Just the wording offering “free quotes” is misleading. There is no such thing as a free quote! You might be new to obtaining a handyperson or want more insight into what is different about paying for a quote. If you value your time, keep reading. Why is it so confusing? Why do some offer free quotes and others charge for them? – Should be simple, right! Free quotes for everybody, or we all pay for it.

What is a free quote?

Free quotes are a guesstimate either provided over the phone or based on interactions when dealing with multiple tradies. Only to be left wondering. What is involved, any obstacles, how much time, effort, and what materials or options it may take to finish my job.

It is free, there is no definite time and date allocated to visit your premises. It’s done on their schedule, with the potential to visit your premises spontaneously, which adds to your inconvenience.

Since you did not pay for the quote, it technically remains a verbal agreement. Minimal detail is offered in exchange. Less accountability to do your job!

What you may not realise is that you are telling other tradies, sure make my job be open to “other clients” and take on a bigger paying job and politely decline mine.

It is also more flexible than returning to the office, calculating the hours, materials, etc. It’s easier to show up and throw a random figure – because it’s free! 

There is also that risk of the tradie not showing up and remaining not committed to providing the quote. As a homeowner, your goal is to find and anticipate any challenges and reduce unplanned financial surprises. Putting pen to paper and providing the quote promptly, takes time and effort.

Three main ways to estimate a cost of a project

  • Phone/video call 

When the client calls for an estimate, you talk about the job, the tradie asks questions about the work and based on the description of the problem, the tradie acts accordingly.

  • Website/online quote requests

With online get a quote request, clients inputs the information about their project and attempt to provide as much detail about their job. Some offer a quick turnaround in response time – others don’t!

  • Site Assessment/Callout – Our best pick!

Some jobs will always require an in-person assessment. Extracting knowledge and valuable information from the tradie expertise is vital to the success of your project and your overall satisfaction dealing with the tradie and outcome.

From the tradies’ point of view, they should gauge what the work will involve in real-time. Conduct a site assessment and in-depth analysis of the problem and begin to diagnose the problem and professionally interact with you.

Whether or not some handymen offer free estimates depends on what works best for their business and the type of clients they choose to do business with!

Free estimates can be for small, straightforward projects like selling ice cream from a truck, painting one wall or assembling a small table. 

For jobs with time constraints, complications, detailed installation, modifications, precision craftsmanship, and quality products that require a quality result, charging for the estimate makes sense.

Deciding between a free quote or paying?

  • Complexity and execution of one or collective jobs. 
  • A required unique approach to all different tasks. 
  • The project size and budget
  • The level of experience the handyperson has in not one field, but several
  • Level of experience in customer service and dealing with people with different backgrounds
  • The likelihood of closing the sale
  • Whether the same handyperson quoted comes to do the job.
  • The problem needs a licensed tradie to do the work after all
  • Diagnosis before planning the work
  • How accurate and thoroughly thought through the quotes are that reflects the handypersons job
  • How much detail is in the quote
  • How long does it take to provide a quote?
  • Estimated time frames to complete the works  
  • Scope of delivery
  • Quality of tools the handyperson has
  • Years of experience in the building industry

So why do some tradies still offer free estimates?

Like everything, some advantages come with offering free quotes.

A no-brainer to get a foot in your door!


The tradie does not have to ask too many questions over the phone. It makes it easier to accept most jobs and show up. Depending on the mannerisms, behaviour and professionalism of the tradie it may help to be remembered to win the job.

They appear more competitive.  

Offering free quotes sets them apart from those who charge a fee. To compete with other businesses that provide free quotes.

A marketing tool – It grabs your attention.

Many sole traders and large companies may choose to offer free quotes. A selling strategy used for many years. (Things were different back then) It can be used in their marketing materials, leading to a free quote button on their website or direct phone calls.

It saves time and effort.

Since a free quote remains an approximate calculation, it’s easy to collectively gauge the works and go from client to client and settle on final numbers later. When that client is ready for a detailed quote—they chase the tradie for a detailed quote and charge for it at a later stage or put it in their pricing. 

Quotes cost tradies too!

Someone has to pay for all that travelling around, fuel consumption, tolls, vehicle maintenance, running costs of the business, subscriptions, mortgage, rent, tools, loss of income from not winning jobs and the list goes on!

Obtaining two-three quotes can become expensive.

As expensive as it may be, are there any downsides to getting a free quote? Have I made the right decision?

What other people’s experiences have been like obtaining free quotes? I still want a free quote, but how do I don’t make the same mistake other people have in the past?

A free quote sounds good, but there are a few downsides that may make you think twice!

Some handypersons do not offer free quotes because they hold themselves accountable, provide valuable information from their services and expertise, contribute to the overall success of the project and are just really pleasant to deal with. Their time and effort are expleted in clients who are more than happy to pay for a quote, who are willing and ready. These clients understand that free quotes attract a certain type of clientele and a particular way of dealing with them. 

Free quotes have a perceived perception in clients and handypersons. Both already perceive it may be a wasted time to visit the client’s home and or discuss the intended work. 

Paying for the quote guarantees your spot. All interactions are professional from the beginning and transparent. 

Offering free quotes invites the wrong clients and attracts time-wasters who fill up the handyperson’s schedule. The best prospective clients put more importance on quality than price and are more than happy to pay for a site assessment/ callout/quote fee. 

Offering free quotes can attract clients who care more about spending as little money as possible. Over time this can make the handyperson retaliate in the same fashion, work ethic, providing cheap material, quality etc.

When you pay for the quote and experience this service, you won’t know the difference. You could push the handyperson for a more detailed plan/quote. The handyperson may be hostile towards you or politely decline. Still not getting want you want, get upset and realise you are not getting the type of quote or treatment you expected. All achieved was more time-wasting. 

You’ve convince me to try and experience paying for quotes.


As a licensed professional tradesman who values clients’ time and their own, I charge for quotes.

So how much do you charge?

A quote can start from $80+GST, and upwards, depending on the size and complexity of the work. Quoting to fix several items, and installing them in the house will be on the lower end. While complete home makeovers internal and external of the home could be at the higher end.

Why ITS NEVER TOO LATE HANDYMAN SERVICE does not offer free quotes? 

If you are like me and read this far, you are educated or intelligent enough to understand that free quotes are never free. We both know the expense is covered in the quote, or hidden in the pricing. Better yet, hidden fees miraculously pop up somehow, justified by the handyperson in the middle, or towards the end of the job.

They call it a free quote. The customer is paying for it in the end. Or, even worse, you end up paying for it with wasted time and energy. 

So, you have to decide if free quotes provide more value before agreeing to a free quote and ask the handyperson several questions before they show up.

I would have to raise my rates by 33% to justify giving free quotes. For my business, that doesn’t make sense.

Knowing I remain transparent and can explain to customers many good reasons why I don’t offer free quotes, has their best interest in mind. Because of this, I create trust before I even go to meet. Creating a great perception. Something free quotes do fail in is trust. Trust is something you don’t search for or find on google.

Women can be very wary about letting strangers into their house. ITS NEVER TOO LATE HANDYMAN SERVICE built their foundation that being polite, clean, capable and trustworthy puts us ahead of the competition. Most clients are happy to pay a bit more for this.

What to expect when I pay for a quote with ITS NEVER TOO LATE HANDYMAN SERVICE?

• A qualified licensed handyman to do the quote

• I show up when I say I am going to show up on the agreed date and time

• Arrive at the kerbside in a clean vehicle

• You will get a clean, presentable and knowledgeable handyman entering your premises in my company uniform

• I greet, smile, and enter with enthusiasm and smell good.

• I ask direct questions related to diagnosing the problem.

• I take notes, measurements and pictures. Not just turn up and look around, but measure what is required, double-checking the information I have, is correct.

• Disclose proprietary information regarding our methodology and approach to the job. Disclose any time constraints, discuss potential unplanned problems you may encounter, and offer alternative solutions you may benefit from within the project or financially down the track.

• Reveal what you will be in for, as opposed to, don’t worry, I’ve done this many times before, speech. 

• Begin to discuss logistics and estimated time frames

• I do not disclose what the job might cost. We retrieve and retain as much information as possible so a fixed price can be formulated and provided to you without surprises when the time is to pay.   

Ok, so what do I expect to see on your quote?

  • A digital mobile, desktop-friendly, web platform quote sent to your email with unlimited viewing and downloadability, any time of the day  
  • Date, full name, licence no. business details and address
  • Ability to request references from previous clients
  • Client details and the address/location of the work to be carried out
  • Quote reference number
  • An accurate description of what is covered by the quote and (if necessary) what is not
  • A breakdown of the elements (labour, materials)
  • Before and after pictures of the works in mention
  • Estimated time to complete works
  • Link to my current insurance certificate
  • Payment terms
  • Deposit amount
  • Anticipated start date and time  
  • The total price
  • Written 3yrs warranty 
  • Terms and conditions
  • Ability to print quote out  
  • Ability to accept and sign the quote digitally
  • Bank details
  • Quote terms and conditions 

So what are the benefits of paying for a quote with ITS NEVER TOO LATE HANDYMAN SERVICE?

• Your whole customer experience is very different as we are used to dealing with paying clients vs clients expecting a free quote

• We value every client’s time as much as our own! Our schedule is filled with paying clients so we can do work rather than travelling around providing free quotes and hoping to get the job.

• You get a in-depth analysis on site assessment. 

• We go out of our way to explain what, how, when and why it needs to be done.

• We are not afraid to disclose any potential disruptions that may not be feasible. Even if means not getting the job.

• Every tradie knows there not always going to win the job. Since we charge for quotes, that means our schedule is filled up with doing jobs rather than spending time providing free quotes

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