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Old 12-21-2009, 01:06 PM   #1
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Default How does it make you feel?

My folks electrician billed them for 14 hours of work @ $85/hr - no proposal, no estimate - just a 'service' call.


Now painting and electrical have their differences and don't necessarily command the same money. But then again - I really think there is a good argument for the 'lone' wolf owner/operator - we need to charge $85 man-hours in order to have a decent salary after expenses as well.

So why are we charging $50/hr less than an electrician? Why are homeowners expecting we can 'quote' every single thing, like wallpaper removal? Or prep once it's removed? I have no idea - and why should I?

Perhaps this just implies that painting isn't an industry for the 1-man 'show' - that we need multiple workers in order to have a true business. But then again - how can you go 'estimate' 1 bedroom repaints and keep a crew of 5-6 guys busy? Either we charge lower man hours and take on larger jobs - or we stay small and do the smaller repaints yet with a higher hourly rate.

I wonder how successful contractors are bidding onesies and twosies type jobs?
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Old 12-21-2009, 02:35 PM   #2
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It makes me feel like I should have been an electrician!
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Old 12-21-2009, 02:57 PM   #3
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There is a big difference in perceived value between these trades.

When you NEED an electrician, you need one usually NOW.

When you NEED a plumber, you usually need one NOW.

When you NEED a paint job, you usually wait until you feel like it or have the money to spend.

Face it, if you aren't doing new construction, our job (repaints or wallpaper) are a luxury purchase, not a necessity.
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Old 12-21-2009, 03:01 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by plainpainter View Post
My folks electrician billed them for 14 hours of work @ $85/hr -

So why are we charging $50/hr less than an electrician?
Who charges $50 less than $85 per hour ???

Quote:
Why are homeowners expecting we can 'quote' every single thing, like wallpaper removal? Or prep once it's removed? I have no idea - and why should I?
If you can't quote paper removal, give me a call. I'll give you a firm quote.

Quote:
Perhaps this just implies that painting isn't an industry for the 1-man 'show' - that we need multiple workers in order to have a true business.
There are people who would agree with you, that a one man shop is not a "true businesses". And then there are those who realize there are many types of business models.

You need to choose what you want and pick your poison. If money and profit is your sole objective, then either you are in the wrong profession or you need to follow the business model that will get you to that end.

With all the seasonal movies being shown lately, we realize there is a happy medium between sitting in your counting house only concerned about profits and giving your labor away for the love of humanity.

""Business!" cried the Ghost, wringing its hands again. "Mankind was my business. The common welfare was my business; charity, mercy, forbearance, and benevolence, were, all, my business. The dealings of my trade were but a drop of water in the comprehensive ocean of my business!"

"and it was always said of Scrooge, that he knew how to keep Christmas well, if any man alive possessed the knowledge. May that be truly said of us, and all of us! And so, as Tiny Tim observed, God Bless Us, Every One!"


(sorry, I get all altruistic this time of year after watching all those holiday movies)



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Old 12-21-2009, 03:21 PM   #5
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I am in school for electrical... In my area you need to be doing more that just painting. That is the large and small of it.
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Old 12-21-2009, 03:30 PM   #6
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Yes I should of became an electrician. I'm going to make a new post; "what did you want to be before settling for a painter" Me I wanted to do animation.

Ec are at the top of the chain and painters r at the bottom.
A 1 man team is what I've been for a long time. Provided that definition also fits in extra help. I now have a decent partner. Ya certain people out here would say im not even a business..

SO WHAT AM I ???
PLease
SO WHAT AM I ???

It looks like in order to make money( like bling bling money) u need to have employees. Get the most expensive quotes. Or start a franchise.

College pro?

Im finally at a point where the biz is running on its own. Meaning calls r coming in and work is happening, and im not always out there hustling.
As long as I stick with paint talk Im sure to make millions..

Right???
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Old 12-21-2009, 04:01 PM   #7
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When I do decorative finishes, (and most other decorative painters) Pay is a LOT more than $85 an hour. Some are around $75 and it goes up from there.

If painting req. certification in order to work as does plumbers and Elect. there would be a better chance at a higher scale. But....most people can put a brush in a pot and get it to the surface, but most are afraid of wires or water leaking through the walls. I think if you want to separate yourself from the masses, you need to offer "specilized" coatings. Weather its decorative, epoxies, concrete stains, etc.
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Old 12-21-2009, 04:05 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by plainpainter View Post
How does it make you feel?
I'm pretty comfortable with it, I do suffer from anxiety attack from time to time. Not sure if that has anything to do with it or not. I will know next week sense I will be seeing my therapist. Will update you later
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Old 12-21-2009, 04:21 PM   #9
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A service call that lasts 14 hours? I have no problem with the 85 an hour, but for that long without any type of estimate/proposal? For Labor only?
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Old 12-21-2009, 04:44 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RCP View Post
A service call that lasts 14 hours? I have no problem with the 85 an hour, but for that long without any type of estimate/proposal? For Labor only?
Well, he put the light bulb in too...
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Old 12-21-2009, 04:57 PM   #11
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A service call, IMHO, would have to be 2 hours or less. Anything more than that, I don't care what your trade, I need a price!!!
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Old 12-21-2009, 05:00 PM   #12
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A service call that lasts 14 hours? I have no problem with the 85 an hour, but for that long without any type of estimate/proposal? For Labor only?
Well here is the kicker, my folks are the best paying customers on the planet - The same day she had the tree guy cut down a couple of trees, 4 man team for 6 hours stop to finish total job that spanned two properties, $1,200. And my mom was asking him if he made enough money - the guy was laughing.

But normally - I've watched my folks, they can't get anyone to come anymore for anything - electricians, carpenters, nobody. They have a real good relationship with a top top top notch plumber - and every time they need something, he comes - because he knows my folks pay. And he is the goto guy when trying to find another contractor. This electrician busted hump. My folks were happy as pigs in $hit. They pay, they always pay. As long as they get a service. Yet nobody shows up anymore, they sometimes come for a measure call, and you never hear from them again.

Yet when I give painting estimates - homeowners have access to a dozen other painters frothing at the mouth to work. I can't understand what's happening. My Mom even thinks that the economy must be good - because she can never get anyone to come over.
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Old 12-21-2009, 05:21 PM   #13
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I wonder what the learning curve is for a electrician,compared to a painter.
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Old 12-21-2009, 05:55 PM   #14
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It doesn't bother me
I screw up a paint job, it sucks I have to fix it
They screw up, buildings burn down and lives can be lost
You think your liability ins. is high, think of paying one of their bills

The cert. alone (out here) is killer cost/time(experience)-wise compared to painting
(eg: painting = none...or maybe registering with the Commonwealth for a few bucks so's they can make sure you haven't been cheating old ladies in Georgia and grant you a registration #, commonly called a "license"...not needed for most actual paint jobs, but helpful nonetheless)

Then there's the types of jobs (time length)
Aside from new const., any time a Sparky fires up his truck he/she has got to figure on a minimum
There's a good chance the actual job (hands on time) may take less than the travel/paperwork time
As opposed to most painter's jobs, of which the smallest could be divided up a day or 1/2 day

Actually, that leads to the fact that I dig the smaller jobs that only take a few days, and don't mind the even smaller ones (they are done and I'm paid quickly)
But long ago I discovered I would seriously hose myself unless I figured even the smallest job as a 1/2 day min.
Let's face it, even if it's only a 2 hour job, with travel, paperwork, set-up/clean-up time...1/2 day is lost

Let's take say...a Bilco door (a common type/manufacturer of metal outside cellar access out here)
If the customer wants it painted during the painting of the house...then it's different
Let's say he/she just calls and says "I'd like you to paint my Bilco door"
I'd say (and one of the precious few times I'd give an "estimate" over the phone): $179
"Customer" usually screams and faints...keep in mind: those that don't scream and/or faint are usually our best clients

Now that may seem like a high price, but let's face it:
There's those Bilcos that need a cleaning, scuffing, and a coat of metal enamel, then there's those Bilcos that need massive sanding, a metal primer, and two coats enamel
I win some, I barely break even on some

Now what if most of your calls were: “I need some painting or else we can’t cook food for the baby or we’ll freeze or our freezer will thaw or we can’t cook or we’ll not be able to watch TV…I’m not sure what’s wrong how soon can you get here? (ie: Get yer azz over here)”

All in all, “cost of doing business” costs being what they are, I’m sure those 14 hr jobs are the only hope for Independent Sparkies over those “change a fuse” jobs
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Old 12-21-2009, 06:37 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jason123 View Post
Yes I should of became an electrician. I'm going to make a new post; "what did you want to be before settling for a painter" Me I wanted to do animation.

Ec are at the top of the chain and painters r at the bottom.
A 1 man team is what I've been for a long time. Provided that definition also fits in extra help. I now have a decent partner. Ya certain people out here would say im not even a business..

SO WHAT AM I ???
PLease
SO WHAT AM I ???

It looks like in order to make money( like bling bling money) u need to have employees. Get the most expensive quotes. Or start a franchise.

College pro?

Im finally at a point where the biz is running on its own. Meaning calls r coming in and work is happening, and im not always out there hustling.
As long as I stick with paint talk Im sure to make millions..

Right???

Some on PT say if you are a one man band you are just keeping yourself in a day to day job, maybe so, but I would still rather do that than give $30.00 or so bucks an hr off my back to some so called buisness man contractor. I see it as keeping myself in buisness and a job that I take home all of the money!!!!!!
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Old 12-21-2009, 06:41 PM   #16
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Check electriciantalk.com Here is a link to a thread on fees
http://www.electriciantalk.com/f15/s...ees-etc-10413/
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Old 12-21-2009, 06:49 PM   #17
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LAelcet. Post 16. That clever.
I like his system
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Old 12-21-2009, 06:59 PM   #18
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I think we should consider their average sale to a HO. Unlike us its 3 to 6 grand.
Theirs is probably 6 to 12 hundred in service calls, which we don't even do. IDK. I'm not an electrician. My unlcle is, I'm going to pick his brain next time I see him.
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Old 12-21-2009, 07:31 PM   #19
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Lot of good points of view on this thread. If you want to break everything down to hourly rates then maybe you should be doing strictly time and material quotes and charge accordingly.

I cant complain about what other trades make. As stated above, their insurance costs are sky high, their training and licensing is more detailed, etc.. And to be honest, there are times when I make a helluva lot more than $85/hr.

And, I cant agree with the assessment that single person operations are a day to day job. You need to run with the same basic business skills as a one person show as you do with employees...maybe even more so due to the fact that you dont have anyone else contributing to your wages or business.
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Old 12-21-2009, 08:19 PM   #20
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I have a friend who does floor and staircase work mostly. The other day he charged $300 to install a couple floor reducer thresholds in one hour. He has a grade 8 education and no formal training as a carpenter.
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