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Old 01-16-2019, 09:43 AM   #1
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Default What's a reasonable hourly rate

Hello All, I wonder if I could get some advice on setting an hourly rate. I am not a professional painter but have done a fair amount of painting over the years. I did a couple of rooms for someone recently after helping to refinish their floors and may have a couple other small jobs like that. I honestly find it a little nerve-wracking to figure out how to bill a small, informal job like this, since I do pretty good work but am certainly not as fast or as good as a serious professional painter and don't want to pretend to be at that level or to charge people more than I'm worth. I'm in western Massachusetts, in the Connecticut Valley, so am sure rates should be less here than say in Boston or New York, but more than a more remote rural area. My thought has been to charge 20/hr and maybe increase that to 25 if I have enough work to get more up to speed. I really don't think I have enough experience to charge by the job. I'm not going to take on anything too difficult and realize I would have a ways to go to be a "serious" professional painter, but would love any thoughts on how to guage this. Thanks!
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Old 01-16-2019, 10:01 AM   #2
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Read the forum rules. No numbers talk.
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Old 01-16-2019, 10:26 AM   #3
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Yeah, I'm sure this will get locked up. Since you are not a professional at the moment, you wouldn't have nearly the overhead of someone in the business who has employees, insurance, bonds and licensing to pay. Your hourly rate to "do it on the side" could be just about anything. $20 is probably a good place to start, but remember, if you ever go pro, an hourly rate is a quick way to be out of business in a hurry. Square footage, overhead numbers, profit margins on jobs, etc. all will have to be factored in to "YOUR NUMBERS" and no one will know your numbers but you.

One thing I would do even if I was just painting as a side job, would be to get liability insurance. Even the best of us have issues from time to time. You wouldn't want to damage something in a home and have no way to pay for it.
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Old 01-16-2019, 10:43 AM   #4
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Great, thank you. I'm sure it's incredibly obvious to others, but how come it is not possible to do professional work with an hourly rate? People want/need to know what the final cost will be?
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Old 01-16-2019, 10:53 AM   #5
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