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My first couple years I pretty much gave a quote and stuck to it for better, or usually-at least in the beginning-for worse. Since then I've gotten more accurate with most of my pricing, but I've also change to more of an estimating format. If a job goes quicker than I charge accordingly, for example charging $4000 for a $5000 estimate. By the same token I occasionally have to have the uncomfortable conversation of asking for more, say asking for $5k on a $4k estimate. If it's within a few hundred bucks one way or the other I usually just leave it as is. Just wondering do any of you guys do it like this? Or do you always stick to your set bid?

I know there are definitely remodeling GC's around here that do this, I've spoken to more than one homeowner about their remodel and they weren't sure what the final total was going to be.
For a straight BID/QUOTE, I eat the loss unless the client adds additional work, or there is something unforeseen that is outside of the scope of the bid. I overshoot the Bid most often is when more work is added, at which point I let them know what the additional charges will be (though they are usually aware of this, and have requested the additional work). For repeat customers I would not add additional charges, and have done this in the past, but I let them know I’m taking care of them.

I do ESTIMATES at T&M (not straight bids) for work with a lot of variables or where I’m just not certain, and itemize labor and materials estimates separately for clarity. On the rare instance that I’m way off (I know this about halfway through), I walk them through the reasons, and sometimes offer a new Estimate if needed.
 

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I can't believe you guys get away with that. If I hired someone to do work at my house, and they tried to get more money out of me halfway through, I'd tell the, to fly a kite.
 

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Discussion Starter · #49 ·
You tell them up front that you'll do it t&m. You don't give them a price and ask for more once you start.
My mistake, I attempted to say in post #39 that i do explain ahead of time to HO when a job is t&m. I made a mistake and the post got swallowed up in the quote I was replying to.

I pretty much just say something like, "on these types of jobs I work for time and materials but here is an estimate, the number could end up a bit higher or a bit lower.
 

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I also do a firm quote and never ask for more unless more work is added. I find that t&m jobs, some HOs tend to look over my shoulder, worrying that I'm lollygagging, and trying to micromanage the process. If it's a firm quote I can spend all the time I need for a quality job. I also never discount the quote and I don't do wallpaper! But I am a one woman show and work solely on word of mouth.
 

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I also do a firm quote and never ask for more unless more work is added. I find that t&m jobs, some HOs tend to look over my shoulder, worrying that I'm lollygagging, and trying to micromanage the process. If it's a firm quote I can spend all the time I need for a quality job. I also never discount the quote and I don't do wallpaper! But I am a one woman show and work solely on word of mouth.
It's funny how that works. Homeowners hate T & M because they don't trust you, and would like you out of their hair Lickidy Split. But apples to apples, if the same work is offered as a fixed bid, they won't mind you hanging around for months to get the job done right. Even if it means you being away from family, friends, and other obligations. I say **** that.
 

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It's funny how that works. Homeowners hate T & M because they don't trust you, and would like you out of their hair Lickidy Split. But apples to apples, if the same work is offered as a fixed bid, they won't mind you hanging around for months to get the job done right. Even if it means you being away from family, friends, and other obligations. I say **** that.
I did a fixed bid where I offered to match the price that the home owner's paid previously, even though it was below what I would normally charge. They couldn't believe that I did it in half the time that their old painter took.

They only paid me HALF because I was done in half the time. I hate residential painting.
 

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I did a fixed bid where I offered to match the price that the home owner's paid previously, even though it was below what I would normally charge. They couldn't believe that I did it in half the time that their old painter took.

They only paid me HALF because I was done in half the time. I hate residential painting.
I think they call that robbery, and it's a crime in the states. If there was ever a time to levy a lien, it was that time.
 

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I think they call that robbery, and it's a crime in the states. If there was ever a time to levy a lien, it was that time.
Maybe I should have. It was only a couple hundred dollars, but it still bothers me. Problem is that it was a reference through someon close to me. Learned my lesson about doing work for people I know.
 

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Maybe I should have. It was only a couple hundred dollars, but it still bothers me. Problem is that it was a reference through someon close to me. Learned my lesson about doing work for people I know.
It just re-enforces my belief that family, friends, and close acquaintances are to be avoided at all cost if you want to earn a living in the painting trade.
 
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