Homewyse: Contracting is one such business that includes many risky factors. The first one begins when you are pricing your services. It is very crucial that you keep the prices reasonable since a too high could result in losing clients and a too low could leave nothing with you.
For helping out budding contractors in quoting the prices of their services, an initiative was made via the Homewyse.
Homewyse is a site that provides the users accurate quotes to the clients.
Thus it helps you through all the pricing decisions. Homewyse basically acts as an estimator for pricing your contracting services. It claims to provide the most accurate pricing calculations.
But many people are often confused if Homewyse would be the right thing to rely on for such a risky business and crucial decision.
And hence here we have brought for you a review on using Homewyse to price jobs.
Homewyse Cost Calculator
Homewyse claims that their Comprehensive Cost Calculator consists of four general calculators and a number of material cost calculators or project-specific calculators.
These calculators differ but in the end use same metrics and versions of same variables. Let’s take a look at the cost estimating calculators –
Homewyse makes use of a few metrics that could be used to determine the pricing. These metrics include – Project Labor, Project Supplies, and Material and Fixtures.
Now you might be wondering about the difference between Materials and Supplies. Homewyse has a different dictionary in this matter. Material and Supplies indicate the larger or bigger things whereas the project supplies denote the smaller things.
The Material and Fixtures here include major components required in the work. For instance, doors or floor tiles, etc. Whereas the Project Supplies are defined as – “backing and underlayment, fasteners, adhesives, sealants, equipment allowances and equipment consumable supplies needed to achieve professional results and maintain conditions of manufacturer warranty.”
A major part comprises of the Project labor. Labor costs are calculated by Homewyse on the basis of hours required to complete the work. This is further selected on the basis of the project options you choose.
The complete package of Labor hours includes – basic job planning, setup and site preparation, material handling, fabrication of installed materials, installation and cleanup. And the time for project completion cannot be changed by you.
Homewyse makes use of a number of variables to access the metrics. For instance, if we consider a Kitchen, Homewyse will make use of variables like – Kitchen Area, Quality, Labor Type, Kitchen Layout, Project Options, etc. Basically, all these variables are measured through a scale. And in the end is present a zip code that comes as a result of the measurements on the scale for the above factors.
The overall pricing changes as any of the above variable changes. The area of the kitchen, labor type – skilled or handyman – Licensed or Unlicensed, Kitchen Layout style, etc. change the zip code.
The project option lets you choose the kind of work you want. The labor costs and materials are then predicted by Homewyse on the basis of your Project options.
The area of the project makes a huge difference since larger the area more the cost of materials, labors, etc. There sure is one additional effort from Homewyse here.
If you choose a particular area, Homewyse will add a few more feet to it. However, this does not mean that the estimates have to be accurate always.
After this major criterion, another important variable is Labor type. If you look for a licensed and a Skilled labor, the price is going to go high. On the other hand, handyman or unlicensed labor could be bought at a comparatively much lower price.
Quality is another important variable here. You will get four options for the quality. These extend from Discounted to Superior.
Conclusion – Use Homewyse Estimates or not?
So now let us take a look at what conclusion we have come to. Since the whole Homewyse site is dedicated for estimating prices for contracting business, it would be better if we consider the opinions on Homewyse from the contractors themselves.
Unlike your expectations, it turns out that many contractors have given negative opinions about Homewyse.
According to a number of contractors, Homewyse uses very few criteria and estimates as well. A number of factors like Travel time, and so on are not even considered in the Comprehensive cost calculators of Homewyse.
Many have stated that the prices at Homewyse are too low to be real. In fact the highest prices of some items are in real half the prices of those same items in the market.
As a review on some forums, users who have considered Homewyse have stated their experiences and opinions. One of which is by Brian Pulaski, as below –
“I just did a very quick look on just one item:I replaced an oil fired boiler, had multiple bids and went with my go to guy who did it for $6400. Homewyse stated the cost range to be $4100-4900… I would have loved to get it done for that cheap, but none of the subs quoted that.”
“I used my last zip code where the work was done. $350/SQ was going rate for tear off, replace and remove debris. My guy had a dump truck with high sides and brought it right to the dump, so no dumpsters. Additional layers to tear off cost more and any plywood replacement was extra, but the rate was the rate more or less for every company.
I figure Homewyse used an RSMeans style calculation and adjustments based on location. We used similar when doing Capital Needs/Improvements reports for towns and housing authorities. Rarely did they line up exactly with actual work, but they weren’t bad for budgeting.”
“The website showed me the breakdown of labor, materials, etc… and then totaled it all. So yes the numbers above were for the total job per the website.
As far as will it all even out… Not a clue. The two examples I did, looks like they would be close to evening out, if that were the two scopes you carried for and did. The issue remains that the best a website can do is create a math equation to calculate costs, and it is a roll of the dice if local contractors charge the same, or close to the math equation.
As far as what the impact will be, no idea. Keep in mind this is finding out subcontractor prices, most of your investors will probably hire a GC. You should make sure you are covering a GCs costs on top of it all. I do not know what residential GCs charge for their work. It probably depends on if their company carries any scope, as well as how in depth the deal is.”
Another one was by Manolo D –
“What they did was take data from the Craftsman line of books. Probably the one for remodeling then just converted it to a website. There are state/county modifiers as well that’s why you can zero it in on zip code. Yeah I’d pay 350-400/sq for roof shingles, but dumpsters here are 700/low boy so no program can guess that. Their hours are plain install, no material carrying, buying of materials, client interaction, overhead. Sometimes I go there for a quick ref, just to see if I’m in the ballpark, only 50% will hit my price.”
Overall, the view has been formed that Homewyse does not give the required and accurate estimates. This makes Homewyse non-reliable. It is quite clear by now that calculators and estimators cannot be as equipped as one might guess.
The prices stated are too low and this could hit hard for the contractors out there if they rely on such estimates.
I hope you have found this review useful and have made your decision on whether to or not use Homewyse.
In case you have any further questions, fell free to let us know in the comment section below. We will be glad to help you out through this.
And that’s it Homewyse!