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Old 11-01-2013, 05:42 PM   #21
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I pretty much already start with a ballpark based on floor square footage for complete interiors. That way I go in with an idea of where I need to be and don't start to feel too bad if the potential client starts to give me a sob story about something. I know my numbers for interiors (except cabinets, I have no idea where to start there lol) and decks.

But I still can't find a good baseline for exteriors that gives me a starting point to work off of. I typically guesstimate them, but this year I've been terrible at it. The last exterior I just finished I figured at 12 days and ended up with 17 into it. And I've had a few more this year that I've blown by 3-5 days each

So, I need a better system for exteriors.
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Old 11-01-2013, 05:42 PM   #22
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Thinking about this further, I still wouldn't have a problem submitting a base per sf price to a customer online, with the knowledge that a scheduled visit would have to be arranged before finalization.

However, I do realize that 150 sf of kitchen floor space may entail a lot more labor then a 150 sf bedroom floor space. Which means that, specific areas of an overall floor plan would have to have their own square foot prices. Kitchens and baths, for instance, would have to have a premium IMO.

This is getting complicated.
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Old 11-01-2013, 06:09 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CApainter View Post
You make a good point concerning number of rooms per floor plan.
SF & LF pricing for surfaces to be painted is what works for me.
SF pricing based on floor SF seems to be irrelevant, even as some sort of 'starting point'. It's all about 'what' needs to be done and 'how' it's going to get done.

Floor SF of a covered bridge......
Or perhaps even a lighthouse tower......
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Old 11-01-2013, 07:16 PM   #24
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I see why some guys would not get into a one-size-fits-all square footage rate. When developing what I needed for decks, I started with a floor rate. Oops, spindles take way longer than floor, so I upped the price.. Etc. for adding percentages for second story decks, intrusive landscaping, any difficulty factors.

In the end, I developed a square footage rate that matched employee production, average prep and material spread rates and factored in individual project difficulties. As has been mentioned, a base s/f rate.

The only alternative is "eyeballing". I'm guessing the majority of painters do that. Not a problem because in their head they can visualize a square foot rate and be accurate without ever thinking about it or measuring. The problem comes when they have to teach that eyeball method to someone else. It doesn't work.
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Old 11-01-2013, 07:34 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Monstertruck View Post
SF & LF pricing for surfaces to be painted is what works for me.
SF pricing based on floor SF seems to be irrelevant, even as some sort of 'starting point'. It's all about 'what' needs to be done and 'how' it's going to get done.

Floor SF of a covered bridge......
Or perhaps even a lighthouse tower......
Dealing with pipe, and iron construction, has its own set of rules.

Residential square foot floor plans are a lot more manageable. Particularly if you have to submit an online estimate. You're more likely to get an immediate estimate request, online, from a residential homeowner then from a large building project manager.
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Old 11-01-2013, 07:48 PM   #26
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Quote:
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SF & LF pricing for surfaces to be painted is what works for me.
SF pricing based on floor SF seems to be irrelevant, even as some sort of 'starting point'. It's all about 'what' needs to be done and 'how' it's going to get done.
The point I'm trying to make is why have an internet based web site promoting a painting service, if you can't immediately provide a "base" estimate to a potential customer? Isn't that why they're shopping online to begin with?

If you can't provide something as simple as an immediate base estimate, doesn't the web site become nothing more then an informational flyer stapled to one of hundred of thousands of internet light posts that have numerous flyers stapled over them?

I suppose you could have the homeowner walking around with a tape measure, or simply film the area for you. Provided they actually captured your phone number off of the flyer.

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Old 11-01-2013, 07:49 PM   #27
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square foot of walls and siding, and ceilings, LF of base board and crown, unit cost of items like windows and doors, difficulty factor of what level is it on, how hard is the ladder move going to be etc... This can all be sytemmized to teach other how to estimate.
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Old 11-01-2013, 07:58 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Mac View Post
square foot of walls and siding, and ceilings, LF of base board and crown, unit cost of items like windows and doors, difficulty factor of what level is it on, how hard is the ladder move going to be etc... This can all be sytemmized to teach other how to estimate.
This worked great when the only way to reach a painter was through a ten pound telephone book.

Today, you can have ten potential customers contact you on your iphone and give them all accurate "base" estimates within fifteen minutes of each other, including appointment options for a follow up on-site visit.
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Old 11-01-2013, 08:00 PM   #29
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For me. Sqft floor space only works for new construction. I ALWAYS use sqft of painted surface,lineal foot of painted surface and item counts. Such as doors and windows. That price will very by products used,how many coats,difficulty of access, p.i.a of customer.
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Old 11-01-2013, 08:17 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CApainter View Post
This worked great when the only way to reach a painter was through a ten pound telephone book.

Today, you can have ten potential customers contact you on your iphone and give them all accurate "base" estimates within fifteen minutes of each other, including appointment options for a follow up on-site visit.
so your saying painters are giving estimates over the phone for unseen jobs that are entire interiors or exteriors??
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Old 11-01-2013, 08:26 PM   #31
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Quote:
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so your saying painters are giving estimates over the phone for unseen jobs that are entire interiors or exteriors??
I have. And will do it again.
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Old 11-01-2013, 08:30 PM   #32
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so your saying painters are giving estimates over the phone for unseen jobs that are entire interiors or exteriors??
I'm more or less supporting the floor plan s/f, "base painting" estimating strategy, and how it seems to apply to the expeditious requirements of the internet market place.
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Old 11-01-2013, 08:37 PM   #33
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I suppose even with telephone only contact of the past, painters were still capable of submitting rough estimates based on floor plan square footage. But with the advent of internet web sites that can be tailored to provide more information then a phone conversation, multiple people can request estimates at the same time, but feel they are shopping at a quiet leisurely pace. Maybe even nude....OK Friday is here!
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Old 11-01-2013, 08:41 PM   #34
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I think CA is implying that it would be a simple lead qualification tool for internet leads.

If you can tell someone over email that the base rate for their house is $xx for 1 color/sheen on everything (or whatever you want your base rate to represent) and it goes up from there based on the customizations you want- extra colors, sheens, accent walls, faux, etc.
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Old 11-01-2013, 08:47 PM   #35
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Quote:
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I think CA is implying that it would be a simple lead qualification tool for internet leads.

If you can tell someone over email that the base rate for their house is $xx for 1 color/sheen on everything (or whatever you want your base rate to represent) and it goes up from there based on the customizations you want- extra colors, sheens, accent walls, faux, etc.
This is exactly what I am implying!

1) If you can provide a "base" estimate electronically and still have a potential customer agree to an appointment for further details of their project, you've just vetted them.

2) You can do this with multiple customers in a short time

3) Your web site has just become your sales team. And, you don't even have to supply them coffee in the morning.
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Old 11-01-2013, 08:48 PM   #36
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We've only ever used a floor square foot price as an internal audit to make sure we haven't made some horrific math error in our take off. If I come up with something just under $1/ ft**2, I'm going back over my numbers to find the decimal point error.
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Old 11-01-2013, 08:52 PM   #37
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Quote:
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This is exactly what I am implying!

1) If you can provide a "base" estimate electronically and still have a potential customer agree to an appointment for further details of their project, you've just vetted them.

2) You can do this with multiple customers in a short time

3) Your web site has just become your sales team. And, you don't even have to supply them coffee in the morning.

Ok that makes more sense to me, so now the customers invites you over to get a exact quote what do you do. Count windows, add up wall space and prepare your estimate?????
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Old 11-01-2013, 08:59 PM   #38
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I'll add, that I understand the draw backs of providing a remote estimate:

1) It's easier for a shopper to reject an estimate that they believe to be too high when not face to face. This person will probably not be interested in scheduling an appointment.

2) Not having that face to face prevents a contractor from presenting his or her sales pitch or presentation that could sway a homeowner.
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Old 11-01-2013, 09:07 PM   #39
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Ok that makes more sense to me, so now the customers invites you over to get a exact quote what do you do. Count windows, add up wall space and prepare your estimate?????
Ideally, the accuracy of the numbers you've plugged into your base price/sf, requires little more then affirming there are no anomalies to the floor space configuration. And if there is, you can honestly adjust the estimate accordingly.

You can also make adjustments if the customer appears to be a PITA. Just code it as " a premium for preferred placement on the schedule" or something like that.
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Old 11-01-2013, 09:10 PM   #40
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Is there a sqft price for
"mercades in the driveway" ? I think there is no good way to use sq ft pricing.... even in commercial we use it and I don't think it'd fair but not sure how else you would do it off prints....
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