How to compare contractors estimates?

We often get asked at Archadeck of Charlotte for an “apples to apples” estimate from consumers.  The request is a result of frustration that the spread between different estimates can be a substantial amount of money. To further the confusion, the consumer is often focusing on just one aspect of the project, that is the product itself.

Designing and building an outdoor living space is not like buying a car. When you go car shopping, you can compare a Toyota Camry to another Toyota Camry and it will come down to price ultimately if you specify the same features. The rationale is that the car is manufactured in the same plant and shipped to various dealers around the country. When you are trying to compare estimates from contractor’s, there is more to it than just the product. The company the constructs the product is everybit if not more important than the product itself. Here are things to consider when comparing contractors:

1. Years in business under the same name

2. Better Business Bureau (member and rating)

3. Expertise in your specific project

4. Number of people on staff and years of experience

5. Minimum of 10 references to call

6. Physical location where they can be found

7. Written warranty

8. Get exact written specifications that you can hold accountable to

Archadeck of Charlotte is a 22-year-old outdoor living space design builder that serves a 60 mile radius of Charlotte, NC. Visit the web site at or for more information.

One thought on “How to compare contractors estimates?

  1. This is such a great resource that you are providing and you give it away for free. I enjoy seeing websites that understand the value of providing a prime resource for free. I truly loved reading your post. Thanks!

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