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Here is an example of room by room pricing I give. Its a price, but I have a point.

12x12 room with 8 foot ceilings
walls only
1 color
Regal Matte Used
Take before photo
Move furniture to center and cover with poly plastic
Cover floors with rubber backed drops
Remove electrical plates
Patch walls
Scuff sand all walls
Dust walls and vacuum up debris
Apply tape along base line to wall.
Apply Regal Matte, 2 coats brush and roll
Caulk bead along all trim to walls and re caulk window frame to return
Have homeowner do a walk through
Remove all plastic and drops
Put plates back on
Put furniture back in place
Take after photo

Time elapsed:2 Hours

Price:$550
That is a lot of coin for only walls! I would figure $225 labor, plus materials which would be under $80 totaling $305.00. And if I painted several rooms in the house, I may give a package deal!
 
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The price of a job is comprised of 4 basic components: labor costs, material costs, overhead, and profit. Estimating is the process of identifying the labor and material costs. We add our overhead and profit to those costs to obtain our price.
The only thing I'd like to say regarding the OP. I do believe contractors have to be competitive. I'm sure that most of us are not in business to give the lowest price - that is a given. However, many potential customers do look for the lower prices - that is fact. Unless you are an amazing salesmen, you are going to have problems selling jobs at sky high prices!


  • Labor - there is a competitive rate to pay a Journeymen, Mechanic, average skilled painter and Apprentice. So we all should share approx., the same labor costs per employee.
  • Material costs - If you are dealing high volume, your paint costs will be lower than if you are a mom & pop shop. But ultimately, the customer pays for the paints and materials.
  • Advertising - It doesn't matter if you are a lawyer or painting contractor, advertising mediums are the same prices for all businesses. With more extensive advertising, a business will deal in higher volume and have higher profits.
  • Profit - Just because a contractor may have a home, he/she may be putting kids through college and have a fancy life style, I do believe there is a reasonable and an unreasonable profit margin for the painting field.
I do understand that some businesses are more established than others, and there are the scab contractors, and the respectable contractors (and everywhere in between)!

Overhead—advertising, rent, insurance, utilities, phone, owner’s salary, etc.— is completely unique to each company. Without knowing these numbers, it is impossible to properly price a job.
  1. We are comparing one painting contractor, to another painting contractor, providing the same services. So to some degree, we are comparing apples to apples.
  2. We are not comparing a painting contractor to an electrical contractor or doctor. So there should be somewhat of an average painting price among the painting industry.

When a guy asks how much to charge for a painting job, I do believe he is really looking for a ball park price, from as many people that are willing to give it. At the end of the day, time & material costs are really the main focus he is looking for and generally he is a newbie in business with the minimum overhead. So I am sure that any positive feedback would be helpful!
 

· Delco, Pa
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PaintingContractorNJ said:
The only thing I'd like to say regarding the OP. I do believe contractors have to be competitive. I'm sure that most of us are not in business to give the lowest price - that is a given. However, many potential customers do look for the lower prices - that is fact. Unless you are an amazing salesmen, you are going to have problems selling jobs at sky high prices!


[*] Labor - there is a competitive rate to pay a Journeymen, Mechanic, average skilled painter and Apprentice. So we all should share approx., the same labor costs per employee.
[*] Material costs - If you are dealing high volume, your paint costs will be lower than if you are a mom & pop shop. But ultimately, the customer pays for the paints and materials.
[*] Advertising - It doesn't matter if you are a lawyer or painting contractor, advertising mediums are the same prices for all businesses. With more extensive advertising, a business will deal in higher volume and have higher profits.
[*] Profit - Just because a contractor may have a home, he/she may be putting kids through college and have a fancy life style, I do believe there is a reasonable and an unreasonable profit margin for the painting field.

I do understand that some businesses are more established than others, and there are the scab contractors, and the respectable contractors (and everywhere in between)!


[*] We are comparing one painting contractor, to another painting contractor, providing the same services. So to some degree, we are comparing apples to apples.
[*] We are not comparing a painting contractor to an electrical contractor or doctor. So there should be somewhat of an average painting price among the painting industry.


When a guy asks how much to charge for a painting job, I do believe he is really looking for a ball park price, from as many people that are willing to give it. At the end of the day, time & material costs are really the main focus he is looking for and generally he is a newbie in business with the minimum overhead. So I am sure that any positive feedback would be helpful!
I agree on most of your points. But the overhead for a small company is different than a large company. Even buying paint, some contractors get it cheaper than others, thus can lower there price to clients.
The other variable is there is no way to know each companies production rates. Also the profit each company wants to make is not always the same. Some painters are comfortable just getting by while others want a lavish lifestyle.
Even though someone asks for a ballpark price, I feel as though, if you have to ask that question than you aren't qualified to bid the job.
You can either apprentice for a painter until you understand the aspects of owning a company or you can bid jobs and learn the hard way by losing your shirt on some jobs.
Either way, asking for a ballpark price on a painting job, without knowing all the variables for the particular company, is a question that is too vague to answer. IMO.
 

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That is a lot of coin for only walls! I would figure $225 labor, plus materials which would be under $80 totaling $305.00. And if I painted several rooms in the house, I may give a package deal!
I think he's a bit high for my area. I'd do that job for 4 hundred bucks- a dollar a square foot. That's not the point though. He not from pensi and he moved to Reading and he's bidding like that? In Reading! OMG He's nuts.
 

· P.R.O
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Overhead—advertising, rent, insurance, utilities, phone, owner’s salary, etc.— is completely unique to each company. Without knowing these numbers, it is impossible to properly price a job.
Despite the variance of the overhead cost, a quote is a quote. If a small company would charge $4000 for a 3B/R i can not quote it 5K just because my company has way more expenses. I think the expenses of the company have nothing to do with the job quoting. I have seen big companies charging pennies in winter just to keep their employees busy.
You charge based on the material and labor cost. Of course if you have access to your competitor prices it will help even more.
 

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Despite the variance of the overhead cost, a quote is a quote. If a small company would charge $4000 for a 3B/R i can not quote it 5K just because my company has way more expenses. I think the expenses of the company have nothing to do with the job quoting. I have seen big companies charging pennies in winter just to keep their employees busy.
You charge based on the material and labor cost. Of course if you have access to your competitor prices it will help even more.
I think you have that completely backwards - I could careless about seeing what my competitor prices are. I know what I need to be happy. Also larger company's in general the overhead is lower per man then smaller ones.

It's much more then just materials and labor. It's not always about who's the lowest price as many think around here.

Pat
 

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I think you have that completely backwards - I could careless about seeing what my competitor prices are. I know what I need to be happy. Also larger company's in general the overhead is lower per man then smaller ones.

It's much more then just materials and labor. It's not always about who's the lowest price as many think around here.

Pat

tell that to Nolan .....largest in the country an also most expensive.. around $80 per man hour for general painting..........for the most part what Auolona said was correct.......a window/door/frame is worth X amount of $$$ depending on AREA no matter the size of your crew. now obviously some will chime in with the targeted market crap but that doesn't apply across the board realistically.........
 

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in my area theres a term .......''bid by zipcode'' lets say im in villanova a front door could cost upwards of $300 but if im over in ardmore that same door would now cost $125........give or take..so obviouslly those prices in no way reflect overhead or what have you but merely set rates by area that mosrt contractors follow
 

· HL Estimating (Gabe)
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The reason we need to establish costs for labor, material and ultimately overhead, is to determine the adequate ratio to cover the project.

Once the overall expenses are realized, the takeoffs and scope of work will determine the value of the job. Notice that when you take into account all the items taken off in the plan, the numbers add up and your prices become competitive.

Ultimately, what you look for is consistency in your estimates, and it all goes back to YOUR costs. Market values should only be affected by your profit margin. (For example, you can not subtract money from your material costs because you can not get a $25.00/ gallon for $13.00) legally at least, nor can you stop paying taxes, insurance, or payroll without it hurting you.

The only line item you can move up and down it the profit item.
 

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lets try again... i emailked them saved to downloads open with micosoft picture viewer re sized them whew lotta work just to post but its worth the read. checkout the page on OH Profit the next page is how they determined the basic cost to charage for a painter. Its all about production rates then put into multiples or per LF or SF based on your costs.

The phtos and details in this book are amazing Ill post more and try and take better shots.
 

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RE

Here is an example of room by room pricing I give. Its a price, but I have a point.

12x12 room with 8 foot ceilings
walls only
1 color
Regal Matte Used
Take before photo
Move furniture to center and cover with poly plastic
Cover floors with rubber backed drops
Remove electrical plates
Patch walls
Scuff sand all walls
Dust walls and vacuum up debris
Apply tape along base line to wall.
Apply Regal Matte, 2 coats brush and roll
Caulk bead along all trim to walls and re caulk window frame to return
Have homeowner do a walk through
Remove all plastic and drops
Put plates back on
Put furniture back in place
Take after photo

Time elapsed:2 Hours

Price:$550

Now, I am new to the PA area, so I am building my rep now. The thing is I can go cheap and land a lot of work, but my foundation will scream CHEAP!!! Then trying to get what I need after I am established with those customers and their referrals will be very tough because they already have the we give the best quality for cheap. I learned that lesson once before and cut both families and their contacts out after 1 year.

Not everyone can get this price in bad markets, but what I mean is that at the same time IN BAD MARKETS there are people still paying top dollar.

My Uncle got either $1200 or $800 for painting a ceiling in a upscale area in Ponte Vedra Country club back in Fl. I asked how he could charge so much because it was only 10 foot ceilings that took 1 gallon on a 1 coat application and his answer was "Because I can" I saw it as cocky, but now it speaks volumes...


O.K., now back to look for Georgia Bulldog fans to pick on. I am in Florida now for a visit, so since I am a Gator...gotta run dem dawgs off.
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Hmmm..

After reading this and comparing the numbers with my own system this is what I determined:

if by saying 12x12 room he means each wall is 12' long, I would multiply that by 8' height then that's 96 sq. feet surface per wall..times 4 walls is 384 sq. surface area

I charge between 82-85 cents per sq. (labor and material) depending on surface texture.

So if it's a smooth surface that's less material so 384 sq. feet surface times 82 cents per is: $314.88

1 prime coat 1 finish. I do 2nd finish coat for half the cost of 1st...am I nuts?
 

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I am just trying to get started in biz and I priced out a basement.
33x27 - height - 6' cinder block.
Scope was to paint walls and cement floor. It was already painted before. I figured it would take 5 business days. I don't know, maybe I figured too much time. lol

I told the HO I can do the job for $1,120 to include labor & materials. She was in disbelief. She thought my price was way too high... Am I way out of the ball park?
 

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MuraCoat said:
I am just trying to get started in biz and I priced out a basement.
33x27 - height - 6' cinder block.
Scope was to paint walls and cement floor. It was already painted before. I figured it would take 5 business days. I don't know, maybe I figured too much time. lol

I told the HO I can do the job for $1,120 to include labor & materials. She was in disbelief. She thought my price was way too high... Am I way out of the ball park?
I don't know why it would take 5 days maybe there's a lot of prep work and I'm not sure what materials you're using so it's hard for me to say if you figured too much time.

I can tell you that with a price of $1,120 including materials (cinderblock can really eat the paint) for five days of work isn't out of the ballpark. That price is more like a swinging bunt.
 

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I don't know why it would take 5 days maybe there's a lot of prep work and I'm not sure what materials you're using so it's hard for me to say if you figured too much time.

I can tell you that with a price of $1,120 including materials (cinderblock can really eat the paint) for five days of work isn't out of the ballpark. That price is more like a swinging bunt.
1/2 day picking up paint, set up clean up.
Wire brush some areas 1/2 day
Walls 2 coats - 2 days
Floor 2 coats - 2 days

She had a lot of stuff in the basement. That may have slowed things down...
 

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This has been a very informative thread.

I wonder if somebody, the OP in particular, could expand on how to go about determining your overhead costs. For example, let's say a solo painter with a van, 4 extension ladders, a few step ladders, sprayer, pressure washer, etc etc. How do you go about factoring all of that into an overhead cost, and then how do you translate that into a cost for each job?

Would it depend on which assets you would be using for each job? For example, would you factor in the cost of your pressure washer when bidding an interior job?

-Drew
 

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This has been a very informative thread.

I wonder if somebody, the OP in particular, could expand on how to go about determining your overhead costs. For example, let's say a solo painter with a van, 4 extension ladders, a few step ladders, sprayer, pressure washer, etc etc. How do you go about factoring all of that into an overhead cost, and then how do you translate that into a cost for each job?

Would it depend on which assets you would be using for each job? For example, would you factor in the cost of your pressure washer when bidding an interior job?

-Drew

Read everything you can find by Monroe Porter. In most of the construction magazines and can probably find online. There's a lot of good threads on here too if you use the search function. Understanding your costs is essential. Good on ya for asking.


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