the more expensive contractor in the first place. This is because cheap materials tend to wear out faster, be less durable, and can start looking old a lot faster than expensive materials. If you have to do the job a second time in the near future because the products didn’t hold up, then a more expensive estimate would definitely have been cheaper and it would also save you the hassle and time of having the job redone. More expensive materials usually provide a more polished and refined finished product right away compared to cheaper ones. For example, if you are having a contractor paint a room red, the color will be more vibrant and will stay that vibrant for longer since higher quality materials have better pigments and resistance to UV rays.

Attention to Detail

Last but not least, it is important to consider what is provided for in the estimate. Some cheaper estimates have overlooked issues that should really be dealt with, such as walls that need small repairs or wood details that need to be finished better. A more expensive estimate likely took the time to find all the small details before providing you with a quote, whereas the cheaper estimate likely overlooked quite a few problems that could reduce the quality of the end product if left unattended. In some cases, a cheaper estimate is a way for a contractor to get their foot in the door and then they will uncover smaller issues as they go, which can both extend the deadline of your project and increase the cost as well. A more comprehensive estimate is less likely to find more issues during the actual work, so you can rest easy that everything is going according to plan.

Overall, estimates can look complicated at first glance, but in reality, it is possible to filter through them and find the best option for your project. In most cases, quality, timeliness and professionalism are the most important features that a person looks for when hiring a contractor. Finding someone who meets these standards usually requires paying a bit more than the cheapest possible estimate. After all, contractors are skilled tradespeople and the quality that they provide is usually priced accordingly. It is always better the have the job done once by a true professional!

If you’d like to know more about our Orlando, FL painting company, feel free to contact us here or call us directly at 407.256.8610.