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Old 12-23-2009, 05:00 PM   #1
 
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Default Just started, please help with info, ideas...

hello, a little about me, I was a residental painter for about four years, currently I am a fulltime firefighter, just started my own res. painting company. I am lucky to be able to live and save just on my firefighter pay. ( I am a simple man ) I do "good" work and I am fair and honest. The questions that I have are not so much the painting part but the business part. How to estimate, how to advertise, do I need an accountant or lawyer. mostly the estimating part. I have read the other posts on estimating, like knowing your overhead, cost, labor and profits etc.. Any help would be great, including help with this site.

Thankyou, Carl Kenneth
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Old 12-23-2009, 05:26 PM   #2
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Welcome,
Read through the Business, Marketing, and Sales start with Starting a Business? This may help
Then to Pricing, Estimating, and Success

Then continue your studies, it never ends.
Good Luck
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Old 12-23-2009, 05:36 PM   #3
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Carl

Welcome aboard. Estimating all boils down to man hrs to do certain task. Along with knowing how much product it is going to take. Example I allow 30 mins per window to paint and 16 windows per gallon. I can usually paint these windows Im talking about here wich are one over one in 12-15 minutes, so thirty minutes allows for set up clean up and other things, so basicly imo the best way to learn estimating is write down all your painting task for the day and track times on them, and material usage.
Soon you will have a data base you can refer to when doing estimates and it will become second nature. You also have to allow for variables when estimating such as height, is it one story or two story, and condition of surface being painted.

thanks
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Old 12-23-2009, 06:12 PM   #4
 
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Welcome Carl,

I also factor in my cut-in time, is it a smooth ceiling or textured, knock down or stippled. Set up time for steep stairwells, furniture to move, etc.. all are factored in. Just bid an eleven room two story home with two coats (primer and topcoat) for the ceilings and two coats on walls.

I also use past jobs and the time it took me to do similar work to help with new estimate.

Good luck!
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Old 12-23-2009, 07:40 PM   #5
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Hey Carl, welcome to the site.

As Gabe suggested, the best way to learn all of the things you are inquiring about is to read past threads on this site. Just go to the business section and start looking through all of the old posts. There is A LOT of good info there. Almost any question that I see raised by any new members can be answered by some past post.

For specifics, you can use the search function in the upper right corner of this site or just click here and it will take you to the search page. From there, search "lawyer" or "estimating" or whatever.

If you still cannot find an answer, navigate to the appropriate forum section (eg business, technology, etc) from the front page and start a new thread with your question.

PS - DO NOT ask how much you should charge for a certain project/job. You usually will not get a helpful answer, at least not in the way that you think is helpful for you. As cold as it sounds, those things cannot be answered by other members because things vary so much from situation to situation. Take a stab at putting together an estimate by yourself, see how it goes, see how the market responds.

Here is something Sam Walton used to do - benchamark your competitors. Call a number of professional painting companies in your area and have them come to give YOU an estimate. See how their numbers vary, how they talk to you, how they present a bid. Then capitalize on this knowledge, change things, develop your own ways.

Best of luck!
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Old 12-23-2009, 08:56 PM   #6
 
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thanks for the help guys ! this site is great.
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Old 12-23-2009, 09:32 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by y.painting View Post
Hey Carl, welcome to the site.

As RCP suggested, the best way to learn all of the things you are inquiring about is to read past threads on this site.<snip>
Best of luck!
Credit goes to Gabe on this one!

Welcome to the site Carl!
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Old 12-23-2009, 09:40 PM   #8
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Welcome to the site

As for your Qs:
Quote:
Originally Posted by ewingpainting.net
Read through the Business, Marketing, and Sales start with Starting a Business? This may help
Then to Pricing, Estimating, and Success

Then continue your studies, it never ends.
Ayup!
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Old 12-23-2009, 10:05 PM   #9
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Welcome Carl.

The best best advice I could give on how to estimate is to break the job down into small sections. Ie if you have a whole interior house to do then list out every room, break it down even further by listing out ceiling, walls and trim separately. Go through each one and asses a time required for you to do it. Then go and add on how much paint for each task. If you dont know how much time it will take or how much paint it would take then you are probably in the wrong forum. Once you have your total hours (include setup and clean up each day) multiply the hours by your hourly rate you intend to charge, it should be what you want to make per hour plus something extra for the business 20% to 100% markup, again this will be geographically specific. Take your materials and multiply them by the charge rate per gallon, if you pay $20 a gallon (including tax) maybe you want to charge $30, $35, $40 plus, its up to you. Dont forget if you have to pickup the paint you need to charge for your time there too. Whats left? Daily costs like gas for vehicle to job, milage for vehicle to job, insurance, workers comp, misc expenses like fillers, rollers, tarps etc. What about ladders, sprayers, or any other equipment. You should be charging for them too, the amount you charge is up to you but you could start at the high end with the cost it would be to rent the equipment.

When you are all done with your costing sheet you can go back and calculate the cost to do the job including an hourly rate for you and see what profit the business will make to see if it is a worthwhile venture. The business profit will essentially be paying you when you go to do any un billable activities such as doing a quotation, following up, typing proposals etc.


Good luck
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Old 12-23-2009, 10:11 PM   #10
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Read this.
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Old 12-23-2009, 10:29 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RCP View Post
Credit goes to Gabe on this one!

Welcome to the site Carl!
Sorry Gabe, no idea why I typed RCP, it was you. I need stronger glasses
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Old 01-04-2010, 03:36 AM   #12
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Hey Carl,
Im new to the site also.
The National Painting Cost Estimator book 2009 or 2010 helped me out alot. They have national cost averages on many types of painting per sq foot etc. Also average pay scales, equipment rental rates for all painting tools from ladders to sprayers to lifts. its about 60.00 on Ebay or Amazon....check it out.
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