The Content Of The Article:

The right questions to ask yourself before choosing a quote for masonry, plumbing or electrical work.

Wooden extension

The precision of the question induces the quality of the answer: to ask for a quotation thus passes before all by a clear and precise definition of your expectations.

Check your budget

No need to ask for quotes for work that can not be undertaken. There is also a risk of annoying or boring the company. Analyze the necessary means (loans, bonuses, subsidies...) before soliciting companies.

Define your needs

The more precise the demand, the less companies will be tempted to increase their offer: take the time to think about their needs. Browse journals, draw plans, visit the DIY stores and equipment of the house, talk with friends and do not hesitate to write a description of the work to be done... The quotes of companies will be more precise ( ask at least three quotes).

Perform a precise measurement

To avoid estimates with a punch, it can be useful to quantify the needs: surface and dimensions of the room, volume to be heated, surface walls or partitions... Companies will thank you (even if they then check ) and most importantly, you will have identical quantities on all quotes. The choice will be easier.

Find the "good companies"

Inquire about yourself: friends and neighbors have probably done work... Consult companies they have been satisfied or ask them for customer references. Another advantage, companies will have a positive outlook on demand (good return of their customers).

Analyze a quote

Sample job quote

If the total price is important, it is especially the points of detail, inaccuracies and possible oversights that must be scrutinized.

An estimate must include all the information proving the legal existence of the company. Name, address and SIREN (unique identifier of 9 digits, specific to each company) or SIRET (14 digits starting with the SIREN) or registration number in the Trade and Companies Register (RCS) or the directory of trades (RM)... allow to verify the date of creation and possibly the state of health of the company on the sites or

Quantities and discounts

Single, surface, volume, time... are all ways to quantify a book. But in any case, the quote must clearly distinguish between the supply and manpower: changing the quality of a parquet will change its price but not always that of its installation. To avoid any controversy, it is better to clearly distinguish the two!

The description

This is the most important part of the quote. In case of conflict, this information will be analyzed. It is therefore important that the work to be done is described as accurately as possible (quality, quantity and unit price of the products, materials and equipment supplied). To overcome this risk, professionals have become accustomed to completing their descriptions with the phrase " including all subjections (In other words, all the workmanship constraints normally imposed on the contractor) and treat on the basis of a price " net and flat rate ". Finally, check the limits of intervention of each company: who makes the hole, who rebouches it, who evacuates rubble? These points are sources of conflict and additional costs.


The estimate must specify the time of execution, the nature of the services and the hourly rate of labor, as well as the period of validity and payment terms (deadlines and terms of payment). There is no obligation... but an advance of 30% is usually paid when the document is signed, the remaining 70% being paid as the work progresses. However, it is possible to apply a holdback to be provided by contract: this is a sum not exceeding 5% of the total price of the work. Withholding prorated on each of the interim invoices, this sum must be released at most one year after the receipt of the work.

The three VAT rates

The prices displayed in the quote are exclusive of VAT, the VAT being added only at the end of the estimate. Depending on the type of work, the VAT rate varies: its normal rate is 20%. However, for conversion or maintenance work in dwellings completed more than two years ago, it is 10% or even 5.5% for energy improvement works, renewable energies and equipment for handicaps..

Compare quotes

Quote comparison

Forgotten, misunderstandings, errors of appreciation, miscalculations... so many points that make the analysis of offers the most complex step.

Check the descriptions

To easily compare two quotes, the ideal is that their structure is identical. In some cases, professionals go so far as to establish a DQE (Estimative Quantitative Detail): This is a list of jobs with the quantity of materials and their unit price. The company only has to enter the unit prices. The comparison is simplified. For an individual, the issue is the same. The more detailed the quotes and their identical decomposition, the easier it is to choose one! It is therefore useful to write a short description of the work to be done and if possible to calculate the necessary quantities with the corresponding areas.

Check the quantities

Make sure companies have encrypted the same quantities. Watch for forgetfulness Last point: check the calculations. It is not uncommon to find mistakes!

Confront also variants

It is often wrong to mention the "variants" only after choosing the company: do not be content with your offer. Request the same encryption from other companies. There may be some good surprises!

Beware of big discrepancies

Any significant difference between two lots should catch your attention. Either the company did not understand the request, or it forgot something, or it does not master the technique and higher its price. In any case, remove the doubt by talking with her...

Exclude the extremes

Professionals are in the habit of saying that we must exclude as much the cheapest as the most expensive proposal... to focus on intermediate offers. Indeed, it is common for the cheapest offer to ignore certain points and the most expensive to overestimate others. Finally, like the pros, do not hesitate to ask for several quotes: three for a small building site, five or six for a big operation.

Look for the "best-known"

The lowest estimate is not necessarily the one to choose: some companies can indeed respond with very low prices to increase their chances of getting the job. Also, it is better to privilege the "best-selling" offer, in other words the offer which brings all the guarantees of technical quality.

D System Info

Renovation of a roof

Masonry and roofing: the company must have a "ten-year guarantee". In case of complex work, ask for a "calculation note" produced by a design office.


Isolation: watch out for fashion effects and find out about any tax credits.

Exterior joinery: focus on quality, monitor the details ofairtightness and do not forget that tax credits only concern materials.

Electric meter

Electricity: if an electricity meter is installed, the installation will be verified by the " Consuel ". No worries: the installation will therefore comply with the standards!

Plumbing: Sanitary facilities are subject to significant discounts (up to 30%) that are not necessarily reflected in the quote!


Heating: reasoning « return on investment And here again one must be wary. Do not forget to ask for warranties, notices and instructions!

How to negotiate a quote

  • No need to save money on the small sums... All the "pros" will say it: it is easier to negotiate 1 000 euros of discount on 10 000 euros than to seek to gain the same sum on ten lots to 1 000 euros! To negotiate discounts, focus on big jobs...
  • Check the price of supplies in "duty free". The VAT rate applied depends on the type of work to be done. In addition, the price excluding taxes allows you to check the possible discount granted to the company in relation to the public price announced by the manufacturer.
  • Avoid the solutions that the company can not masterit will tend to overestimate their cost. On the other hand, do not hesitate to ask her to make proposals to lower the price: she will suggest solutions that she masters well. In the end, we will gain in quality for a lower cost.
  • In renovation, do not buy the materials. We will lose all the benefits of a reduced rate VAT that the company is supposed to charge.
  • Pay "black Can be counterproductive: you will only earn on the labor force and, if you buy the materials yourself, you will pay a VAT of 20%. We will lose on one side what we have saved on the other... With less guarantees!

How to make the right choice of a quote?

Before committing to a quote, it is important to check a few points to make sure that the project is going well!

Confirm your equipment

Sanitary, electricity, flooring, painting, windows, etc. Confirm all your choices. The company will be able to order (no more excuses for deadlines) and especially the estimate can be "locked": nothing is worse than the additional works that arrive during construction!

Treat "net and lump sum"

It is often difficult to think of everything. Some companies take advantage of these inaccuracies or omissions to increase their estimate during construction. And that while they are supposed to know all the subjugations induced by the estimate. Request that the latter include the words "net and lump sum" in front of the total cost. They will not be able to flee their responsibilities.

Ask for insurance contracts

The masonry and roofing work is covered for ten years by insurance taken out by the company. There is nothing outrageous about asking him for a copy of his contract. Same thing for companies certified RGE, Qualibat, etc.: do not hesitate to be explained what it is and check if you have a doubt!

Validate the schedule

Who did not know a building site without delay? If there are several companies, bring them together and make sure they are on the same schedule! If there are any fears, have the specifications specify the intermediate deadlines and the expected final acceptance date.


Companies frequently post logos on their vehicles or business cards. What is it about?
They generally attest to their qualification: Qualibat (technical capabilities), ECO Artisan (improvement of energy performance)
Qualifelec (electricity and electronics), Quali'Sol (solar water heater), Qualibois (wood heating), Qualipac (heat pumps), PG (Professional Gas), Quali'Eau (safety of drinking water networks)... If there is one to remember: the label EGR (Recognized guarantor of the environment). The companies requested must have the label EGR mandatory if one wishes to benefit from financial assistance for its work (tax credit, eco-PTZ...)

For further:
Find an EGR Company:
•, then click on "I am looking for an EGR professional".
Quote info:
• Life-practice / Practical sheets / Quotation
• your rights / F31144

Video Instruction: 3 Steps for How to Quote a Lawn Mowing Job Accurately