How to Get Paid on Your Estimates


If you are providing a service, you for sure want to get paid for it!


When we talk about estimating we have to talk about negotiating at the same time because they go hand in hand. When we put those two elements together what we’re really trying to do is figure out how do I get paid a fair amount for the job that was done. The difference between being good at estimating and negotiating and not is the difference between a company that does the job that they think they’ll get paid for, versus a company that does the job that they should have been doing in the first place and understanding how to get paid for that job.




Where we see the majority of the problems is in where efforts are put into the estimating and negotiating process. Regarding a process, we have one that we put together in 8 steps below.


Here are our steps:

  1. Pre-inspection meeting 
  2. Pictures that tell the story 
  3. Accurate sketch 
  4. Present Options (if necessary)
  5. Scope
  6. Write the estimate 
  7. Estimate review
  8. Negotiate for the written estimate amount 

The problem is that we find that the effort people put in looks like a triangle, where there’s little effort put in at the beginning because technicians are very busy. They’re trying to get the emergency aspect of the job complete and it isn’t until you get down to the negotiating process at the end that you realize where the mistakes were made because now someone else is coming in and looking at your project.


Want to learn more about estimating and negotiating? Book the course here!



What we encourage you to do is reverse that effort triangle and put more time into the pre-inspection meeting, more time into getting the right pictures taken, and the right notes and so forth. So that by the time you get down to negotiating all the information is there. The estimator can compile it in a logical format, and you can get paid for the job that you should have done.


Click here to learn more about this 8-Step Estimating Process


Jeremy Reets

Written By: Jeremy Reets

Jeremy Reets started in water restoration in 1990. He is known as the innovator of the TES/ETES drying systems and a discipline of drying called Directed Heat Drying™. He developed the Evaporation Potential formula for use by restorers. He opened Reets Drying Academy and flood house in 2005 to provide water damage restoration education. In 2011, Jeremy developed Reets.TV, a series of online water restoration training packages.


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