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Understanding a Property Damage Estimate

When handed a huge, 15 page property damage estimate of words like “overhead”, “depreciation” and “window treatment”, it can be pretty overwhelming. Understanding these aspects and the estimate you are presented with is important, and will help you be able to better respond to it.


  1. Estimates are typically organized by room. Many estimators haven’t had experience in construction, and although they may pay close attention to detail and counting pieces, they many times miss major aspects to the functionality of a building. For example, they may remember every bit of baseboard and crown molding, but forget to include painting the exterior of the home.

  2. Provide detailed information on the scope of work. Make sure you have provided your adjuster or contractor all the information you can. As you look over your estimate, look at each aspect of work. Write down everything you see missing from the estimate and talk to your adjuster. There is no such thing as a dumb question. For example, you may see the cost of the carpentry of new cabinets, but the cabinet installation may be missing. Don’t be afraid to ask.

  3. It’s important that all room dimensions are exact. Although it may seem small, even one foot off in measurement can cause a big difference in cost. It’s important that this isn’t underestimated, otherwise you’ll be charged more than you thought possible.

  4. Overhead and Profit is always in a Contractor’s estimate. Usually these can total for 20%. Look for this in the estimate and understand how much it is.

  5. Price List. At the top of the estimate, there will be a line called “price list”. This identifies the year and month in which the list of all costs for materials and labor are included. If you aren’t sure where this is, ask your adjustor.

  6. Be patient and reasonable. It’s impossible to get everything perfectly included in the estimate. There are some aspects which are impractical to cover. It’s important to be educated on how an estimate works.

When restoring a home after storm damage, fire damage, or something else, Tactical Restoration is a great contractor to hire. Tactical works to have strong relationships with both the customer and the insurance adjuster, and because of that their property damage estimates are in line with the insurance adjuster. Click here to give them a call!