Frequently Asked Questions
Listed below are some of the questions we frequently encounter at Assistimate Estimating Services, LLC (Assistimate). If you don’t find an answer here, please don’t hesitate to Contact Us for assistance.
- If I forget to add an item to my scope of work, will you look for missing items and add them to my estimate automatically?
- Can I send you an Eagleview, Pictometry or other satellite measurement report to help in assembling my estimate?
Step 1: Print an Order Form and fill it out by hand.
The Order Form is where you list all of the information about your project, including the scope of work that you want to appear in your estimate. Once you’ve completed the Order Form, scan it and save it as an image file (PDF, JPEG or TIF).
Step 2: Send us your completed Scope Sheet form.
Upload your completed Order Form through our online submission page. If you have them, please also upload the following:
Insurance company’s estimate
Any subcontractor estimates
Step 3: Wait for our invoice and pay it.
We won’t bill you anything until we have reviewed your order submission and made sure that we have enough information to write your estimate. Once we have everything we need, we will email you an invoice through PayPal. As soon as you have paid that invoice, we will begin writing your estimate. Our fees and billing processes are explained on our Pricing page.
Step 4: Work with us to perfect your estimate.
If you have requested us to do so, we will look for potentially overlooked items in your scope of work and email you with a list of items to consider adding to your estimate. Once your estimate has been completed, if the total is less than $9,999 for a Building project, or less than $6,666 for a Contents project, we will email you with a full draft of the estimate for your review. You can request any changes at that time. Our goal is to create an estimate that exactly meets your specifications. If your estimate totals more than $9,999 for a Building project, or more than $6,666 for a Contents project, then move to Step 5.
Step 5: Get your completed estimate, or, if applicable, wait for our additional invoice and pay it.
If your estimate totals more than $9,999 for a Building project, or more than $6,666 for a Contents project, we will email you with a partial draft of the estimate (i.e., the estimate without pricing) for your review. You can request any changes at that time. Once the estimate is finalized to your exact specifications, we will email you our final service invoice through PayPal. Once you have paid the remaining balance, your completed estimate will be sent.
Xactimate has quickly become the estimating tool of choice for most insurance carriers. Nearly all adjusters, whether trained in commercial or residential claims, use Xactimate as a tool to determine fair prices they will pay for covered damages. These prices vary for more than 470 geographic regions via monthly “Price Lists” issued by Xactimate. Nearly 10,000 line items are included in each Price List, including costs for time-and-material, labor productivity, labor-and-burden overhead, and equipment. In short, whatever you’re bidding on and wherever the project may be, Xactimate likely has a price for it.
For purposes of an Xactimate estimate, a Scope of Work (aka a Scope of Repairs or Repair Scope) is a document or set of documents describing the damage to a structure and/or what is needed to repair those damages. At its basic level, a Scope of Work is a detailed list of all work needed to complete a particular project. At a minimum, a Scope of Work should always include:
- A floor plan, diagram, or dimensions of all affected rooms/areas
- A description and quantity of the damaged items
- A list of tasks and/or labor hours needed to complete the repairs
It is sometimes helpful when a Scope of Work also includes:
Because Xactimate estimates costs in various units of measurement (i.e., per square foot, linear foot, board foot, etc.), it is rarely ever necessary to list material costs or labor costs in your Scope of Work. After all, the whole point of submitting a Scope of Work is to have it converted to an estimate so you can find the costs. In rare cases, however, a task/item in your Scope of Work may not be available in Xactimate. If that ocurrs, it may be necessary to estimate the task/item by the time and material method (i.e., estimated labor hours plus estimated material costs). If this ocurrs, we will request further information from you to help accurately estimate the item.
Xactimate is currently capable of estimating several thousand items/tasks under the following trades/categories:
ACCESSORIES – MOBILE HOME
AWNINGS & PATIO COVERS
CONCRETE & ASPHALT
CONTENTS: CEILING/WALL HANGINGS
CONTENTS: CLEAN – GENERAL ITEMS
CONTENTS: CLEAN – HARD FURNITURE
CONTENTS: CLEAN – LAMPS OR VASES
CONTENTS: CLEAN APPLIANCES
CONTENTS: CLEAN ELECTRIC ITEMS
CONTENTS: CLEAN,UPHOLSTRY & SOFT
CONTENTS: GARMENT & SOFT GOODS CLN
ELECTRICAL – SPECIAL SYSTEMS
FINISH CARPENTRY / TRIMWORK
FIRE PROTECTION SYSTEMS
FLOOR COVERING – CARPET
FLOOR COVERING – CERAMIC TILE
FLOOR COVERING – RESILIENT
FLOOR COVERING – STONE
FLOOR COVERING – VINYL
FLOOR COVERING – WOOD
FRAMING & ROUGH CARPENTRY
GLASS, GLAZING, & STOREFRONTS
HAZARDOUS MATERIAL REMEDIATION
HEAT, VENT & AIR CONDITIONING
INSULATION – MECHANICAL
INTERIOR LATH & PLASTER
MARBLE – CULTURED OR NATURAL
METAL STRUCTURES & COMPONENTS
MIRRORS & SHOWER DOORS
MISC. EQUIPMENT – AGRICULTURAL
MISC. EQUIPMENT – COMMERCIAL
MOBILE HOMES, SKIRTING & SETUP
PAINTING – LOW OR NO VOC
PANELING & WOOD WALL FINISHES
PERMITS AND FEES (LOCAL JURISDICTIONS NOT AVAILABLE)
SOFFIT, FASCIA, & GUTTER
STEEL JOIST COMPONENTS
STUCCO & EXTERIOR PLASTER
SWIMMING POOLS & SPAS
TOILET & BATH ACCESSORIES
TRAUMA/CRIME SCENE REMEDIATION
WATER EXTRACTION & REMEDIATION
WINDOW REGLAZING & REPAIR
WINDOWS – ALUMINUM
WINDOWS – SKYLIGHTS
WINDOWS – SLIDING PATIO DOORS
WINDOWS – VINYL
WINDOWS – WOOD
Xactimate is the most widely used estimating software in the property insurance claims industry. As such, it will likely increase your chances of reaching an agreed repair cost with your adjuster. However, just because your estimate is written in Xactimate does not guarantee that it will be agreed to. For example, opinions may differ with regard to damages and necessary scope of repairs, and coverage may not always exist under the insurance policy. Contact the insurance company for questions on this matter.
In most cases, we will complete a first draft of your estimate within 24 to 48 hours. However, situations may vary depending on the complexity of your order and current order volume. As such, it may sometimes take longer. If your order is expected to take longer than 48 hours, we will make an attempt to notify you by phone and/or email shortly after your order is placed. At that time, we will allow you to withdraw your order if we can’t complete it within your specified time-frame.
Upon submitting your order, we will review your project details for completeness. Once we have enough information to process your order, we will send you an invoice through PayPal for $99.99, our minimum fee for any order. We begin processing your order only after payment of $99.99 is received through PayPal.
If a Building Repair Estimate ends up totaling $9,999 or less, your estimate will be sent as soon as it is finished. If your Building Repair Estimate ends up totaling more than $9,999, there will be an additional service fee based on 1% of the Building Repair Estimate total, minus your initial payment of $99.99. Before the additional service fee is calculated, we will send you a non-distributable draft version of the estimate (on Assistimate letterhead and with a watermark) for your review and approval. You are free to request any changes to the estimate at that time, or you can approve the estimate as-is if it already meets your needs. See “Why Do You Put a Watermark on the Estimate?” Once you have approved the estimate, we will calculate the additional service fee based on the finalized estimate total and send you a supplemental invoice. After the additional service fee is paid, your completed and finalized estimate (on your letterhead and without the watermark) will be sent.
If a Contents Cleaning & Pack-Out Estimate ends up totaling $6,666 or less, your estimate will be sent as soon as it is finished. If your Contents Cleaning & Pack-Out Estimate ends up totaling more than $6,666, there will be an additional service fee based on 1.5% of the Contents Cleaning & Pack-Out Estimate total, minus your initial payment of $99.99. Before the additional service fee is calculated, we will send you a non-distributable draft version of the estimate (on Assistimate letterhead and with a watermark) for your review and approval. You are free to request any changes to the estimate at that time, or you can approve the estimate as-is if it already meets your needs. See “Why Do You Put a Watermark on the Estimate?” Once you have approved the estimate, we will calculate the additional service fee based on the finalized estimate total and send you a supplemental invoice. After the additional service fee is paid, your completed and finalized estimate (on your letterhead and without the watermark) will be sent.
NOTE: If any additional service fee has not been paid within seven (7) calendar days of the supplemental invoice date, we will send you the partially completed estimate and close your order.
We place a watermark on the estimate only if there is a balance due for our services. This occurs when:
1) A Building Repair Estimate ends up totaling more than $9,999 and/or a Contents Cleaning & Pack-Out Estimate ends up totaling more than $6,666
2) We have only received payment from you for our minimum order fee of $99.99.
We place a watermark on the estimate until you have reviewed, approved, and paid for the estimate in full. We do this to ensure that we are fully paid for our services on estimates where service fees exceed our minimum order fee.
Yes, your estimate will be put on your own letterhead once our service fee has been paid in full. Just upload your logo image and enter your business info on the order form and we’ll do the rest. Your letterhead will be left-margin justified (default by Xactimate) on the header of each page of your estimate as well as any add-on reports.
See “What is a Price List?”
A Price List is a set of unit costs for labor, equipment and material as determined by Xactimate. Xactimate states these are based on market surveys performed in each geographical area. There are over 10,000 items in any given Price List, and over 470 unique Price Lists for various geographic areas across the U.S. and Canada.
Every once in a while, Xactimate’s Price List may not contain a certain item. This usually only happens with a very specialty item or if an item is obsolete. If this occurs, we will notify you by email or phone and ask you for a specific price to input or an alternate item to price.
Typically, new Price Lists are issued by the first of each month for each geographical area. However, in special situations where material or labor costs have suddenly increased due to supply or demand issues, Price Lists are sometimes updated mid-month. When this happens, we will always use the most current Price List unless you instruct us otherwise.
Minimum Charges are costs that Xactimate estimates tradespersons will charge at a very minimum for their work. For example, if we have a 100 SF wall that needs to be painted, and if it generally costs $0.38 per square foot on average to paint a wall, one would expect the wall might be painted for a total of $38.00. However, it would be difficult, if not impossible, to find a painter to paint the wall for only $38.00 since it could conceivably cost the painter more in gasoline just to show up. As such, the painter probably has a minimum charge, which Xactimate might estimate to be $165.00. In theory, then, the Minimum Charge of $165.00 would allow for the wall to be painted, plus several hundred more square feet at $0.38 per SF. To be exact, up to 434.21 square feet could be painted under Xactimate’s Minimum Charge for painting.
Generally, no. You dictate the scope and we convert it to an Xactimate estimate. If we notice a glaring omission in your scope, we may try to notify you by phone or email to address the issue, but generally we try to strictly adhere to your scope.
An Opening Statement is an optional field on the Cover Page of an estimate where disclosures and/or other information may be displayed by the estimator to the reader of the estimate.
Overhead and Profit, sometimes referred to as “10 & 10,” “O & P,” or “OH & P,” is an extra 10 percent overhead and 10 percent profit added to the subtotal of an estimate, which increases the estimate overall by 20 percent. Carriers sometimes allow for this when a general contractor will be utilized or when there are three or more separate trades involved. However, opinions and allowances can vary from carrier to carrier and adjuster to adjuster. Generally, there are no guarantees a carrier will pay for it if three or more trades are involved, and some carriers will not allow for O&P on certain trades at all.
Roof pitch is the measure of steepness of a roof. It is expressed as “rise” over “run.” In other words, pitch is determined by the amount of vertical rise a roof makes in inches for every 12 inches of horizontal run (or span) that it makes. For example, a roof with a vertical rise of 6 inches for every 12 inches of horizontal run (or span) would be considered a “6/12 pitch.” The greater the rise number the steeper the roof. The rise number will always be a variable while the run number will always be a constant (i.e., 12). Most modern roofs do not exceed a pitch of 12/12.
Typically, the number of stories of a building is considered to be all floors at and above ground level. Basements are not included. However, if your project involves replacement of a roof AND you have a walk-out basement on the same side that the roofer will use to access the roof, you should consider your building to be 2 stories. This will signal us to include an additional labor charge that most insurance carriers will allow.
Our estimate writers currently use versions 27.5 and 28.
The Assistimate Terms of Service can be found here.
We strive to maintain a high level of accuracy in all estimates that we write. However, in rare cases, an error may occur. If this happens, we will promptly correct any error that we may have made free of charge. Please email your issue directly to email@example.com. Please do not use the order form for error corrections as unnecessary charges may occur.
Each order for a Detailed Estimate includes one request for up to five revisions (see “What constitutes a “revision?”“). Each revision request is valid for ninety days from the date the order is initially fulfilled and expires after that time. Individual revisions are non-transferrable and become null and void if not used within each revision request (i.e., if a reqeust is made for three of the five available revisions, the remaining two revisions will become null and void). Additional revisions can be purchased for $1 each.
Any revision to an individual Line Item will count as one (1) revision.
All revisions, regardless of number, within a Cover Page (includes Header, Price List, and all other items appearing on first page of estimate) will count as one (1) revision.
Any revision related to Sales Tax will count as one (1) revision.
Any revision related to Overhead and Profit will count as one (1) revision.
Any revision to an item not mentioned above will be counted at the discretion of Assistimate (please Contact Us before proceeding with your order).
Replacement Cost Value, or RCV, is commonly considered to be the cost to replace an item with one of like-kind and quality. Refer to your insurnace policy for more details.
Actual Cash Value, or ACV, is commonly considered to be the cost to replace an item with one of like-kind and quality, minus depreciation. Refer to your insurance policy for more details.
Depreciation is commonly defined as a reduction in value of an asset with the passage of time. Depreciation is usually calculated by taking into account one or more of the following factors: age, condition, wear and tear, deterioration, use, obsolesce, and expected useful life.
Depreciation is usually only applied to items being replaced, and not to items being repaired (i.e., depreciation is usually applicable only when betterment occurs). For example, if a shingled roof is warranted to last for 20 years, and if it is 10 years old at the time it is damaged, depreciation could be expected to be up to 50 percent. However, if the roof were in extremely poor condition, depreciation could be expected to be greater. Conversely, if the roof were in extremely good condition, depreciation could be expected to be less.
Sending us your ESX file
Our estimate writers currently use versions 27.5 and 28. No matter what version you are using, we should be able to import your ESX file without a problem.
Getting your ESX file back from us
Our estimate writers currently use versions 27.5 and 28, which generate ESX files readable only by those versions. If you are using an older version, you will not be able to import our ESX file. However, you will still be able to receive your estimate back in PDF format.