Help Guides
 

How It Works

EstimatorPerHour connects Customers with reputable freelance ("Contractors") building designers and technical construction professionals and firms across the United States, Canada and the rest of the world. We also permit freelance contractors in non-technical areas such to work with our customers. The term ‘Contractors’ in this document should be interpreted accordingly as applying to any type of professional or commercial service that estimatorperhour (in its absolute discretion) permits to be offered via this site.

Customers hire Contractors by requesting the Request for Proposal “RFP” that defines precisely the scope of their project, attaching plans and drawings where necessary. The Customer then receives custom proposals from available Contractors.

It is then for the Customer to decide which Contractor to begin working with. The Customer pays a deposit to the Contractor, who then commences working on the project.

Communication between the Customer and Contractor is via the Workflow Room on EstimatorPerHour website.

Fees

We add a small percentage fee to each freelancer’s bid. You only pay and see this amount when you approve the freelancer’s work.

Introductory Guides

See:

A Guide For Customers

A Guide For Contractors

A Guide For Customers

Hiring Contractors on estimatorperhour is easy.

All you need to do is post a project, specifying your requirements. You will then receive proposals from available Contractors.

Each Contractor has a profile which you can review to help you decide on the best Contractor for the project.

You will be asked to pay a deposit to your chosen Contractor. The amount of the deposit is up to yourself and the Contractor to decide and agree on.

Please follow the Rules for Customers at all times, and please make full use of the Workflow Room so that there is a proper record of what has been discussed and agreed.

You may be asked by your Contractor pay instalments towards the cost of the project. Again, that is a matter between yourself and your Contractor. We would suggest that you only pay your last instalment when you are happy with the completed project. At that point, you will also have the opportunity to leave feedback on how well you think the Contractor performed.

You can also make use of the Workflow Room to agree follow-on work with the same Contractor.

For more information see:

Posting a project

Selecting a Contractor

Rules for Customers

Paying invoices

A Guide For Contractors

As a Contractor, you can earn income through estimatorperhour. Below is a guide on how to get started.

Register.

First, register an account on estimatorperhour. There is no fee to do so.

Create your profile.

Your profile on estimatorperhour advertises your services to potential Customers and also provides a platform for you to build a reputation within our market place.

Once you have set-up your profile on estimatorperhour, the most effective way to start winning work is by saving your e-mail notification settings so that you only receive notification of projects that are relevant to your skills and expertise.

The importance of good communication.

Once an estimate of yours has been accepted by a Customer and you are working on projects, please remember to communicate regularly with your Customers about how things are going. It’s particularly important to communicate with your Customers about invoicing and payment terms, so as to avoid any misunderstandings.

Good communication leads to good feedback, which improves your rankings on estimatorperhour and helps you win more work in the future. Please also take the time to read our Rules for Contractors.

The estimatorperhour Quality Program:

estimatorperhour wishes to partner with high quality, professional building and construction firms who consistently deliver a responsive and reliable service. The Quality Program on estimatorperhour helps us monitor quality of service delivery and keep Customers happy.

Find out more:

estimatorperhour fees

Creating a profile

Submitting project proposals

Rules for Contractors

Invoicing

Quality Program

estimatorperhour wishes to partner with high quality, professional building and construction firms who consistently deliver a responsive and reliable service.

The Quality Program on estimatorperhour that helps us monitor quality of service delivery and keep Customers happy.

What is unique about estimatorperhour is that we provide a Customer-driven service. It is Customers who decide the ranking and visibility of Contractors on estimatorperhour through our ranking system. Below are the quality criteria that our Customers use to assess Contractors.

Trust

Customers trust those Contractors who are able to demonstrate their knowledge and skills by building a detailed profile, with regular, good feedback and a portfolio showing examples of their work.

Clarity

Highly-ranked Contractors provide clear details of the services they provide, avoid over-promising or misrepresenting their skills and set out clearly their invoicing and payment terms to Customers.

Expertise

estimatorperhour is a community for high quality Contractors and so expertise is a key attribute for highly-ranked Contractors. Contractors demonstrate expertise through clear and regular communication with Customers and by producing quality work.

Delivery

In the building and construction field, delivering work according to the Customer’s specification and within budget and the set deadline is very important. Contractors who achieve this tend to earn the best feedback and are ranked highly.

estimatorperhour Fees

We want to make using estimatorperhour as easy to use as possible. That means you only pay us when you choose a Contractor or agree to carry out work for a Customer.

This takes the form of the estimatorperhour Service Fee, which is a percentage paid on the Contractors earnings (i.e. when your invoices are paid by your Customer). We add a small percentage fee to each freelancer’s bid and customer pays and sees this amount once the freelancer’s work is finally approved by the Customer.

Payment processing fees incurred on payments and earnings, depending on the withdrawal method you use.

There may be optional fees from time-to-time should we add any features that help you win more work:

To find out more see:

estimatorperhour Service Fee explained

Member Terms and Conditions

Where else is my profile visible?

Your profile on estimatorperhour is available only in our site and will show in members search results.

Hiding your Profile from search engines

You can change this by updating the privacy settings of your estimatorperhour account.

If, on the other hand, you deactivate your account on estimatorperhour, then your profile information ceases to be available on the web as soon as your account is deactivated.

Changing your project notification settings

All new Contractors receive daily e-mail notifications of all new projects. To change this default setting, simply navigate to the projects page in the menu bar and select edit saved searches. Then update the settings accordingly.

You can also change your e-mail notifications or unsubscribe from our regular bulletins simply by scrolling down to the bottom of the relevant email to click the unsubscribe link.

How do I deactivate my account?

You can deactivate your account under Settings, then clicking the deactivate button.

You will be asked to leave us some feedback. We would be keen to know why you are deactivating your account and if there is anything we could do to improve estimatorperhour.

Starting A Project

You can post the details of your project on estimatorperhour easily. Just go ahead and enter the details about your project in the box provided.

Remember:-

• Provide a clear summary of what the project is, and the skills required.

Indicate your budget. If you’re unsure, just leave the box blank or you can enter a rough indication of your budget.

Detail about your project is key. The more the better. You can also add timescales, etc. Always ensure that Contractors are fully-briefed on your requirements.

Once posted, your project proposal is sent to all Contractors in the proposal listings and in e-mail notifications and you should start receiving estimates from suitable Contractors.

For more help also see:

Choosing a Contractor

Guide for Customers

Choosing A Contractor

1. Evaluating the proposal

We recommend you look for the following things when evaluating the proposal provided by a Contractor:

• Is there enough detail or does it seem vague?.

• Are the deliverables itemised and broken down into well-defined targets or milestones?

• Have they indicated or committed to any timescales? Do the timescales seem realistic?

2. Evaluating a Contractor

• Take a look at their profile to see what projects they have completed on estimatorperhour, and the feedback reviews they received.

• If relevant, check they have the right training or credentials that you need.

Cancelling A Project Proposal

If you no longer want to receive proposals for your project you have two options:

Pausing your project: this will not allow Contractors to send more proposals to your project. You can resume your project at any time to receive more proposals.

Cancelling your project: this will remove your project from the listings plus all Contractors that have already sent you proposals will be notified that you have cancelled this project.

To pause or cancel a project that you have posted simply select "Pause" or “Cancel” on the right-hand side of the project.

Build a portfolio

By adding photographic examples of your work in estimatorperhour profile, Customers will be able to view evidence of your skills and expertise.

Simply log in to your estimatorperhour account, and upload the media attachments to your profile.

Creating a Profile

Most Customers will base their decision on whether to hire you for their project on the content of both your estimate and your profile.

It’s therefore important to ensure that your profile allows you to shine and presents your business in the best possible light.

Here’s our advice on how to get the most out of the profile function:

1. Be professional. Customers will expect a Contractor who is reliable, experienced and professional and your profile should reflect these qualities. Include details of your expertise and your credentials.

2. Build a Portfolio which showcases your skills and expertise. This provides Customers with a good indication of the quality of your work and your capabilities, and also inspires greater confidence.

3. Deliver. Always go the extra mile on estimatorperhour and delight your Customers. It’s the best way to ensure good feedback, which boosts your profile.

6. Keep your portfolio, skills and credentials updated.

Submitting proposals

Estimatorperhour is a highly-competitive marketplace, so to be successful, it’s important to submit a competitive proposal, as quickly as you can.

Having said that, don’t be afraid to ask questions to our Customers if any of the information provided in a project details isn’t clear. This also helps you submit finished product that are bespoke to the project proposal.

Avoid this common mistake!

One common mistake Contractors make is to overpromise and under-deliver. It is much better to do the reverse: under-promise and over-deliver. That’s the best approach and will secure you good feedback. Don’t risk upsetting Customers by promising too much.

How do I cancel or amend the submitted finished document/s?

Just cancel your original documents and then re-send a new one in the Workflow Room.

If your document report has already been accepted by your Customer

If your Customer has accepted your report already you will not be able to directly revise it but must cancel it and re-submit a new one as mentioned above.

How do I improve my ranking?

Our search rankings take into account feedback and amount of work done, so the best way to improve your ranking on estimatorperhour is to follow our advice and continually work to delight your Customers.

Once you complete projects, Customers can leave feedback on the quality of your work. Positive feedback for work will boost your profile in the search rankings.

How do I remove adverse feedback?

You cannot remove adverse feedback by yourself. This is because feedback is a crucial part of the system of trust which is built-in to estimatorperhour. Customers need to see how well Contractors have carried out projects for others.

The best way to avoid adverse or negative feedback is to always do a great job for your Customers.

If you do have a genuine reason to dispute or contest feedback, then please contact us and we will review the Customer’s comments, however we reserve the right at all times to refuse to remove adverse feedback where:-

(i). we reasonably believe the feedback accurately reflects a Customer’s experience; and,

(ii). the comments are not in any way malicious or defamatory.

Rules for Customers

estimatorperhour focuses on facilitating access only to high-quality Contractors. However, in order for the site to work, Customers and Contractors need to work together and follow certain common sense rules and guidelines.

These rules form part of the estimatorperhour’s User Agreement and should be read in conjunction with the Rules for Customers contained in the Member Terms and Conditions. Customers or Contractors that are not complying to these rules should be reported to us.

Here are the Rules for project delivery:

Provide clear requirements upfront: On acceptance of a project proposal by a Contractor, the Customer must provide all of their requirements upfront so that the Contractor can get started.

Be responsive: Both the Customers and the Contractor must respond to each other’s messages quickly – and at the latest, within 24 hours - so that the project can be progressed on time.

Deliver on time: Contractors must deliver work within the timescales agreed with the Customer upfront.

Payment for work done: Once the project has been completed the Contractor will raise a request to receive payment. Customers must pay within the Contractor’s payment terms.

Take a look at our Member Terms and Conditions to understand these terms in full.

Cancelling A Project

estimatorperhour is merely a communications platform. Any building design and calculation, cost estimating or other services are provided by Contractors and so project cancellations are governed by the terms and conditions of your Contractor, subject to any overriding provisions in the estimatorperhour Member Terms and Conditions.

We suggested you try to sort out any issues with your Contractor first before cancelling the project, but if the issues cannot be resolved or if your needs have changed then you can cancel the project and request a refund by posting a message to the Contractor in the Workflow Room. This is subject to the Contractor’s own terms and conditions, which you should consult first.

Once you have posted your message to confirm that you wish to cancel, the Contractor will let you know what payment (if any) needs to be made given the time they have spent on the project. The Contractor will raise an invoice to you to complete that payment. Any further dispute over further payments due to the Contractor or refunds due from the Contractor is a matter between yourself and the Contractor, however the estimatorperhour Member Terms and Conditions do provide that you are entitled to a refund under certain specific circumstances: i.e. where the Contractor has not delivered on the project or you have not received a response from the Contractor or the work is of poor quality, etc. In these circumstances, a request for a refund must be made via estimatorperhour but the Contractor is responsible for processing the refund and any dispute arising is strictly for yourself and the Contractor to resolve.

Communicating with your Contractor

At estimatorperhour we strongly encourage Customers and Contractors to work closely together via the Workflow Room to ensure that at every step of the way both parties keep communicating well and are happy with how the work is progressing. Our Rules of Engagement outline what is to be expected when working with Contractors. All Contractors on estimatorperhour must provide regular progress updates via the Workflow Room and respond to questions from you, the Customer, within one (1) working day.

It’s important that both the Customer and Contractor agree clear expectations upfront. This ensures that both sides understand what is required with the project, which in turn minimises the possibility of misunderstandings arising.

If you are having difficulty with a Contractor, please make use of the Workflow Room to record your issues and to ask for an explanation or update. This step is vital so that you have a proper record of what is going on.

If all else fails…

As a last resort, if communicating with your Contractor isn't going well and you have given them chance to get the job back on track then you can cancel the job by posting a message in the Workflow Room to let them know so that they stop work. When you notify the Contractor you can agree what payment to make for any work completed and handed over to date. You can then find another Contractor to get the job finished.

Rules for Contractors

estimatorperhour focuses on facilitating access only to high-quality Contractors. However, in order for the site to work, Customers and Contractors need to work together and follow certain common sense rules and guidelines.

These rules form part of the estimatorperhour’s User Agreement and should be read in conjunction with the Rules for Customers contained in the Member Terms and Conditions. Customers or Contractors that are not complying to these rules should be reported to us.

Here are the Rules for project delivery:

Define clearly the scope of your work: On the submission of a project proposal, the Contractor must provide upfront all of the scope of work he/she intends to provide with regards to the project.

Responsiveness: The Contractors must respond to each other quickly and accordingly– and in any event, within 24 hours - so that the project can be progressed on time.

Delivery: Contractors must deliver work within the delivery times either defined or agreed with the Customer upfront in the Workflow Room.

Take a look at our Member Terms and Conditions to understand these terms in full.

How To Cancel A Project

You should avoid cancelling a project on a Customer as much as possible. If you are experiencing an issue with your Customer that you are finding difficult to resolve then you can contact us for help.

estimatorperhour is merely a communications platform. All building and construction services are provided by Contractors and so cancellations and refunds are governed by the terms and conditions of the Contractor, however the estimatorperhour Member Terms and Conditions do provide that your Customer is entitled to a refund under certain specific circumstances: i.e. where you have not delivered on the project or you have not provided the Customer with a response or your work is of poor quality, etc. In these circumstances, a request from the Customer for a refund must be honoured by you and you must process the refund via estimatorperhour.

We expect you try to make reasonable efforts to resolve any issues with your Customer first before cancelling the project, but if the issues cannot be resolved or if your needs have changed then you can cancel the project and request a balancing payment by posting a message to the Customer in the Workflow Room.

Any dispute over further payments due to you, the Contractor, or refunds due to the Customer is a matter between yourself and the Customer and governed by your terms and conditions, subject to your obligations under the estimatorperhour Member Terms and Conditions, as set out above.

Customer Satisfaction

If you successfully complete a project on estimatorperhour, then this will usually lead to the prospect of follow-on work, so it’s important to delight your Customer at all times.

Here's some tips on how to deliver Service Excellence:

Manage your Customer’s expectations and don’t overpromise.

Keep everything recorded in the Workflow Room so that you can refer back to points if either of you forget what was agreed.

• As work progresses, keep your Customer updated – use the Workflow Room to do this.

Notify your Customer quickly of any issues as they arise. Remember that Customers don’t like surprises.

Deliver on time and within budget. If something unexpected happens and you are not able to meet the deadlines or keep within budget, tell your Customer quickly so that the parameters of the project can be adjusted.

What are your fees for using the site?

We only add a small percentage fee to each freelancer’s bid and the Customer only pays and sees this amount when the freelancer’s work is finally approved and the Customer authorised full payment.

We also charge payment processing fees in some cases, depending on the method of payment used.

To view details of our fees, see the estimatorperhour fees section on this website.

Why should I rate a Contractor?

Once a job has been completed, we encourage buyers to give Contractors fair feedback. Feedback is important to everyone and it makes estimatorperhour better and more effective and helpful for all its Customers, including you. It also gives Contractors an incentive to produce top quality project work and, furthermore, commends them for their work whilst holding them accountable to deliver each and every time.

What are the benefits of this site?

estimatorperhour allows you to find work easily and flexibly while retaining your independence. You can work with Customers all over the United States and the rest of the world and industries which would otherwise would be extremely costly and difficult.

How is the Service Fee calculated?

estimatorperhour charges a Service Fee for Contractors based on a percentage value of the project.

Note: the minimum Service Fee is $1 U.S. (excl. applicable sales taxes) per invoice.

The current Service Fee rates are published by estimatorperhour from time-to-time here.

How is the Service Fee paid?

To pay for services on estimatorperhour you must use paypal, a credit or debit card.

Payment fees

See Section 9 of the website’s Terms and Conditions.

About Feedback

The feedback ratings on estimatorperhour are an important indicator of the reliability of a user based on their track record on estimatorperhour. On a user's profile page you can see the feedback scores they have received on projects as a Contractor ("My Projects") and as a Customer ("My Projects"). You will also see their overall feedback rating which is the percentage of positive (4 and 5 star) reviews that they have received over the total number of reviews received.

Feedback reviews are given when a Contractor completes a project and the Customer pays their invoice; both parties are asked to leave feedback for each other.

Can I change the feedback I left?

Unfortunately feedback cannot be changed. The feedback facility is there so that other users of the site gain an honest and accurate impression of Customers’ experiences with a named Contractor.

It’s also important to note that feedback is only left after you have paid your Contractor's invoice for work completed; and you should only pay invoices when you have checked the project work delivered.

However, we can undertake corrections of information in your review, if this is due to a genuine mistake. If this applies, then contact us as we may be able to correct the review.

What is credit card verification?

Credit Card Verification is a simple process we follow to ensure that the Customer is the authentic owner of the Credit Card.

Once your card is Verified, you can make payment faster and without having to re-enter your card details.

We do this to safeguard against online fraud.

A nominal payment of up to $1 is taken from your buyers account. We will then refund this in two random amounts adding up to the original amount taken.

The two separate refunds will be shown in your Credit Card statement within 2-3 working days.

By recording the values of these two random amounts on estimatorperhour, the buyer verifies that they have access to this information and ownership of the card.

We may ask for extra for extra evidence to ensure that you are the owner of the card used. Examples of documents we may request are drivers licence, passport or utility bill

Project submission policy

When posting a project on estimatorperhour, we ask that you adhere to the project submission guidelines, which ensure that our site works well for everyone. These policies form part of our Member Terms and Conditions. If your project proposal is in breach of this policy, you will be asked to edit or update it. We reserve the right to remove project proposals that do not confirm to this policy and to suspend or terminate your membership and registration on this site in appropriate circumstances, which are to be judged in our absolute discretion.

We specialise in assisting building and construction firms only

Only building and construction work can be posted as a project on estimatorperhour. Here is a (non-exhaustive) list of things that aren’t accepted:

• Offers of employment, partnerships, franchises, joint ventures or other business arrangements.

• Unpaid work, profit or revenue share, commission-based arrangements and payment in exchange of skills or services.

• Requests for advice.

• Fraudulent listings, requests for illegal services, spam or listings posted purely for the purpose of promoting another business or website.

Do:

• Be specific in the description about what the project is, what kind of deliverables you are expecting and any deadlines or timescales you may have.

• Indicate a realistic budget for the work to attract good quality Contractors.

Don’t:

• Ask for any part of the work to be done for free or in exchange for products or services in kind or any type of business arrangement.

• Ask a Contractor to undertake something illegal.

• Include your full name, or contact details anywhere in the project description or title. This rule is first and foremost to protect you; we recommend that you don’t publish your contact details visibly on any public site.

• Direct Contractors to another website for full details of the project. All the information that a Contractor would need to send you a proposal should be contained within the project description.

Profile policies

Your time invested in completing your profile as fully and comprehensively as possible will be repaid.

Below you will find some ‘Dos’ and ‘Don’ts’ on profile completion, that all Contractors are expected to adhere to. These policies form part of our Member Terms and Conditions.

Do

• Make sure that all of the information contained in your profile is a true and accurate representation. Including your name, location and details of your credentials.

• Include a professional image of yourself as your profile image. You can choose to have your company logo instead however we strongly recommend a personal photo instead.

• Remember: “People Buy People”. estimatorperhour is built on trust and personal photos rather than logos have been shown to make a significant difference to success.

Don't

• Include your full name, or contact details in your profile description. This rule is first and foremost to protect you; we would discourage you from publishing your contact details visibly on any public site.

• Open more than one user account with estimatorperhour. Duplicate accounts will be closed.

• Upload any content to your profile that breaches our terms and conditions including all the obvious things like abusive, offensive, defamatory or infringing content.

Private messaging usage policy

Via the Workflow Room, the parties can exchange instructions, information (including file attachments), send or update project proposals and discuss all aspects of progress with the project being undertaken - everything from practical commencement of the project to practical completion, and cancellations and refunds, where appropriate.

In using the Workflow Room we have policies that Customers and Contractors are expected to adhere to. These policies are part of our Member Terms and Conditions. As such a violation of these policies may lead to actions not limited to warnings and account suspensions.

Do:

• on acceptance of a project proposal, make sure that all direct communication goes via the Workflow Room. On estimatorperhour you should find all the tools you need in order to be able to work together including the ability to exchange files directly in the Workflow Room. However if it is essential to communicate outside the Workflow Room while a project is in progress then make sure to post any key agreements back on the Workflow Room to protect yourself in case of a dispute.

Don't:

• Attempt to exchange your contact details before a project proposal has been accepted.

• Contact estimatorperhour users in order to recruit them for employment or in order to promote your business or a third party website.

• Post any offensive or abusive content, or anything else that is against our terms of website use. We ask all Registered Users to keep it friendly and professional at all times.

Moderation policy – project proposals

If you have received a notification that the project proposal you have posted needs editing then you should have also received an email to the default email address for your estimatorperhour account explaining what needs changing (check your spam folder in case it was sent there).

If you can't find the details then check these things in your project as the most likely causes:

Is your project proposal clear? To make sure that you attract great proposals it is important that you are clear in setting out what your project is and what your expectations are. See our advice on what to include.

Have you included your contact details? We can't accept projects that include your name or any contact details. Simply remove these.

Is your budget reasonable? We will refer your proposal back to you if we feel the indicated budget is exceptionally low for the type of project work you are looking for. Contractors on estimatorperhour will always submit competitive proposals, but you may find the best Contractors don't apply at all if the budget is seen as too low for the work.

Is your project breaking any other project posting policies? See the policies here.

How do I get my project posted?

1. Select "Edit".

2. Make changes to your project to meet all of the points above (of if you are sure that everything is already ok then move to the next step).

3. Select "Update Job".

Your project will then be rechecked and should be posted live on the site very quickly.

For more help see:

Posting a project

Project submission policy

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