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Old 12-14-2009, 11:39 PM   #1
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Default Quality work?

Just got a job (called from yard sign i had in my own yard), I start Wednesday. Lady has 14 x 16 great room, 9 ft ceilings, small hall (12 ft long), small foyer (8ft long) wants 2 coats, walls only. Here's the rub, walls had wallpaper 10 years ago, removed badly, walls very rough. Walls have been painted 3 times since then, last paint 8 years ago. Cut lines look like crap, up on ceiling, on stained woodwork. I agreed to do the job for $400.00 (not counting paint), client says not worried about texture, condition of walls, and is getting new carpet. So I can go pretty fast, knock out in less than 2 days. My concern is this, being new in the biz I am trying to build a rep for quality work, smooth walls, razor sharp lines etc. This aint gonna be pretty, the only hope for these walls is a skimcoat, and they want to pay for a cheap job. I am afraid I will get there, and spend extra time trying to fix the last guys cut lines, re-build the ceiling line etc. Im afraid of people seeing new paintjob, cliet mentioning my name, and people thinkng what a crappy job, maybe not knowing it was crappy before I got there. Any thoughts, or am i overthinking this, just need to fly through it?
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Old 12-15-2009, 12:19 AM   #2
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Never trust a customer who says they're getting new carpets. If you get paint on them, you might end up buying them!
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Old 12-15-2009, 12:20 AM   #3
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You apparently didn't bid this job to leave any room for doing the quality you "want" to do so I would just clean this job up a bit and paint it. Your day rate is too low. Even if you could do this job in a day, its still too low.

You can only polish a turd so much unless they pay you to do that, and they are not. Give the client what they want, not what you want on this job.

Now on the other hand, if you feel you are very likely to get a lot of referrals from this cheap job then make that call as to how much polish you want to do.
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Old 12-15-2009, 06:02 AM   #4
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I totally agree with JP on his reply. When I first got started I ran into a few jobs just like the one described. I took the time to fix everything and try and get it looking as good as possible. It paid off in additional work and referrals. As far as your labor rate.... I guess you do what you gotta do. Hopefully this wont turn into a labor rate bashing thread.
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Old 12-15-2009, 06:21 AM   #5
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For $200 a day,I would go ahead and make it perfect and hope for referrals.
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Old 12-15-2009, 07:21 AM   #6
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Sand the walls the best you can.

Use a dead flat paint.

Then use a really long nap pad to kind of camoflage (through texture) the crap you are going over.
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Old 12-15-2009, 08:07 AM   #7
 
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I would fix the corners and try to clean the trim a little (spackle corners, warm rag to remove paint on trim), these are going to be the areas that will stand out to people, sand the walls out in the most noticeable areas and use a flat paint if possible, give them a good job for a few hundred bucks and you might just end up w/ a good reference.
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Old 12-15-2009, 10:05 AM   #8
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We all do work that we aren't gonna put up on our website, if someone wants to pay me to paint something then I will do it. I am not an artist, I am a house painter.
With that being said though, the job as you described it should take no longer then a day, and the rate you quoted was much too low. I am not trying to piss in your Kool-Aid, I am just offering my opinion.
When you run into jobs like this then the things like wall condition and the carpet being replaced should be placed in the contract, it is alot easier to draw up a detailed contract then it is to get your money out of some bastard who suddenly doesnt remember telling you that the carpet was being replaced or that he didnt want the walls fixed.
If you have the skill to be a painter then dont charge such low rates, the Home Depot gets $400 a day for a painter plus materials, and believe me that aint top shelf craftsmanship. I know alot of guys who charge low rates thinking "just untill I am known better around town" but that never seems to pan out. They either get stuck being a lowballer or they go out of business, if you charge a guy $200 to paint 3 rooms, odds are next year the guy wont pay you $300 to paint a small bedroom.
Low rates will suck you in, you will have no extra cash to advertise so you will either continue to be the unknown lowballer or you will fail.
Like I said I am not trying to be a ****, I am just trying to help you.
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Old 12-15-2009, 10:54 AM   #9
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I agree it is way low. The job is 1/2 mile from home, if she couldn't get done for 400, hubby gonna do his self (yeah right). Little old lady, I guess I got sold. Nothing else to do this week, made all my prospecting visits, so i figure what the heck. A weeks worth of sanding wouldn't make this walls slick. I think I am gonna clean up the ceiling line, a knock down type deal, (textured ceiling meets rough wall), apply as good a finish as i can, then rock on. I will still put drops down, as you guys say, you never know.
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Old 12-15-2009, 08:01 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by salestrainer View Post
I agree it is way low. The job is 1/2 mile from home, if she couldn't get done for 400, hubby gonna do his self (yeah right). Little old lady, I guess I got sold. Nothing else to do this week, made all my prospecting visits, so i figure what the heck. A weeks worth of sanding wouldn't make this walls slick. I think I am gonna clean up the ceiling line, a knock down type deal, (textured ceiling meets rough wall), apply as good a finish as i can, then rock on. I will still put drops down, as you guys say, you never know.
At first I thought your price was way to low but after reading again with no ceilings and no trim this should only take one day even with a lot of sanding etc. Stretch it to a day and a half so they dont feel ripped off and do a good job (you already said you have nothing else going on this week) A day and a half for $400 in the middle of December for a one man crew with low overhead is a sweet job to have right now.
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Old 12-15-2009, 08:47 PM   #11
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I have to agree with capitalcity $400 for a day job is not bad for mid December for someone with low overhead. However, modernstlye is dead on when he said "Low rates will suck you in, you will have no extra cash to advertise so you will either continue to be the unknown lowballer or you will fail." Charge what you have to in order to survive in this business but make enough to earn a decent living for yourself. The fact that you have low overhead is a BONUS
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Old 12-15-2009, 09:41 PM   #12
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sales,

I will only address your goal, "I am trying to build a rep for quality work, smooth walls, razor sharp lines etc."

I am concerned about the shoddily removed wallpaper under existing paint. You never know if or when these little land mines will explode.

As BB suggested, I would sand first to feather out and edges. You may need some mud after. You're committed to making it look nice on a budget, a little extra time may help you reach your primary goal. AND as he said, FLAT paint for a finish.

I wish you luck bidding on future jobs at a rate that is commensurate with the quality of your work



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Old 12-15-2009, 09:44 PM   #13
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Your right 247,this time of year,happiness=NO PAYROLL
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Old 12-15-2009, 11:28 PM   #14
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Thanks to all for the advice. She has already bought the paint, satin! What's with senior citizens, seems like they all like glossy walls,lol!
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Old 12-15-2009, 11:31 PM   #15
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as long as her eyesigt is poor, ya gots no problems.



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