Most sites that publish home remodeling and maintenance costs are in the business of selling customer contact information to Contractors. They report aggregated historical costs that have been paid for services in the past. A key issue with this data is that there is no specification or visibility into project size, project options, material quality level or service provider certification level. As a result, there is a very wide range of "low to high" prices (for example flooring estimates that combine 100 sqft jobs with lower quality materials and no subfloor preparation are combined with 400 sqft jobs using designer grade flooring and extensive subfloor leveling).
Homewyse uses Unit Cost Estimating along with the latest material cost, labor productivity and trade wage data to determine costs that accurate enough for budgeting and bidding. Professional organizations such as the American Institute of Architects, construction management University programs and trade publications recommend and employ this technique when generating accurate cost estimates. This approach is superior because it is based on the size of the specific job, the specific options that are required by the job, the material grades specific to the job and the level of skilled labor needed to complete the job to generally accepted quality specifications. As a result, estimates are more accurate - and expectations and communications between customer and service provider are clear, fair and trustworthy.