What’s the Difference Between a Quote, Bid, Estimate and Proposal

What’s the Difference Between a Quote, Bid, Estimate and Proposal

When working with a contractor, you need to know the difference between these four items. Not only because you need to know what is going on, but also knowing the difference can give you a better idea of what the exact price of the project is going to look like.

Here is a rundown of each of these types of budget amounts and what you can expect with each one of them when it comes to working with a general contractor. 


A quote is a generated amount based off non-specific answers. This is generally just an idea of the price for the work you’d like, but it does not break down any specifics. Sometimes it can be close to the real amount and other times it might be a bit off. 


The bid is the amount, not a formal proposal, of the work that needs to be done, as well as price. These help the homeowner choose the best bid that works with them, while also ensuring that they have an idea of what everyone wants to do with the area. 


An estimate for a project is a closer idea of what the project might cost the person in the end. This is something that is given by the contractor once they come out and look at all that needs to be done. This is a more accurate approach to the amount you will have to pay.


This is a contract if signed that outlines the work that needs to be done, specific cost requirements and anything else. This is what the contractor is proposing for the work, should the homeowner choose to accept all that is outlined within it.

When it comes to working with any contractor, it is important to understand the cost before you hire them. You want to work with someone that is great at what they do, but also up front about costs.

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