Budget Quotation vs Contract Bid – What’s the Difference?

Estimates are a big step in the construction process. This is the moment when your project moves from being discussed in abstract terms to concrete ones. Because this is the point in the process where things are starting to solidify, it’s important for you to be able to navigate with confidence and understanding, but often the terminology doesn’t make this easy. For example, budget quotations and contract bids are both construction estimates, but they are two different things and you need to know which one you’re dealing with and how it works. Here’s a quick breakdown of the difference between budget quotations and contract bids.

Budget Quotation

In the world of construction estimates, a budget quotation is a little bit lower on the sliding scale of detail and specificity than a contract bid. It’s a rough estimate on the cost of the construction project, usually based on the basic understanding of what the project entails instead of detailed materials and plans, and doesn’t account for things like material types or qualities. Essentially, this is your ballpark estimate for the costs of the project. 

Contract Bid

A contract bid goes a bit more in depth than a budget quotation does. Whereas a budget quotation is a rough estimate based on a general outline of the project, a contract bid is a price at which the contractor is willing to undertake the project, and it takes into account much more detailed plans, often a complete set of drawings and/or outline specifications. With a contract bid, the contractor making the bid knows absolutely everything they’ll be required to do for this project, and their bid is a definite amount of money that they’re willing to complete the project for. 


Contact us today if you want to talk more about getting construction estimates! We’re ready to help you on your next project.