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Old 11-20-2008, 09:02 AM   #1
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Default hourly rates for cost plus jobs

I am fairly new in operating my painting business in a professional and smart way. I have been learning how to charge by the sq ft on new construction and bidding time and mats on repaints. In central texas the going rate for a simple new construction paint job (2 colors, no staining) starts out at about 2.75 sq ft. More complex jobs ( multiple colors, staining doors and trim) can top out some where around 5.00 sq ft. But I have a builder that some times request my hourly rate for unusual jobs like staining a whole bunch of shutters or painting hand rails by brush because the home owner doesn't want over spray on their rock work. I have 2 employees and me. I have been charging 45 per hr for our labor plus mats. I have been told this is too low. Can anyone tell me about what my hourly rate should be for myself and 2 employees? One of the employees is my foreman who is not a very experienced painter but is trustworthy and knows how to lead men and run the jobs effectively. I pay him 11 per hr. The other employee is more experienced in painting but not a leader and I started him out at 10 per hr. So I am just trying to find out what I should be charging for hourly rate cost plus jobs and also when I am bidding time and material jobs. Hope this wasn't tmi. thanks guys.

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Old 11-20-2008, 10:39 AM   #2
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Your treading on thin ice here my friend by asking that question here.

I know guys that charge 25 bucks (I know there freaken nuts) I also know guys that charge up to 85 bucks. No one here can give you a going rate because as you see its all over the board. To me that does seem low but I don't know your overhead for you.
2nd you need to find a good well rounded painter that can lead and pay him what he worth.

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Old 11-20-2008, 11:20 AM   #3
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It really just depends on what you are worth. I don't like to charge hourly because I don't make as much money that way, because I work the same speed all the time even if I made 10.00 an hour.You know what you need to make in a days time, go from there, if the market will bare it, it will, if not you will find out.
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Old 11-20-2008, 11:40 AM   #4
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Mark, it seems to be a general consensus here that what you "should" charge as an hourly rate is needed to be determined by you - the owner.

You need to consider the wages you pay, your overhead, and the profit you want your company to make.

If you do not know all of these, it is basically impossible to determine what you NEED to charge.

Brian Phillips posted a good little primer on "Pricing, Estimating, and Success". You may want to read it.
Pricing, Estimating, and Success

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Old 11-20-2008, 12:23 PM   #5
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When you say "our labor" do you mean $45.00 per man, per hour?
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Old 11-20-2008, 02:29 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bender View Post
When you say "our labor" do you mean $45.00 per man, per hour?

That was going to be my question
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Old 11-20-2008, 05:02 PM   #7
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Duhhh,,,
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Old 11-20-2008, 05:13 PM   #8
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Quote:
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Duhhh,,,
That was going to be my response.
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Old 11-20-2008, 05:31 PM   #9
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I thought it was a good question. Its not safe to assume anything these days. One mans DUH is another mans rocket science.
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Old 11-20-2008, 05:47 PM   #10
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Quote:
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One mans DUH is another mans rocket science.
HUH ?

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Old 11-20-2008, 06:40 PM   #11
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No, that was for me and 2 employees and I know it's too low, i was just trying to find out about where I shoud be.
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Old 11-20-2008, 06:50 PM   #12
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Quote:
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No, that was for me and 2 employees and I know it's too low, i was just trying to find out about where I shoud be.
45$ an hour for three men?? won't make much money there... ball park would be 40$ - 60$ a man hour.. three guys that's 24hrs in one day.. You do the math (based on an 8 hr day)
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Old 11-20-2008, 06:55 PM   #13
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Quote:
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No, that was for me and 2 employees
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Old 11-20-2008, 06:56 PM   #14
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Crow,
thanks for trying to make me feel like a dumb turd. Look, I am upstarting a business in a rather retarded economy right now and the question is not that dumb considering the circumstances.
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Old 11-20-2008, 06:56 PM   #15
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That was my reaction too!
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Old 11-20-2008, 06:59 PM   #16
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I will consider what my own overhead and profit needs are and take it from there. Thanks guys for your input.
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Old 11-20-2008, 07:22 PM   #17
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Mark

You gotta start somewhere. You knew you were low, which is what led you to ask the question. Now, when you get your rates in line, marketing and selling become alot more critical. Where now you get jobs because you are very low priced, you will have to improve in some key areas to keep the three of you going at what will likely be 3 times the rate.
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Old 11-20-2008, 07:27 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vermontpainter View Post
I thought it was a good question. Its not safe to assume anything these days. One mans DUH is another mans rocket science.
You hit that nail right on the head
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Old 11-20-2008, 09:03 PM   #19
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The quickest and easiest way to find out exactly what you need to charge per hour would be this:

Your Cost Center

Make sure to take the tour, it shows you how its done.
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Old 11-20-2008, 10:38 PM   #20
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Mark,

that link PWG gave is a good one. Even if you do not spend the $75 annual fee for the program, the tour gives you an idea of what you need to consider to figure out your hourly costs.

DAMN! I wish I had something like that when I was first starting out.

Even after you figure out what your hourly should be, you still need to keep track of all your costs - auto, insurance, fuel, repairs, tool depreciation, etc etc. Hourly rates should be able to be fine tuned for the rest of your working life. (now that gasoline costs are declining, I'm decreasing my rate by the same that I increased them when gas rose)

Also keep track of how much time is non-productive during a day. I know you are doing this job as cost plus, but when you do estimates, you are going to start adding in all that non-productive time. Coffee breaks, set up time, clean up time, looking at the girls walk by time, cell call from the irate spouse time, etc etc.



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