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Hi Folks,
I was doing some employee cost estimating. (Thinking about getting some help.)
I started thinking of paid down time. Like breaks, set up each day and so on,
I even added 10 minutes a day for bathroom use. (I'm a nice guy, I'll let them go to the bathroom)
I came up with 1 1/2 hours a day while on the job. Thats 7 1/2 hours a week, 360 hours a year (48 weeks on the job).
9 weeks paid for not painting. If your not doing prep work or painting, your not making any money, the way I look at it.
Those are some crazy numbers but accurate.
Then added in Taxes, W/C, etc..
Then added in Overhead
GEEE.......Now I can't afford help, after coming up with the cost :)

Only kidding. Just thought the numbers are a little crazy and woundered if anyone else. Has a daily down time estimate
for employees.
 

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I agree with George Z.

We have to look at reality and accept it. While I think it is possible, and perhaps reasonable, to get more actual productive hours our of a day, we can't be slave drivers either.

That down time just needs to be figured into the selling price.

One way to do this is to pay piece work-- pay for the results rather than the hours. This provides motivation to increase efficiency, i.e., productive hours, without being a slave driver.

Brian Phillips
 

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Piece work sounds like a great idea and may work for a lot of employers but the cost when it doesn't will be high. Piece work can breed bad attitudes and short cuts (not prime when it is in your contract, one coat instead of two, not covering and protecting the customers property) into employees painting habits. You will need to really stay on top of quality control and be willing to get rid of employees who are caught cutting the corners.
The reason for employees is to free yourself up to get other jobs to grow your business. If you pay piece work and you find they have cut corners it costs you more to go redo it again. You can't send them back to do it again on there own time because they didn't do it right the first time, you have gotten rid of them and they are to busy doing work on there own with supplies and paints they didn't use that you have paid for.
 

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A certain way to improve productivity is to NOT allow cell phones on the jobsite. Leave them in the truck. They can check them at break time.
r
 

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Piece work sounds like a gret idea and may work for a lot of employers but the cost when it doesn't will be high. Piece work can breed bad attitudes and short cuts (not prime when it is in your contract, one coat instead of two, not covering and proecting the customers property) into employees painting habits. You will need to really stay on top of quality control and be willing to get rid of employees who are caught cutting the corners.
Certainly these things can happen, but they can happen with hourly employees as well.

I would suggest that if you are so distrustful of your employees, perhaps you need to get new employees.

A few simple checks and balances are all that are needed to insure work is done properly. We routinely complete jobs that last 2 weeks or longer and I never visit the job site.

Brian Phillips
 

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I would suggest that if you are so distrustful of your employees, perhaps you need to get new employees.
BTDT
Traded old drug addicts & thieves for new drug addicts & thieves.
Easy to say but may be difficult to do, depending on the local labor market.
A little "distrustfulness", at least for awhile, can be a good thing.

A few simple checks and balances are all that are needed to insure work is done properly. We routinely complete jobs that last 2 weeks or longer and I never visit the job site.
Could you please elaborate? I've not found any "simple" solutions.
I have some excellent and conscientious painters, some of whom have been with me for several years. They know what my expectations are and they invariably meet or exceed them. But I still visit their jobsite at least once per day. Part of the reason is for the customer's comfort level--to let them know you are involved. Part of the reason is simply to be there in the (infrequent) event the painters do have a question about something job-specific.

I visited a customer just yesterday who had some remodeling work done and couldn't say enough good things about the contractor. The thing she emphasized most: "The contractor was here every day!"
 

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Go see Harry at thepaintersnetwork.com and tell 'em I sent ya! LOL - he wants to kill me. You know my thoughts are - pass the costs onto the customer, if you judge labor rates by how much a painter can do in their first hour of painting when he is fresh, on a mild day - then of course things will slow down as the day winds on. People are not automatons. My problem has been - that I have done the calculations - and cannot either get enought money from the customer - or conversely cannot get a worker willing to work cheap enough to make the equation work - all the while there goes my competition working as if there are no problems. And I don't know what to think. I have thought perhaps in the past - that I wasn't working as hard as other guys, or my guys weren't working as hard. Then I watched other crews - in my neigborhood, and kept track of their start times and stop times - threw in a lunch hour, noted how many guys were there each day, how many days it took, noted all the 'callback' days with smaller crews - and found out that these other crews were taking as much if not more hours that my notes suggested a job would have taken. 1 + 1 still equals two - but something don't add up with my competition.
 
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