+1. To be fair, we all know that there ARE people who would sandbag a job so you can't fault the homeowner for thinking this. But for most people they don't want to hear an hourly rate with no estimate - that's why she asked for an estimate. I mean no offense to anyone here when I say this so please, no flaming. But when someone asks for an estimate it's because they want a ballpark figure - nothing cast in stone - and most of us claim to be diligent and professional in our line of work so she has every reason to expect one of us to be able to come up with a rough figure. If you give someone an hourly rate it doesn't matter if it's $10/hour it sounds like too much. We've all been burned by jobs we underestimated the amount of work it would take. And we've also been amazed at times at how quickly we were able to finish a job. If I can't give a firm price my standard reply is "This looks like it will take me x hours, and if so the price would be $xxx. It's a rough figure so if it takes me longer it may be a bit more. If it goes quicker than that it will be a little less."