This question was posted on Angie’s List recently and I thought it was worth taking the time to share my thoughts on this topic.
A remodeling quote depends on several factors. Does the company have sales and estimating staff? Is what you’re asking for a simple standard item or 1 small task? If your answer is yes, then you could expect a quote as soon as few days to a week.
If you have a custom remodel with many somewhat unique measurements, and many items, a quote can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks. The contractor may have to get pricing on many different things before they are ready to put your quote together. So the contractor may be waiting on other trades to estimate parts of your project. And it is likely that your project is not the only one being estimated on, so if the contractor is in high demand, that could also impact the time required to get your quote.
It’s best to be willing to wait a week before following up with your contractor for your quote. If a week has passed, try asking for another meeting. Contractors may take you more seriously if they think you really are ready to move forward and may make estimating your project a higher priority. As long as your remodeling schedule permits you to wait, be patient, and keep the communication lines with the contractor open.
I know many times I feel like people are just curious how much it will cost, but don’t know what they want and don’t have the money to make a decision about the project. If this is the situation, a contractor may make other clients who are more serious about moving forward a higher priority, meaning it could take longer for you to receive a response.
My recommendation is to do the work to find a contractor you trust first and then pay the price. A less than satisfactory job quality will haunt you every time you look at that part of your house. Or it may even cost you more if you have to hire another contractor to come in and fix problems later.
Some contractors who are popular will be booked up several weeks to several months in advance. Plan ahead, be detailed about everything, and ask a lot of questions. If you’re not confident about the contractor to do the job you are asking for, do some more due diligence and ask to see their last job that was like yours in person. Many previous clients would be happy to show off a contractor’s work if they did a great job.