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World Champion
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233 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
When you give an estimate form to a customer do you show itemized pricing or just a total price for all items?

Example:

Paint front of home body= 500
Paint back windows= 100
Paint front door=100
material=300
total=1000

or

Paint front of home body
Paint back windows
Paint front door
material
total=1000
 

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FT painter/FT dad
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1,254 Posts
never never never never never never give an itemized estimate

spell out what the project involves, but never give numbers

there's so many reasons
 

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The Lurker
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3,514 Posts
I only break it down if that's what is requested. If I were to price out 5 rooms and knew that they were going to be done as one job it "may" be cheaper that way as if I needed to break it out to 5 separate bids, meaning it could be done over a time period.

But from reading the post a quote thread a lot of guys break down labor and show separate line for materials??
 

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Rock On
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2,451 Posts
But from reading the post a quote thread a lot of guys break down labor and show separate line for materials??
For the customer?
Painters?

I wouldn't

Well, to be fair, some good commercial accounts, they can get a state sales and use tax break if I break it down for them
So I should say "on occasion for good commercial accounts that know about the tax break thingie"
But these guys are in business so they understand how much labor actually costs
Joe and Sally Homeowner usually don't
 

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Super Moderator
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6,466 Posts
I don't break down bids for each item, but do break them down as a room to room price. I price out each individual area as its own separate job. If they choose 1 room, I make money. If they choose to pick all the rooms at once, I make more money (larger profit margin due to the mobilization/set up overhead $$$ built in to each room is spent once instead of multiple times).
 

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Ohio Painting Contractor
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275 Posts
Generally unless asked otherwise we price the entire job out we do not itemize each cost. If a customer wants an itemized quote you may need to mark up each item by 5-15% to cover the things they don't done. We never mrk up material im not to sure if thats too fair. I advice you to purchase the 2007 National Painting Cost Estimator it has helped our guys a great deal. If they ask for an itemized quote give them one. If you do what people like thy like you... on the other hand if you do what people dont like they dont like you. You are in business to serve your clients and their needs as well as making a profit. Like I said if a client asks us for an itemized quote we usually mark up each item around 10%
 

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FT painter/FT dad
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1,254 Posts
We never mrk up material im not to sure if thats too fair
tell me you're joking

you realize everyone else is, right? pays for time in store, gas, etc.

you may want to reconsider your theory, your missing out on a trade standard my friend
 

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Ohio Painting Contractor
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275 Posts
tell me you're joking

you realize everyone else is, right? pays for time in store, gas, etc.

you may want to reconsider your theory, your missing out on a trade standard my friend

Im just saying we dont itemize the cost out for the customer to see. Ofcourse we do whie estiamting. Im sorry I may be slighty confused. The way we do it is we mark up labor. I go on $45-$65 per hour + raw material cost maybe slightly rounded off to our advantage room for error, add that up and times that number by 40% overhead and thats the cost. We normally dont mark up material. We add supervision hours for time in store, traveling, job management, and gas comes from overhead.
 

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8 Posts
if theres a trick

If there is a trick to estimating, its this. Identify every cost item and estimate the cost of every item you identify. The most successful estimators are always the most thorough. They find every cost item and pust a number down beside it. The estimated cost of something you forgot is always zero. I include mark ups on materials, a certain percentage to help cover my overhead, hourly profit on each employee, then I mark up the total bid by 20 percent if a customer saw all of that id never get any work.
I give them a total amount on my proposal with a detailed description of what work will be performed. Thats all they need to know.

Im just saying we dont itemize the cost out for the customer to see. Ofcourse we do whie estiamting. Im sorry I may be slighty confused. The way we do it is we mark up labor. I go on $45-$65 per hour + raw material cost maybe slightly rounded off to our advantage room for error, add that up and times that number by 40% overhead and thats the cost. We normally dont mark up material. We add supervision hours for time in store, traveling, job management, and gas comes from overhead.
 

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ContractorTalk Crossover
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66 Posts
Total only with a detailed description of whats included. Breaking down the bid into individual items only invites headache from the home owners.
EXACTLY!!!!!!!!!!!

Then the customer wants to pick and choose like a restaurant menu. "I think we'll only do this, and this, and this, and this, but we'll forget about this and this right now." Problem is that they omit the easy high-profit stuff and leave you with the harder stuff.

Or they complaint that Homeboy Painting will do these items for this price, can you match it? If not, I'll have them paint those items and you paint these."

or--

"You paint these difficult and hard to reach areas, and we'll have Uncle Charlie paint the easy stuff."

It would be funny if not so true....
 

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EXACTLY!!!!!!!!!!!

Then the customer wants to pick and choose like a restaurant menu. "I think we'll only do this, and this, and this, and this, but we'll forget about this and this right now."
Oh, I had that happen so many times when I first started my business. Now I don't break it down unless they specifically ask and then I have to add to the cost.
 
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