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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
One thing I don't understand, although it seems to be a popular topic, is pricing. How do you estimate your jobs? Do you go by square footage or man hours? At the end of the day this is one of the worst subjects because it will not work from one person to the next.

I know people who swear by charging by the man hour. I can't do it. Id lose my ass because we're very high production.

Then I know guys who are absolute perfectionists that take 2-3 days to do a single room. Those guys go above and beyond what a normal crew will do, and they'd lose their ass if they charged by square footage.

Then you have to be realistic about where you're at. My price is almost triple in one city than it is the next because I know the market. If youre in a high end college city you can charge 50 an hour. A place with a population of 5,000? Not so much.

Then you have to look at your materials. I get better prices than 99 percent of contractors simply because of volume. Someone who does 60,000 dollars worth a work in a year will be lucky to have 4-5,000 in materials, so they're not getting the same pricing as people who are dropping 100k plus.

What I'm getting at is, asking for pricing help here isn't going to do you more good than asking your mechanic what type of roller cover nap he recommended. Do a couple homes and see where you're at and where you need to be and price accordingly.
 

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Ya market and area play a role. For repaints I start at a dollar a sqft floor space just for walls they pay for paint. Factors like stairwells high ceilings colors and repairs are extra flat rate costs.


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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Everyone's got their system. If you're succesful at what you do, keep doing it. If not, tweak it a bit until you are. There's no magical formula. I know guys who do man hours and make well into the six figures every year. They have it down to a science. I don't know how they do it, but they do.
 

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Much of what you mentioned is why, “How much do you charge for...?” questions are frowned upon here.
 

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I do my estimates by wall sq/ft method. I learned this along time ago, and it is very consistant. This method can be used to add walls, base, and ceilings all in one formula. Then I add items like doors, railing, extra trim, or extra prep.

Two coats of just straight cut and roll, no base, minimal furniture, normal 8' ceilings, I start at 1.00/sqft. We can do 1200-1500 sq/ft a day. Add base .20, celings .25. Range rover in the driveway $1.25 to start.

You can accomodate a slow moving crew with this method as well, also your rate of pay will dictate cost. So in my example above, if my average rate of pay per hour including insurance and taxes is $35 and I want 60sqft/hr from my guys, my labor rate is .58/sqft. Material is next, lets say average is $25 plus material overhead and tax, $40/350, you get .11 x2coats .22/sqft. You would then add overhead percent and profit percent.
 

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I do about the same as Mikecalifornia. I have had a higher sell rate with this type of bid. Customers can see what the costs are for each item. I adjust each bid between $1.20 and $1.60 per sf of wall depending on difficulty and amount of prep. What do you charge for exterior ?
 

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I do my estimates by wall sq/ft method. I learned this along time ago, and it is very consistant. This method can be used to add walls, base, and ceilings all in one formula. Then I add items like doors, railing, extra trim, or extra prep.

Two coats of just straight cut and roll, no base, minimal furniture, normal 8' ceilings, I start at 1.00/sqft. We can do 1200-1500 sq/ft a day. Add base .20, celings .25. Range rover in the driveway $1.25 to start.

You can accomodate a slow moving crew with this method as well, also your rate of pay will dictate cost. So in my example above, if my average rate of pay per hour including insurance and taxes is $35 and I want 60sqft/hr from my guys, my labor rate is .58/sqft. Material is next, lets say average is $25 plus material overhead and tax, $40/350, you get .11 x2coats .22/sqft. You would then add overhead percent and profit percent.
Do you measure the dimensions of every room throughout the house during the bid? If you get a scope from a builder or GC this is perfect I just feel like it would take forever to measure the square footage of the walls, ceilings and trim throughout the home without a scope
 

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Do you measure the dimensions of every room throughout the house during the bid? If you get a scope from a builder or GC this is perfect I just feel like it would take forever to measure the square footage of the walls, ceilings and trim throughout the home without a scope
I have a small measuring wheel that I use when I walk the house. Mind you the majority of my work is existing residential/commercial, rarely bid off plans, but you would use a blueprint reader pen for that, same formula.

I usually write down the room, take the measurement, then mark what they want painted. I learned my lesson and just taken all rooms together, then the customer wanted particular rooms taken out and I had to go back to remeasure.
 

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I do about the same as Mikecalifornia. I have had a higher sell rate with this type of bid. Customers can see what the costs are for each item. I adjust each bid between $1.20 and $1.60 per sf of wall depending on difficulty and amount of prep. What do you charge for exterior ?
I don't ever show my rates on a proposal. I list the rooms to be painted, what is to be painted, the products I will use, and the prep that will be performed. The price is a total at the bottom with options if requested by the customer.

Exterior varies greatly from one story to two story. My area sometimes has lots of extras; shutters, popouts, corbels, etc. Once the bid is divided by the floor sq/ft I'm usually in the $1.50-3.00 range, mostly around $2.25.
 

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I find it interesting bidding and pricing are never the same. I"ve try different methods but it's too many factors that can throw your price off. the main thing is to take your time studying the job site and even get second opinions from other painting companies.

marathonpainting.us
 

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In my pricing i tend to run three separate bids, 1-man hours, 2 -estimated days of labor, and 3 -per sq ft. + material costs. and then round them off to an average... still a tough one to handle and quickly to go bad on you if not careful
 

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In my pricing i tend to run three separate bids, 1-man hours, 2 -estimated days of labor, and 3 -per sq ft. + material costs. and then round them off to an average... still a tough one to handle and quickly to go bad on you if not careful
add 10-20% on top of that to be safe.
 
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