What is a Virtual Estimate, and Can They Be Trusted?

If the events of the past couple of years have taught us anything, it’s to expect the unexpected. It’s been a trying time to say the least – one that has completely transformed the way millions approach seemingly simple tasks.

Understandably, we’re still living in a time when a lot of people would prefer not to invite strangers into their homes. Keeping your family safe will always be your number-one priority, so taking sensible precautions is always the way to go.

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Consequently, more contractors than ever before have begun offering virtual estimates. A convenience service available for both interior and exterior painting jobs, where conventional inspections are not the preferred option.

But how exactly does a virtual estimate work? Is it possible to provide an accurate estimate without actually visiting a home, and can these kinds of estimates be trusted?

The Potential Benefits of a Virtual Estimate

In the right circumstances, a virtual estimate can be quite convenient.

For example, it could simply be that for reasons that require no explanation, you would prefer not to have a team of painters visit your home. You could be planning a project for some time in the future, and would like to get a basic quote for the work today – as safely as possible.

Likewise, it could also be that you are self-isolating at home, having come into contact with an unwell individual. Or for that matter, you could be under the weather yourself with a cold, flu or anything else.

The biggest benefit of a virtual estimate is the convenience of the whole thing.  Nobody has to visit your home and the whole thing can take place at a time and date convenient to you. All without risking your own health, or that of anyone else.

How Does a Virtual Estimate Work?

With a virtual estimate, it is basically a case of providing the contractor with all the information they need to calculate the price of your project. This, in turn, means that the accuracy of the information you provide will determine the accuracy of the quotation.

Ideally, you will need to provide the contractor with details such as the approximate measurements of the walls to be painted, their current condition, the type of finish you are going for and so on. Providing pictures of your home’s interior/exterior will also give the painting team a good idea of what to expect.

Real-time video consultations can even be organized, where the contractor is taken on something of a virtual tour of the customer’s home.

It is generally a process that involves a combination of phone calls, emails and picture uploads. Essentially, everything the contractor needs to get a good idea of what the project will entail.

Can I Count on a Virtual Estimate?

Again, the accuracy of the estimate you are provided with will be determined largely on the accuracy and completeness of the information you provide.  However, it is comparatively rare for a contractor to offer a formal quotation on the basis of a virtual estimate alone.

Hence, the estimate you are provided with virtually should be taken as just that – an estimate, which will be confirmed at a later date. This is for two equally important reasons:

  1. The contractor may not be able to see your home and its requirements in enough detail to provide a perfectly accurate quotation. You could end up being quoted a price higher than the actual job necessitates, due to certain issues that may need clarifying.
  2. Alternatively, it could be that the estimate you are provided with on the basis of the information you submit is too low, due to inaccuracies. Had the contractor provided a fixed quotation based on inaccurate or incomplete information, it leaves all parties in a difficult and awkward position.

With a virtual estimate, what you are typically looking at is more of a ballpark figure as an indication. Something that will subsequently need to be confirmed, by way of an extensive in-person inspection at a later date.

Can I Have My Home Painted in My Absence?

Last up, it is a surprisingly common request among homeowners for their properties to be painted while they’re away from home. And the short answer is yes – it’s perfectly possible.

In fact, in some instances it can even be a preferable option. It could make the job quicker and easier to complete, while at the same time minimizing disruption for you and your family.

For more information on any of the above or to arrange an estimate for your home painting project, contact a member of the team at Homm CPS today.