What do you mean estimate verses “guestimate”?
An estimate for a construction project is arrived at much like an estimate for your car repair after an accident. You list the parts and labor and give an estimate. With one huge exception: the construction estimate does not have a standardized cost manual like the automotive repair center does. Additionally, there are many more products to define for the end cost. For this reason, you must be sure that your building contractor is giving you a good detailed estimate, and not just a “guestimate”.
A detailed estimate will always have “take off” information that drives the list of final costs. If you get a lump sum cost for your project, ask your builder for an itemized list of costs that produces the final number. Ask for the details that define the itemized list of costs. This assures a detailed estimate, and most likely a pleasing and enjoyable final result.
If someone quotes a per foot price, beware! There are no details tied to that figure, and something as small as a faucet or specified window manufacturer can alter the per foot price by thousands of dollars.