Are estimates truly free? An estimate is a persons best guess based on their experience. This is why people get frustrated when they get a range of prices. Because it is initially “free” for an estimate, the number almost always changes when the scope of work gets defined in greater detail, hence the “free” estimate is no longer accurate from the first point of contact. We always suggest that you pay for your planning budget or scoping budget. This way you are getting a full report of all the items that go into your project with defined and accurate costs.