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Old 05-06-2009, 12:54 PM   #1
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Default Please Help!

I've been working for a painting contractor for about three years and I have a friend whose also a painter with 5 years experience. We started our own thing and our first job is painting an exterior for a business. The building is a three story Victorian style mansion. There are around 35 block windows and alot of the work will be underneath the roof overhang that spans the entire house 30 to 35 feet in the air. We are only doing the trim and there is alot of it. All of it needs to be powerwashed, stripped, primed and painted.

The problem is they want an hourly rate and I have no idea what would be a fair price. Can someone please tell me what a good hourly rate for that kind of job would be? Thanks.
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Old 05-06-2009, 02:40 PM   #2
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3 years and 5 years experience isn't anywhere near enough to be able to start on your own. Not knowing a key part of running a business such as to how much to charge kinda speaks for itself.
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Old 05-06-2009, 02:42 PM   #3
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A good starting point is about $20 an hour. That seems really fair to me for what they are getting. What do you guys think?

~todd
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Old 05-06-2009, 02:46 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by toddcla2002 View Post
What do you guys think?
Well a good hourly rate would be $100.00 per hour (which is what the question was). He won't get that though.

What do I think? I think they should go back and get a few more years experience and do some business studies. 3 years or 5 years is maybe enough to learn the basics of the trade but not enough for the skills and experience needed to go it alone.
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Old 05-06-2009, 02:58 PM   #5
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^^^ Clam down buddy, it's not like I'm clueless as to wages. I'm just trying to find a fair number that won't scare them off and won't have us working for less than we could have gotten. I was thinking between $17 & $20. I'll probalby go with $18.... Thanks Toddcla.
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Old 05-06-2009, 03:15 PM   #6
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Default Man-hour rate

In order to cover the cost of operating a business, in the SE, $40 per man hour is the norm. You have to figure the cost of a business, profits and salaries to be successful. IMO
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Old 05-06-2009, 03:20 PM   #7
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what type of overhead d you have?
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Old 05-06-2009, 04:20 PM   #8
 
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Relax, you too have 8 years of experience between you. Every job is different, so it's not weather you've done it before, it's weather you can adapt and do it while still making money. And if you're smart, you'll still lose money on some jobs but will identify why and correct it next job. Some painters with all the experience have NO buisiness sense. It's really comparing apples to oranges. The question basically comes down to: The things you don't uderstand or have experience with, can you learn them quickly enough to evolve and stay alive in the business world. Hopefully you can.

As far as you question, it seems like this business is looking to save money by using you by the hour, instead of the job. A lot of factors will play into this. First off, if you have your own company now, do you have workman's comp? Because you are working pretty high up, and if you fall, does the business cover you in result of injury? If not, you need to charge more. How far away from your house is it? Think of Gas money? Will you be using all your own tools? All these things cost money.

These people might want the best of both worlds: somebody they can pay by the hour, and somebody that their not responsible for. Be careful.

Are you renting a lift? Because if they rent one for you, it could save on time (labor) and might be a lot safer as well. There are a lot of factors here, but from what you are telling me, 20 bucks an hour sounds good, but make sure you milk it and don't let them get the best of you! I just started out with a background same as you, and everybody wants something for nothing. I've gotten burned too many times on situations like this.
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Old 05-06-2009, 04:29 PM   #9
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$20 and hour with NO overhead is not too bad. If they put you on a payroll for the project, then you will want to offer closer to $28 an hour so you can take the Full $20 home with ya. You may want to add a few dollars for risk factor, being your going to be above 30'. $20 hr cash is acceptable with no 1099..... LOL Good luck!
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Old 05-06-2009, 04:51 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Major Hal View Post
Relax, you too have 8 years of experience between you.
I would disagree with that statement. 20 guys with 6 months experience each doesn't equate to 10 years experience. 3 years is a minimum training period. 5 years after that then you could call yourself an experienced painter.

I agree that being a good experienced painter won't make you a good businesman. Running a succesful business is a skill in itself. This is why I said:

Quote:
I think they should go back and get a few more years experience and do some business studies
Imho, that's sound advice but it obviously wasn't what the O/P wanted to hear when he retaliated with

Quote:
^^^ Clam down buddy
Maybe my advice came across as harsh but it was intended to be pointer in the right direction. So little experience is doomed to failure (imo). Take a few more years experience and read up and research on running a business then the chances of success will be a lot more likely.
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Old 05-06-2009, 07:50 PM   #11
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$20 per hour is crap money to make as the owner of the business. You are giving it away. You are numb and giddy about your first job and have no idea that you are screwing yourself. Insurance, taxes, equipment and that little thing called profit. You are taking on all the risk and not charging for it. You are going to fail if you don't realize that a business has overhead that must be charged for and a business must make a profit above wages and expenses.

Carpenters, electrician, mechanics etc. are getting $75- $100 per hr. Yet we are always fight with each other to charge half of what they do. Our skills are needed just as much as theirs.
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Old 05-06-2009, 09:52 PM   #12
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NEVER work by the hour in that situation. They are obviously looking to get over on you. part of being professional is knowing your limitations and when to turn down projects. I would not advise anyone to start out with a project like that. They have probably seen some realistic quotes and they are looking for a sucker. You should start with smaller projects, learn your own rates and advance comfortably and legaly. Trust me it's really difficult, and humbling, to admit you are not ready for every project but you will soon find it empowering. Trust your gutometer. So many potential contractors have been put out of business by the allure of that "Big Job" IMHO
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Old 05-06-2009, 10:07 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hypnotic View Post
I've been working for a painting contractor for about three years and I have a friend whose also a painter with 5 years experience. We started our own thing and our first job is painting an exterior for a business. The building is a three story Victorian style mansion. There are around 35 block windows and alot of the work will be underneath the roof overhang that spans the entire house 30 to 35 feet in the air. We are only doing the trim and there is alot of it. All of it needs to be powerwashed, stripped, primed and painted.

The problem is they want an hourly rate and I have no idea what would be a fair price. Can someone please tell me what a good hourly rate for that kind of job would be? Thanks.

Obviously you have to start out somewhere... If you are going to be doing a time and material job here I suggest a little something to get you used to pricing a job like this.. spend some time doing a detailed estimate if for nothing else, just personal use and reference.... If they pay you once a week keep track of all money you make, and when you are finished calculate how much you made, compared to what you thought you should have made and think of how much you would need to make to do the same job over (degree of difficulty, working conditions, ETC) After only a few jobs of doing this you should have a better idea of what you need to get out of a job to make it worth your while. Good luck to you and I really hope you guys aren't in too deep... I would prefer to see you start small... In my experience I have found these rich high up keep house owners, nickel and dime all but their close friends in order to save more money. Don't be bullied and make sure you show them your time is worth something.

Cheers

Wes
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Old 05-06-2009, 10:28 PM   #14
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What are you insurance costs? Business, liability, medical, workers comp, etc?

What are your vehicle costs?

What have you invested in equipment, tools, clothes, etc?

What's your cost of living?

How many hours do you spend a week on business but not "at the wall" ?


Once you can put an accurate figure to all these (and more), you can start figuring out what you need to charge per hour.



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Old 05-06-2009, 10:44 PM   #15
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One thing to be careful with is your local laws concerning T&M contracts. Sometimes it can be a hard battle to win in court if you're working hourly as some courts believe if you're selling yourself as a contractor, then you should know your trade and what it takes to do a job, which means you give them a price, they sign, you do it, they pay.

T&M is for jobs where it's unpredictable on how long it will take. Not for the reason of you being uneducated on how long it should take, but more along the lines of paint stripping where the outcome & production rates can be different from job to job.

So if they simply say you purposely took too long so you could make more money off them, the courts could easily side with them as they may not take you as a serious contractor. If you set a done said price that they agree on, then there is no arguement as they knew what they was in for price wise from the start.

*Those notes are not my advice but the advice of an attorney.*

If you're ready to take on a job on your own, that means you can look it over & figure out how long it will take. Then you simply plug in your numbers which only you can come up with, and roll with it. That's the proper way of operating & if they can't deal with it move on.
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Old 05-06-2009, 11:13 PM   #16
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$18 an hour? I suppose if they're supplying the vaseline....'cause it sounds like you setting yourself up to get screwed.
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Old 05-06-2009, 11:31 PM   #17
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The ho is calling you because there not going to climb up 35ft to paint the house themselves.So should you for such a low price?
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Old 05-07-2009, 12:51 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hypnotic View Post
I've been working for a painting contractor for about three years and I have a friend whose also a painter with 5 years experience. We started our own thing and our first job is painting an exterior for a business. The building is a three story Victorian style mansion. There are around 35 block windows and alot of the work will be underneath the roof overhang that spans the entire house 30 to 35 feet in the air. We are only doing the trim and there is alot of it. All of it needs to be powerwashed, stripped, primed and painted.

The problem is they want an hourly rate and I have no idea what would be a fair price. Can someone please tell me what a good hourly rate for that kind of job would be? Thanks.
Your both in WAY over your head in my opinion. Are they supplying paint and materials? Gasoline for your pressure washer?(you said MANSION, so figure your gas).................tisk tisk, goodluck guys, I wish you the best of luck on your first job.
Post some before and after pictures and let us all know how it comes along.
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Old 05-07-2009, 12:53 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JNLP View Post
One thing to be careful with is your local laws concerning T&M contracts. Sometimes it can be a hard battle to win in court if you're working hourly as some courts believe if you're selling yourself as a contractor, then you should know your trade and what it takes to do a job, which means you give them a price, they sign, you do it, they pay.


If you set a done said price that they agree on, then there is no arguement as they knew what they was in for price wise from the start.

*Those notes are not my advice but the advice of an attorney.*

If you're ready to take on a job on your own, that means you can look it over & figure out how long it will take. Then you simply plug in your numbers which only you can come up with, and roll with it. That's the proper way of operating & if they can't deal with it move on.
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Old 05-07-2009, 07:07 AM   #20
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The problem is they want an hourly rate and I have no idea what would be a fair price. Can someone please tell me what a good hourly rate for that kind of job would be?

$77.89 per man
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