Why Won’t Contractors Give a Price Quote by Phone?

Written by John Van Groningen, Owner of Jondec Painting
Updated June 15, 2021
paint bucket on green ladder
An on-site cost estimate is more accurate and allows contractors to schedule enough manpower and time, as well as purchase the right amount of materials.
Katelin Kinney

You want a quick quote, but many home improvement companies don't give cost estimates without seeing the space in person. What gives?

“Can you just give me an estimate over the phone?”We hear this question at least once a week. While the answer is very simple, there's so much that goes into the reasoning. We aren't trying to be rude or sound like we are putting you off, but no.Here are four reasons why we and many contractors don't give price quotes over the phone:

1. We want to be thorough

Even if you're able to give perfect dimensions of your space, we might be looking for things which aren’t apparent to the untrained eye.

When we have a chance to come into your space and inspect things with our own eyes, you have the greatest chance of getting the best service.

Plus, talking a project through with a homeowner when we can see the space helps us to better understand your vision! 

2. We want our cost quote to be accurate

Sometimes there are details that might get overlooked by a homeowner because you see them every day, but our professional estimators might think otherwise.

And vice versa: What might look like a “very large” crack to you, could really just be a minor one to us. It’s all in the details.

3. We want to give you a fair estimate

We don’t want to overcharge you, but if we can’t actually see the space, it's very difficult for us to be precise.

We need to take measurements and know how the wall was treated previously. If we’re unable to do those things, we’re more likely to purchase more paint than necessary or overestimate time or manpower, which means increased cost for you.  And that’s just not fair to anyone.

4. Each space is unique

Just like snowflakes and people, every home is unique. There's not a single one that is exactly the same because they weren’t lived in by the same people, and they certainly haven’t been treated in the same exact way. (Think: “Hey Mom! Look at this pretty picture I just drew for you on the wall!”)

Sheen, previous coatings, and of course, design all make your space unique, and unique deserves attention.

We really do care about your space and we want you to be pleased with your finished product. If we’re unable to be thorough, accurate and fair, it’s unlikely your space will feel special and unique.

An interested, trained professional and a on-site estimate, allows you to talk face-to-face and know they’re not only listening, but that they also understand and can give you your desired finished product.

About this Experts Contributor: John Van Groningen is the owner of Jondec Painting. Headquartered in Tinley Park, Illinois, the family-owned and operated company provides painting services in Chicago, particularly the south suburbs. You can follow this service provider on Twitter.As of November 3, 2015, this service provider was highly rated on Angie's List. Ratings are subject to change based on consumer feedback, so check Angie's List for the most up-to-date reviews. The views expressed by this author do not necessarily reflect those of Angie's List.