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Estimate Disclaimers: Essential Terms, Conditions, and Examples for Your Business

June 20, 2024 8 min. read

Getting paid on time and in full is the best you can hope for as a service business owner. But it doesn’t always work out that way. And when things go sideways, it’s hard to know how to go about pursuing payment. 

That’s where estimate disclaimers come in handy. By including terms and conditions that clarify the services you’re providing and how much they cost, you have something to fall back on in the event of a late or short paid invoice from a client. 

In this guide, you’ll learn tips for writing effective estimate disclaimers and find sample terms and conditions ready to use in your next quote to keep your cash flow steady.

What is an estimate disclaimer?

Estimate disclaimers are the terms and conditions a client must follow in relation to payments, responsibilities, and expectations surrounding a job. 

It’s usually included as a section in a written estimate or quote and must be acknowledged by the customer in order to be considered valid. 

The estimate and quote terms and conditions you include in your disclaimers can cover everything from payments and taxes to industry specific considerations, like the scope of the project or what you do or don’t warranty. 

Tips for writing estimate disclaimers

The best estimate terms and conditions have a few things in common. When writing your own, make sure your disclaimers are: 

  • Written in plain language. Your estimate disclaimer wording needs to be clear, concise, and correct. 
  • Fair. Any unreasonable terms and conditions will not only scare away potential clients, but they may not be legally binding even with a signature. 
  • Relevant. Keep terms and conditions relevant to the services you provide. Too many terms and conditions can be confusing and important information can be lost. Stick to what’s necessary. 
  • Easy to find. Don’t try to make your terms and conditions unclear or hard to find. They should be located within your estimate or quote, in clear text. 
  • Reviewed with the client. Make sure the client understands your terms and conditions by going over them together. 

Signed off on. In order for your terms and conditions to be binding, they need to be acknowledged by the client, preferably with a signature.

Learn from the Pros

Michael Bedell from Bedell Property Management shares his tips to protect your business by crafting solid terms and conditions.

General estimate disclaimer examples for every industry

While it’s important to include job- and industry-specific terms and conditions in your estimates, you’ll still want to include general terms related to payments, taxes, and scheduling. 

Here are some estimate disclaimer examples you can use to cover the basics:

1. Payment terms

No matter which industry you’re in, any estimates you provide to clients should include payment terms and pricing information. Payment terms inform the customer of the amount due, when and how to make payments, as well as the consequences of paying late.

Here’s how to word a disclaimer to cover payment terms:

READ MORE: Should businesses charge late fees on invoices?

2. Tax terms

Tax terms ensure that a customer knows they’re responsible for any taxes related to the services you provide. Here’s an example of a disclaimer you can use:

3. Service terms

Service terms refer to the scope of the project and the services you are providing to a client. They clarify that, if the customer agrees, your company will perform the services outlined in the estimate and that any additional services will come at an additional cost.

Here’s what service terms may look like on an estimate:

READ MORE: Is an estimate a contract?

4. Schedule terms

Scheduling terms refer to when the services will be performed. Here’s a short disclaimer example you can use:

5. Changes terms

Changes terms (or subject to change disclaimers) apply to any changes a client requests to the estimate and how any additional expenses will be paid for. Here’s an example of change terms you might see in an estimate:

6. General disclaimer

Because an estimate can change based on factors like the price of parts, project requirements, or customer requests, a general disclaimer lets clients know that the final price is only an approximation.

Most general disclaimers will also include an expiry date for the estimate. This helps service providers to keep their estimates relevant and gives them an opportunity to make adjustments if a client waits too long to move forward.

Here’s what a general disclaimer might look like on a service provider’s estimate:

Industry-specific estimate disclaimer samples

Because each industry is different, you may need to include specific disclaimers in your estimates related to the services you provide.

Along with general terms and conditions, here are some industry-specific disclaimer samples you may want to include in your estimates or quotes.

1. Plumbing terms and conditions

Many plumbing estimates include the following disclaimers in their estimates:

  • We do not warranty clogged drains
  • We do not warranty frozen pipes
  • We do not warranty parts provided by clients

2. Handyman terms and conditions estimate disclaimer

Handymen often include the following disclaimers in their estimate:

  • Finishing materials should be provided by the client
  • Client must clear workspace of fragile and personal items
  • Service requests between the hours of 5:00 pm and 10:00 pm or on weekends and statutory holidays are subject to off hours pricing

3. Carpentry terms and conditions

Carpenters and woodworkers may include estimate disclaimers such as:

  • As a natural product, wood and timber is subject to variations in color and grain
  • We do not install, adjust, or fit any electric or gas appliances or equipment
  • The client is responsible for cleaning any dust or dirt accumulated during the work period

4.  Electrical contractor terms and conditions

Electricians sometimes include the following disclaimers in their terms and conditions:

  • The client must clearly mark and identify all services above and below the ground at the work site, including drains, pipes, and sewers
  • All electric installations will comply with building regulations in force at the time of the work
  • Cables will be concealed where possible but will be run on the surface when deemed necessary by [company name]

5. Construction terms and conditions

Here are some common estimate disclaimer examples you can use if you’re in the construction industry:

  • The contractor agrees to provide all materials, labor, supplies, equipment, supervision, and project management required to complete the project
  • The [owner or contractor] will be responsible for obtaining any permits relevant to the project and will keep them in good standing
  • The contractor will allow the owner to conduct a completion inspection within [X days] of the project being completed and to provide the contractor with a list of any items to be completed or corrected

READ MORELawn care contracts: 4 options for making a client agreement

Protect your business by adding T&Cs to estimates

Terms and conditions protect both you and your clients, so it’s vital to include them in your home service quotes and invoices. 

And remember—any disclaimers you use should be consistent across customers to ensure that you’re treating everyone fairly and sticking to what’s legally binding. Using job quoting software makes standardizing terms and conditions easy and straightforward, keeping client expectations in check so you can focus on the job at hand. 

Originally published in October 2021. Last updated on June 20, 2024.

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