Answer for How do I bid a paint job?

(ADMIN- OK 1 more but that's it!)

I don't think this is going to get posted, but I have to say, this was an awesome thread to read through!! Been painting for 18yrs or so, and learned a few things… But I especially liked the second to last post, to all the "experienced painters" !! Funny summary! And I agree, the maintenance man and the rich lady from Colorado should have just kept there thoughts to themselves. They sound like "morons" as one guy wrote. HAHAHA Thanks for the laughs everyone!!

  • By Anonymous
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Answer for How do I bid a paint job?

I'm shutting down this thread. Way to long and too many are missing the point.

What I charge isn't going to be what you can charge. Why? I live in a different part of the country (prices are different), I have different clientele (generally well off), and I have a reputation (doing this for a long time).

* Newbies, you will never get the best price.

* There is no magic computer program or formula! (This goes for web pages.) Experience counts when bidding.

* By the room or sq/ft rarely works for repaints. Always go to the customers house and look at what they want done.

If you can't figure out how to bid a job then you need to continue working for someone to get the experience needed to understand what it takes to do a specific job. See if your present employer is willing to teach you how to bid a paint job. If not, then pay attention while you work!!

This thread is now closed.

PS- For those wondering, I'm the owner and webmaster of House-Painting-Info.com

  • By crowderpainting
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Answer for How do I bid a paint job?

Thanks to all you "experienced painters" for the info. Just to confirm:

Daily rates should be between 75 and 500 dollars. If I want to charge by the room, I should ask for anywhere from 25.00 to 700.00 (since it takes anywhere from one man hour to 16 man hours). Square foot? Got it-.25 to 6.60.

If I'm still painting after 38 years like one poster claimed, I hope someone has the decency to kick me in the neck and kill me. Seems by then, I ought to be sitting in an office scheduling jobs and ordering materials, or in the field writing bids…

  • By Anonymous
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Answer for How do I bid a paint job?

Do not sell yourself cheap. If some guy who gets food stamps and every other govmt. handout wants to do that fine…I don`t play that game or even want those customers he gets. Stop advocating prostitution here. Dental work? Hey–I got it—just don't have so many kids and don`t work for these chincey jerks, they are a pain anyway. Timelines are real…we are all gettin old…. u can either bust yur butt and wear out your body to please bargain bettys or set the proper price for a days work–its hard work you guys…and get customers who are actually going to pay you. There is no reason for working people to work for chump change while pencil pushers make 200/hr, and insurance costs a mint..& "that`s the law"….with no questions asked. Maintenance man, you do your own painting. Don't "vend" since you think its so ridiculous to pay them. But those are their prices. Get over it. These guys need to make a living.

  • By Anonymous
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Answer for How do I bid a paint job?

I'm in southern California, I get .70 per square ft interior/exterior for labor (less for good friends) & customer buys all material. No helpers and I average 3 jobs per month. Have steady work. All work is top quality been painting for 30 yrs.

  • By Anonymous
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Answer for How do I bid a paint job?

Linda from Colorado, I think you might be missing the point. "How hungry you are" etc. refer to the feeling that you are worried about actually putting food in the fridge for your family to eat. You are competing for work and this means that if you price too high you might not get the job and therefore starve. If you have missed out on enough bids by coming in too high (say, the kids need dental work this month) you might start thinking you should lower your price to try to get more work, but the conflict here is that you may be shooting yourself in the foot if customers begin to believe that the lower price is the true price. If you think that painters are "untouchables" that are beneath you and therefore don't deserve enough food to survive then I suppose that is your prerogative. But try not to be angry at them, it's bad for your health.

  • By Anonymous
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Answer for How do I bid a paint job?

A really good resource to tell you how long a certain thing is going to take you is the book called RSMEANS Building Construction Cost Data.
That's what I use to bid all my jobs and it always works fairly well. You can always make your notes as to how long it actually took you but its definitely a good starting point. And to answer the question. As a painter starting out 20 per hour probably isn't a bad price maybe a little on the low end. You will want to figure out all your materials. Your labor and then do a markup on the materials.

  • By Anonymous
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Answer for How do I bid a paint job?

Darren and Karl are the closest answers I've seen on this one. Here's some more to consider and not to be forgotten….
#1 Marketing/sales to sell yourself.

Budget & Profit numbers….
You need to calculate the following:
labor including burden (labor burden about 7.55% CA, Any Employer paid benefits from unions (if any), and don't forget the famous "Work Compensation", In Ca most would average about a total of 22% labor burden.

Take labor hours x $rate of pay x 22%(varies) = labor budget
+
Calculate "job cost" of materials and include waste= mtls budget
+
Figure out what your overhead runs you. Usually smaller/start out companies will be less than 5%.
labor budget + mtls budget x Overhead % = TRUE COST….

Last…what $ range at minimum you are willing to do the job for… anything above your true cost will be your anticipated PROFIT for this job. BUT you must manage the job well. Labor can put you in the hole very fast if it is not run properly.

  • By Anonymous
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Answer for How do I bid a paint job?

If you:re new to bidding jobs and not exactly sure how long your job will take, bid by the job. every area has their own average, so ask other painters too, Ive found that when i bid by the job instead of by the hour, it works out. Where I live, if I have a house thats 3000 sq/ft, i just say for interior do about .65/ sq ft and exterior about 1.25/square and I usually come out making good money and my bid id middle of the pack. make sure though that your materials cost allows you to make a profit, and dont use crappy paint. I only use sherwin williams paint. If the customer is willing, use duration all day. Also, Behr paint sucks ass! Dont learn that the hard way

  • By Anonymous
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Answer for How do I bid a paint job?

All I hear is a bunch of old timers and new comers bitchin and thinking there better than everyone else. Everyones got to start sometime. $400.00 per day two coat walls one coat trim and doors. Two guys one rm per day .Use quality products. Prep work is key to overall appearance. You aren't going to get rich.

  • By Anonymous
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Answer for How do I bid a paint job?

Estimates always are different. Including travel time, product,and the most important part which is preparation of any paint job. Because proper prep makes your work hold up. Who ever said T&M is no good do a wallpaper or acoustic ceiling job. Third Generation Painter

  • By Anonymous
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Answer for How do I bid a paint job?

Look, I've been painting for 30 plus years. I agree .35 is way to low for any paint job. I charge twice that to just power wash. New homes $1.50 to $2.50 custom homes take more time so that's my upper end price. Repaints I start at $3.00 nothing less to $5.00. This is a base line for me. We just signed a job with 4200sq feet at 6.60 per sq. Don't under cut yourself sell yourself and your company and be wise.

  • By Anonymous
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Answer for How do I bid a paint job?

Here is a bigger picture to look at if you want to understand more the operating costs of a paint contracting business mentioned earlier in this post… There are some well thought out responses by those that treat this trade as a business and not just a means to get by.

My husband and I have been in the paint business for over 25 years in Washington State. I hope that the responders to this question somewhere specified that square footage does not mean the floor space but rather the actual wall/ceiling square footage? Materials and your time are a function of wall sq footage and linear feet of trim. Cabinets are a whole separate pricing system that take into consideration many different factors as are floors. Small square foot homes can be labor intensive to paint when the trim package is extensive. Most of our clients live in million dollar homes and some occasionally in the multi million range. The work we do has to be perfect and so it would be fair to say that our clients our more concerned about results than they are price. They are wonderful folk to work for and they are always happy with our work. This might seem to be an ideal situation to be in for any painter except for the fact that this particular market is relatively small. Jobs are few and far between. We do work in lower housing areas BUT WE DON'T MOVE OUR PRICING for anyone except family members,unless the market has a proven history of not being able to bear that. We have to charge an minimum of $70/hr just to stay in operations and here is why.

As an S Corp IRS election, we are required via the IRS to pay statutory employees (of which my husband is the only one), a "reasonable" salary for his experience level. My husband stopped being a journeyman painter about 20 years ago. 25 years since,he could now be considered an expert in the field. 27% of our gross receipts generated from that hourly rate was a federal requirement our business has to meet period. (The federal government seems to insist on collecting their fair share of funding for a soon to be insolvent SS and MC program.) If we were filing a Schedule C instead of an 1120s that percentage would be higher due to the federal self employment tax that sole proprietors have to pay on their Entire net income of in 2010 15.3%. That 15.3% is higher than most single painters effective federal tax rate at years end). In addition, 31% of our gross receipts go to cost of operating a business. This includes bonding, insurance, licensing fees, ecology environmental fees, disposal fees, vehicle gas and maintenance fees, office supplies,tools,repair and maintenance of tools, storage,subcontractors or others we hire to help in busy times, 1300/year in tax prep fees for our election filing,postage,and promotion and development(or advertising costs). If you aren't fortunate to have your spouse do all bookkeeping aspects of your business including 1099,s payroll w-2,w-3's 940 and 941 and all state excise return filings, than you would have to pay someone to do this task for your business which would again take an even higher percentage of your gross receipts. It is costly to maintain books for any construction trade that maintains good standing with both state federal requirements. Furthermore an additional 18% is state excise taxes owed on labor and materials as well as the materials themselves. This is considered "cost of goods sold". For a business that grossed with one person, 110K last year ( a bad year for us due to economic uncertainty and late extensions by congress of the Bush tax cuts for our clients income range), we lived on pass through income of 23K plus my husbands payroll of 30K, 5000 of which went toward catastrophic medical insurance premiums. That is at best a modest lifestyle in comparison to the lifestyles of the people we work for. Your pricing on any job needs to reflect these real costs of doing business with an inflation factor figured in or you won't be in business for very long. For those of you newbies to business (and painting IS a business it is not just a trade), if you don't factor this in to your pricing, you will not maintain adequate cash flow and reserves to meet the cost of operation and certainly not to maintain a living. Novice painters wear out physically spinning wheels for a year or two until they figure this one out. All clients like low bids so you can count on being very busy not making much if any profit to live on.

Everyone's a painter, but not everyone's a businessman. If you low ball jobs because your in dire need of personal income, you will establish a reputation of always being the low guy. Low guy gets low paying clients ONLY. Clients won't understand a reasonable figure when you give it to them in the future because they are simply too used to getting something for nothing and yes they tell others what they paid you for their job. It's bad precedent to set when eventually you have to increase your fees to meet increasing costs,taxation and inflationary factors. It is simply not a matter of IF this happens, its only a matter of WHEN.

A warning: Bidding your jobs higher will result in losing jobs to people like Linda Stacey from Fort Collins above. Linda doesn't understand business finance well and doesn't understand the important opportunity and role she has in helping our country MAINTAIN real LASTING employment especially now. Linda can go find her low guy and live with the results which are inevitably going to be that he can no longer be found? Linda discovered oil overspray on her Lexus and all over her new roof. It appears low guy's business had been operating under the table for some time and that a state tax warrant has been slapped on him. Furthermore his assets are now frozen and his ability to get a license to operate any business has become a condition of meeting a court ordered monetary judgment. Sorry Linda, he wasn't insured or bonded either…….

Note: I drive a Lexus, a nice little GS 300, but mine is actually paid for. A word of advice…watch out for folks that visibly live in the high end but whine about reasonable costs of the projects they want to do. This is sign of "living above one's means" and high debt to income ratios. Overbid those jobs in hopes that you don't get them. You likely won't get paid if they select you. Hope this gives some new citizens entering this trade a broader vision of the paint contracting business and what to consider in your bids!!!!!Happy painting…..

  • By Anonymous
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Answer for How do I bid a paint job?

Really are you people serious? Was this page from 1970? Look, a 10×10 bedroom 1 coat $270 ceiling 1 coat $50 extra 2ND coat on walls $200. I have been painting for 35 years and most of the people on this page are handy Andy's jack of all trade's and the master of nothing. I'm city & state licensed and I have workers comp and 1 mill dollar insurance. You need not listen to the jerk maintenance man at $25 per room, what a moron. That is what drives the trade down. You can't get a plumber or anyone else for less than $65 per hour so you should be no different. My company works 6 men 6 days a week and we didn't slow down at all during the recession. New construction starts at $2.50 PER FLOOR SQ FT 2 COATS ON WALLS & WOOD. New work always pays less because all painters do it. I do new custom homes starting at $6 per sq ft base price but I worked my way up to that. What you need to remember is you don't deserve to make what I do unless you have been painting as long or do as good of work. If I START work at burger king today I will not make what the manager makes. Work your way up but don't try to start at the top. Figure at least $50 per hr per man and $35 per gal of paint if you are only biding 1 or 2 room's double it 3 or more rooms double the first 2 then go to $50 per hr on a 3 room job you should be at $1,325. Anyone in the trade not charging that needs to stay home. You need to stay away from rental properties they don't want to pay. Go for high end work and do good work, that's what will make you. I have not had a callback for a mistake in over 18 years and that is why I can charge what I do. Remember quality is what makes you worth it. PS; at $50 per hr it should cover your small items like tape and paper, if not you need new helpers. A 10 x 10 room should only take 1 man 1 hr to roll and trim. Any more than that then there costing you.

  • By Anonymous
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Answer for How do I bid a paint job?

I charged 50 cents a square foot for typical interiors/exteriors and 75 cents a square foot for kitchens and backrooms 25 years ago. including the paint. It they seemed hard to work with I added 4 days extra labor. They usually called me for the job. lol I did the jobs by waiting list. I do the job when I am done with the one before you. Don't like it find someone else. I always got the jobs. scary.

  • By Anonymous
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Answer for How do I bid a paint job?

There is a professional way to bid painting. It called products rate estimating. Go to the painting decorating contractors of America web site. You can find books and training classes. This works with all types of projects. If you want to bid correctly you need to know your costs. You need to job cost every job you do. This is a big eye opener. You will learn which jobs make money and which don't. Half the battle is avoiding the losers. Good luck.

  • By Anonymous
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Answer for How do I bid a paint job?

I am a general contractor that has many years of experience in estimating painting jobs. You cant go wrong with this formula. New construction; residential interior 3 coats, primer & 2 top coats, limit to 3 color choices any more $350-$500/ color. $3.00/sq-ft, that's fair, if you know you got the job and its a wealthy friend $4.00/sq-ft, figure $/sq-ft in material, $.75 cents-$1.25 for ceilings, $1.25-$2.00/sq-ft for walls. Buy a sprayer for exterior and new construction interior. No matter what any old timer says it not only cuts your time by 60% if your good but provides a better application. For exteriors use a sprayer, if it needs back brush, but use the sprayer to apply paint and chase it with a brush. New construction spray ceilings and walls with Promar 400 flat white, 2 coats, this serves as primer for all new drywall and final coat on ceilings. Then spray all doors and trim with semi or gloss, then use orange core blue tape off all baseboard trim and use 18" roller to blast the walls, allow 24 hours dry time for trim before taping off. Repaints depending on what you need to move, cover, etc=$4-$7/sq-ft, exterior sq-ft of home time 1.10, don't forget to double for 2nd story. Good luck. Always have a detailed contract, even if its your grandmother, always collect 60-75% up front, most people will stiff you if you give them the opportunity, don't trust anyone as a contractor but be professional about it.

  • By Anonymous
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Answer for How do I bid a paint job?

A good way to give a quote is to figure how many hours it will take and the amount of paint and materials it will take to get the job completed.

  • By Lakewood Painters
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Answer for How do I bid a paint job?

300-500 for 8 hr. day plus expenses,enough said!!!!!!!!!!!

  • By Anonymous
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Answer for How do I bid a paint job?

Add 400 for you, 150-500 in paint and materials ( depending on size of job, 40 for gas a day. 120-200 for your worker. Bam! Simple you will be busy a lot more then not. And work hard, so you get referred again and again. You get lazy Poof! there goes your business!

  • By Wall Candy Painting & Drywall
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Answer for How do I bid a paint job?

WELL, a lot of good info. The market does very but the main thing is customer satisfaction. I am a custom Faux finisher in Texas. I bid by the sq/ft, it works and pays to know the target market in your area, and surrounding counties. I have been a painter for 36 yrs, I walk in integrity and I am fair with my bids. I'm not greedy and that's the key to this business. I don't compete with the Hispanic painters and there are some good Hispanic painters. What's funny to me is that I hardly see any white painters now days, that is our fault but everyone needs to eat. Owning my own business is awesome because with the kind of work that I do I don't care if you are Rich or Poor everyone gets a fair price. That is why I am busy even through the Christmas season even for faux work. I charge .80 sq/ft to 1.25 sq/ft, for regular painting .60 a sq/ft. Guys it's about integrity, the word of God says that if a man walks upright with integrity he has everything but if he doesn't he has nothing at all. I myself want a good name, I don't advertise at all my business is by word of mouth only. Love your customers and do right by them and you will never go hungry.

  • By Anonymous
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Answer for How do I bid a paint job?

Learn to play the game. Get enough work to have employees. Then, when low-ballers come on the scene, you may not afford to do the job for such a low price personally, but you may still be able to have your employees do the work and still make a few bucks, at the same time that you are painting high-end stuff. Yes, the rates are skewed somewhat, and yes, if you are living in a 4000+ sq ft. home, you are going to pay the "Robin Hood" rates. It is our way of balancing the $$ between the "haves" and the "have-not-so-much'"…

Learn to read people well. Some people want to have a flawless job and are willing to pay for the work, some people shop at Walmart and think everything is entitled to rollback pricing. Pick your battlefields, the money game is just a game, don't take anything in business personally…

Happy Painting!

  • By Anonymous
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I'm so mad I can hardly breathe. Pizza money, charge what the customer is willing to pay, depends how hungry you are. I am a wealthy person and I feel like bidders always look at me, my house, my husbands job and my Lexus and charge me double from someone else. That is not right or fair and it totally ticks me off.

  • By Anonymous
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Answer for How do I bid a paint job?

Just finished a 3 br. 2 bath 1400 sq ft house. Estimated 80 man hours @ 40 per hr plus $500 for materials. We sprayed 2 coats on ceilings & trim, skimmed and sanded walls, primer and 2 finish coats. Completed in 69 man hours, paid my help $25 hr and I made $55 hr. Customers were more than pleased like always. Be professional and you will be successful. Not all jobs are winners but you have to take the bad with the good.

  • By Anonymous
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Answer for How do I bid a paint job?

Builders here in Alberta are willing to pay 2.40 sq ft for painters just starting out. Trim/walls/doors. Closer to 3.00 – 3.50 for a good solid job.

Repaints? Don't rip yourself off. Some correctly answered with a 400./day plus paint or 1.50-2.00 sq.ft. including paint, 2 coats.

You're in the business to make money. Be confident, know what you're talking about, look professional and make up a catalog of you're work with references.

Plus, if someone says they also are getting prices from a Students Works painting company, feel free to diss. They might getting a bunch of kids who have no intentions to be painters and it will show.

  • By Anonymous
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Answer for How do I bid a paint job?

I just started my painting business and bid on my first job and won the bid. Here's how I did it; living room, dinning room, hallway and entrance way. All rooms FULL of furniture, pics on walls, carpet all through the rooms. Priced on # of days = 10 x $200 per/day + paint & supplies=$300 gas=$150 =$2450.00 its just me painting this main floor house and the home owner didn't care how long it took so I rounded the price to $3000.00

Sooo much stuff to move around got the job just like that.

  • By Anonymous
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Answer for How do I bid a paint job?

Painting in RI

Over half you people are nuts. Your not telling if your sq/ft price is floor or wall space. You think your the best painters in the world and your not worth $2000 per week just to work. I've been doing this for a while and I have built up a business that consists of clients that are lower class, and upper class. My lower class clients don't call very often or want very much done at once, but they say what they want and usually its to caulk and slap a coat or two on. If I were just starting a business I would feel confident that I'm good at painting, some of us just aren't and think we are!!! A good painter who has good ethic is worth $25/hr on his own all day. If you can get $50 great but most of the time when you tell someone that they'll laugh. Remember you are building a business. You don't go around screwing everyone!!! If you are honest and good people will talk and they will call you back and start to not get other quotes. When this happens, your a self-sustaining business. No ads and all that jazz. These people say a room a day, but that doesn't tell you ****. How many windows? Sash? Doors? These things take time. Oil? Latex? These are all huge factors that's why you cant price a room based on its size. The rest is up to you. You should be able to one coat a 6-panel door in 1/2 hr, window with sash a little longer. So figure how your going to do the job in order and for how long. Sand, prime, caulk, fill, plaster, sand again…don't cut yourself short!! Round up but use half days for things and then multiply at $200 a day per guy. (when you pay out 150 a day you get 250 a day) Add materials rollers paper everything..now you have your cost. Go over this again and again and you will find ways to save money here and find an extra charge there. If you don't get the job doing this, then think about your personality, presentation, professionalism….this matters. You want these strangers to give you hard earned money and they won't if you have holes in your blue jeans getting out of your 85 Jetta with a step tied to the top. Get a truck keep it clean wear whites and be confident. There is a very fine balance to be good in business and its not for everyone. If your not going to take it seriously then who would take you seriously, just go be a laborer and get out of the way. Don't bid against all those Spanish guys either they are way to cheap and suck at painting, most of the time. Times are tough too so stand to take a little less for the day and knock off a few hundred just to get the job.

  • By Anonymous
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Answer for How do I bid a paint job?

Darren in the second answer was great I have started bidding like that and I am getting great results. Thank you Darren

  • By Anonymous
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Answer for How do I bid a paint job?

PRESENTATION, PRESENTATION! We present to our customs that quality out does quantity. 90% of getting the job is how you deal with the customer during the bid. If people choose others, then I didn't do my job selling it!

Our business is strictly by the day. We as painters can look at a job and say, ah 3 days or 4 days…. knowing that our company takes in $500 a day it makes the math easy. However, as we know, we run into all kinds of issues along the way and have to explain to the customer that its a bid, and it can change!

That's my 2 cents! http://www.kotapainting.com

  • By Anonymous
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Answer for How do I bid a paint job?

$333.50, this is 1 coat walls only without heavy repair. I'm figuring on 3 gallons of good paint for a good coat and a little left over for touch up.

Of course there is more to it than this. Is this smooth wall or textured? What color are the walls now and what is the new color? Do you have a sheen preference? Is there furniture in the room? Is there any large holes or cracks that need repair?

Everything affects the final price one way or another.

  • By Anonymous
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Answer for How do I bid a paint job?

16 ft across 8ft floor to ceiling 4 walls what would be your bid?

  • By Anonymous
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Answer for How do I bid a paint job?

I have seen many of you all pricing at .35 per foot. How can you stay in business. I have quoted .60 for 1500 sq/ft, new construction, and they supply paint,and between 1.25 and 1.40 if I supply Hi quality paint. At .35 for a 1500 sq/ft home is $525. You have to figure paying help, insurance, gas, time, and Murphy's laws. With you all shooting .35 out there I know I will not be hurt because at .35 a foot you would get laughed at because they would think you were nuts.

  • By Anonymous
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Answer for How do I bid a paint job?

TT Says…

Bid $50.00/Hour x8 hours/Day= $400.00/Day Add $50.00/Day for Travel, Material (No Paint or Primer, Customer Buys That) and you have $450.00/Day x However many Days you think job is going to take. Don't forget to factor in , Preping (If extensive prep work is called for, charge customer Add'l $50.00/Hour (above and beyond the Day and Travel Rate) Tell the customer, the more they do to prep walls before you paint, the cheaper their paint job will be. Tell customer, you only work with quality paints. You will target the market you are after as a professional painter. Leave the grunt work and results to the day laborers. I tell customer, you might not like my price today but, after you are aggravated and disappointed by your cheap choice, call me. My initial price would have been a bargain but now, my repaint to fix your mess is double. Never fails. Also, appeal to customers sense of "this is your home, not a rental." Works every time. Good Luck!

  • By Anonymous
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Answer for How do I bid a paint job?

Ridiculous, I do maintenance for an apartment complex. Part of the budget is paint. There is no way I would vend or contract out paint for any of the prices I saw here on this board. Only fair way to price a paint job is by the hour, an experienced painter knows how long he can do a room. Myself can do a normal sized room in an hour brush and roll complete so I charge $25hr no materials 60 dollars for a 5 of paint (Sherwin Williams) to cover 3-4 rooms. Example- 3 bedroom condo 2 bath 1 kitchen interior no ceilings same color no conversion (conversion is double), I have a 6hr minimum, has to be at least 150 dollars to look at it. Factor in prep time, say 1hr no patches, 1 bedroom-1bath-1kitchen-l living room= 6hrs plus extra 2 bedrooms 1hr each 1 bathroom 1hr= 10hrs x 25=250 labor 150 for paint (markup your deal .25 percent)=total 400.. Ive seen companies from 20hr to 32hr and the results the same.

  • By Anonymous
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Answer for How do I bid a paint job?

Per Day Concept

How can you calculate gas and so on.
I agree with the per day concept plus materials and your mark up.

  • By Anonymous
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Answer for How do I bid a paint job?

Bidding a paint job by the sq/ft.

Charging by the square foot is fine for new construction but for repaints "by the day" is a better way to figure it. With this method you know how much you will make at the end of the job, as long as the materials, fuel and other expenses are properly accounted for.

To find a good price for per sq/ft jobs you need to visit your local paint store and talk to the sales rep. They travel around to the jobs and try to convert painters to their products or talk directly with builders. They will have a good idea of the going price.

As for fuel costs, the amount you charge depends on the distance and the van or pickup you are driving. You need to charge something, especially with today's prices.

plus, keep it real! If you figure 10 gallons of paint bump it up a little, maybe 12. It almost always takes a little more than expected. And if not, this is your pizza money!!!

  • By Anonymous
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Answer for How do I bid a paint job?

A friend, who painted for a few years, told me to figure a room a day on average. Does that sound right?

  • By Anonymous
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Answer for How do I bid a paint job?

A great resource for house painters

Coming up with the right price is only part of the process… In the competitive market it is also how you write up and prepare your estimate as well.

Every area is different so the best way to get a ball park of what the going rate is in your area you may have to do a bit of competition research.

A good place to start is the local paint store. Learning how to properly bid and estimate paint jobs is vital to the long term success of a painting business. If you are bidding jobs using a T&M method (time and materials) you are leaving money on the table and working for about half of what you could be earning.

I have found this site and program to be a great resource for learning how to bid paint jobs.

Hope this helps.

  • By Anonymous
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Answer for How do I bid a paint job?

Join PDCA and use their literature to construct real costs.

  • By Anonymous
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Answer for How do I bid a paint job?

Three days??? Wow, try 1.5 days for the same job. Are you taking 6 breaks a day?

  • By Anonymous
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Answer for How do I bid a paint job?

For The Professional

I have been a st.lic contractor for 34 years. On residential work, if by yourself, figure how much you want lets say $350-400 a day. Lets say 1 coat same color on walls and trim on a 3 bedroom 2 bath home no ceilings should take you 3 days max. That's about $1200 plus paint. Ceilings are about $450 extra. If it takes 2 coats add 60-70% more.

First coat reduce a little and it goes fast and 2nd coat will cover great. On commercial paint jobs I charge about $68 per man hour. So if its you and 3 other workers that's about $1650 per day plus paint and equipment rentals like booms and such. This is for rates if your st. lic. insured, bonded and have workman's comp.

  • By Anonymous
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Answer for How do I bid a paint job?

I just bid a job of approx. 6900 sq ft and I charged $.35 per sq ft. It is a total of 9 rooms all white ceiling and trim with just one coat. And I also figure a day per room. It is myself and my helper. I think that estimating a paint job is to combine sq ft with time and materials. Also take in to consideration the degree of difficulty in what you are painting such as stairways, moving furniture, flooring coverage etc. But I think that this the best method for my area. What do you guys think?

  • By Anonymous
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Answer for How do I bid a paint job?

Commercial/New Construction

I just recently started estimating for a painting company. The best way 4 me sometimes is if u can find out the total budget of the job painting is normally 3% of the total, for instance if the job was 4.1 million I would price it $123,000.

  • By Anonymous
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Answer for How do I bid a paint job?

interior walls, about 1.50 a sq.foot

  • By Anonymous
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Answer for How do I bid a paint job?

I should move…

I am a pro painter in South Florida, and from what I'm reading I need to move.

South Florida Rates…

1) Say a 1400sqf condo w/o vaulted ceilings
2) Currently inhabited (think about moving furniture…etc.
3) Minor wall repairs

Between $800 to $1000 including premium paint.

More than that, there is no call back!

  • By Anonymous
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Answer for How do I bid a paint job?

The way I try to bid

When bidding the job I take total sq. ft. times
however many coats , then divide by the coverage rate of the paint I use. Then I multiply the cost of paint then double the total and add 10 to 15 per cent. This seem to put me in the middle of the bidders that I am competing against.

  • By Anonymous
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Answer for How do I bid a paint job?

Lost a bid…too high!

I just lost out on a job for bidding too high. I did a total cost analysis including mileage @$.35/mile, paint, prep materials, masking supplies etc. It was going to COST $480 to get it done. The house was 34×34, on a hill making ladders difficult, 30ft high in front, 10ft in back. Water based stain over rough sawn timber (cheap hardware store brand) with a little repair and caulking to be done. I included powerwashing, bleaching (for mold & Mildew & tree staining) and 2 coats in the bid figuring I would have 5 days into the job. While inspecting the property the owner mentioned "I just had this painted 2 years ago!" I asked her if it was by the lowest bidder…the answer was yes.

My bid was $1420 with a 7 year repaint guarantee and the owner says she got lower bids. I told her to do what she thinks is best but you get what you pay for and thanks for the chance to bid. Did I mention the house is on a golf course? What has Wal-Mart done to our country? Do people really want a professional painter to just show up and rattle-can their homes for "$79.95 any house/any color!"??? I could run around this house in one day and cover it with paint, rip down the plastic, cash my check and run but I am not that type of contractor. Thanks for the rant folks, I feel better.

  • By JTS Painting & Renovations
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Answer for How do I bid a paint job?

my paint store won't help with prices

They say it's a conflict to the other customers of theirs so I'm on my own when it comes to bidding. I just figure $150/day plus mileage for smaller jobs.

  • By Anonymous
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Answer for How do I bid a paint job?

I charge $500 labor for me and $200 per day for my helper. Then I ad the materials and paint. We paint exteriors and interiors for home owners. Most jobs take 2–3 days to complete. We have work every day.

  • By Anonymous
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Answer for How do I bid a paint job?

Amazed at the differences!

I think if you are a big contractor, doing big jobs in large markets, it's much easier estimating as long as you leave a 10-20% cushion.

For small painting companies in small markets, of which category I fall into. I have noticed there is usually no rhyme or reason to estimating. Sometimes you can charge flat rates and always be working. By flat rates I mean per sq ft or hourly, or daily rates. Other times you have to charge what the customer is willing to pay.

You need to know much your willing to do the job for, and then make sure you eliminate as much of the obstacles as possible in figuring out the exact time it may take. Another key I have found is write down everything you are going to do, on the bid, so the customer is not in the dark.

Thanks for all the good suggestions hope these are as well.

  • By Anonymous
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Answer for How do I bid a paint job?

Low bidders are scum

Low bid guys will always take some jobs from the REAL painters out there. If you provide quality painting bid what you are supposed to, don't go work for free. Low bidders hurt the profession but in the end do you want a customer who is after the cheapest work anyways? All your doing by working with them is sacrificing your own worth as a painter.

  • By Anonymous
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Answer for How do I bid a paint job?

Good starting point

I've been doing this since 92, and am second generation. For those starting out, the first thing I recommend is get GOOD training on proper painting practices.

To work out a per sq ft price, you'll need to know approx how much you can paint in an hour. Now figure out the wage you'd like to get paid. Add the cost of the paint you use in that hour.

eg: 200 sq/hr
$30/hr wage
$20 material used

=$50 per hour / 200 sq = 0.25 per sq ft.

Now keep in mind this is only basic material & labor. For your business to survive, you'll need to calculate your annual overhead, and factor that in as well. Overhead can include vehicle costs (fuel, maintenance,leasing), phone costs, advertising costs, tools & supplies, as well as a profit margin to help your company grow.

Take that number and work it down to a per hour price (how many hours worked per year) add it to the above $50, then divide by your sq/hr to get a final price per sq.ft.

$14400/year overhead
1500 hours worked on site/year
=$9.60/hour overhead.

$59.60 per hr / 200 sq = $0.30 per sq ft. Material & Labor

Hope this helps someone a bit.

  • By Anonymous
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Answer for How do I bid a paint job?

Unfortunately there isn't a formula that works with all jobs. This is what I do, maybe it will help.

For Repaints

I add up all the materials that are needed. This list includes anything from sandpaper to the paint and everything between. Now add the cost of gas to and from the job. This total is what it will cost you to paint this house with out adding your time or equipment. These materials, including the gas, are used for this job and this job only. They can't be transferred to another job.

Now that you have this total you need to figure the amount of time it will take to paint this house. Only experience can teach you this lesson. Personally I don't figure in hours, I use days.

How much do you charge per day? The answer depends on your areas cost of living, how hungry you are and the type of customers you serve. You can't over price yourself, but you need to make a living. Try to find out what others are charging in your area, the more the better. Then take an average and ask yourself if you can do this job for this amount. Try to be in the middle, not the cheapest.

For New Construction

New construction is bid using a different approach. These jobs are figured by the square foot on the floor or on the wall depending on the job.

You still need to figure out materials costs and try to figure the cost of labor as well. Compare this cost analysis to your total cost per square foot. How much you charge per square foot depends on your area and the type of job.

If the two figures are dramatically different then go over the prints again and try to find out why. Pay attention to the details.

Now that I explained some of the basics, I recommend you open an account at your favorite local paint store. Talk to your sales rep about the average bids for different jobs in your area. He/She will have a good idea of how much some jobs are going for, especially new construction.

  • By crowderpainting
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