Pricing, Estimating, And Success

 
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Old 06-11-2015, 02:50 PM   #701
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Re: Pricing, Estimating, And Success


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Trying to bid 15000 sq ft hallways for apt complex.product on customer .3 colors .upper wall ,chair rail,lower wall base .thinking 28,800. 8 weeks of work 4 person crew
If you're rolling it will take you almost twice as long as just doing a 2 color, no chair rail.
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Old 02-27-2016, 02:59 PM   #702
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Re: Pricing, Estimating, And Success


This is an awesome post Brian. Im just starting up a vapor blasting business and was in the process of getting quotes from competitors and determining my prices from thiers.
After reading your post you gave me good insight into pricing and estimating and finally understand that you are absolutly right. Every business is different as every business has different overheads and different goals.
Thanks for the insight and the great advise.
Much appreciated
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Old 06-06-2016, 12:03 PM   #703
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Re: Pricing, Estimating, And Success


Totally disagree. The simplest way for a customer is to give a square foot price. Period. If they don't like it they can get someone cheaper. For example, paving stones here in Canada are $15/sq ft. It's a standard price but you always tell the customer that OBVIOUSLY there are variables involved. Sometimes access to the site will raise the price. Very few times will the price go down so using $15 per square foot is perfect. I always tell my customers I have to see the job before giving a firm estimate but as a general price $15 works. Same thing with fencing it's all by the linear foot. It ranges anywhere from $25 per linear foot and up. We rarely do a fence for less than $35/LF. All our work is custom. We don't use that pre-fab garbage. Retaining walls also. Anyone that says you have to consider all of the factors before giving someone a price, (in my opinion) says that they are not that experienced. If you have to figure all those things out before giving a price you are going to spend so much time doing estimates your head will spin! We could never do that for each project because we have 10 + estimates coming in every day. You have to make it simple and fast. The people that don't want high-end, extreme quality work will dwindle away and the customers that appreciate high quality will use you to do their project.
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Old 06-06-2016, 05:04 PM   #704
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Re: Pricing, Estimating, And Success


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Totally disagree. The simplest way for a customer is to give a square foot price. Period. If they don't like it they can get someone cheaper. For example, paving stones here in Canada are $15/sq ft. It's a standard price but you always tell the customer that OBVIOUSLY there are variables involved. Sometimes access to the site will raise the price. Very few times will the price go down so using $15 per square foot is perfect. I always tell my customers I have to see the job before giving a firm estimate but as a general price $15 works. Same thing with fencing it's all by the linear foot. It ranges anywhere from $25 per linear foot and up. We rarely do a fence for less than $35/LF. All our work is custom. We don't use that pre-fab garbage. Retaining walls also. Anyone that says you have to consider all of the factors before giving someone a price, (in my opinion) says that they are not that experienced. If you have to figure all those things out before giving a price you are going to spend so much time doing estimates your head will spin! We could never do that for each project because we have 10 + estimates coming in every day. You have to make it simple and fast. The people that don't want high-end, extreme quality work will dwindle away and the customers that appreciate high quality will use you to do their project.
A lot of projects aren't as cut and dry. Additions, decks, whole house remodels, flooring.

Yes a general base is easy enough to come up with in a lot of cases
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Old 06-06-2016, 05:24 PM   #705
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Re: Pricing, Estimating, And Success


Well of course if you're adding on as you go but you can still give them rough prices by the square foot in seconds if you've been doing it long enough. I've been in the industry for 25 years so I just throw out a price always letting them know there are variables to consider. At least you can get a feel for whether they will actually do the work or not. Sometimes you will tell them "That patio and walkway will be in the $12,000 range. You know right away if they can do it or not. Some will say "WHOH! We thought it would be $5000!" Some will say "Ok.. will you put that in writing and get back to us?" Because I gave them a quick square foot price, I saved myself the time of going back to the office and writing up an official quote and then they are dumbfounded by the pricing. I often do this even in my emails to them BEFORE I go to the project site. I'm not going to drive around for an hour, go back to the office for an hour or more to work on their numbers if I don't have a clear idea if these customers will even be customers.
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Old 06-06-2016, 07:50 PM   #706
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Re: Pricing, Estimating, And Success


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Originally Posted by javynlandscape View Post
Well of course if you're adding on as you go but you can still give them rough prices by the square foot in seconds if you've been doing it long enough. I've been in the industry for 25 years so I just throw out a price always letting them know there are variables to consider. At least you can get a feel for whether they will actually do the work or not. Sometimes you will tell them "That patio and walkway will be in the $12,000 range. You know right away if they can do it or not. Some will say "WHOH! We thought it would be $5000!" Some will say "Ok.. will you put that in writing and get back to us?" Because I gave them a quick square foot price, I saved myself the time of going back to the office and writing up an official quote and then they are dumbfounded by the pricing. I often do this even in my emails to them BEFORE I go to the project site. I'm not going to drive around for an hour, go back to the office for an hour or more to work on their numbers if I don't have a clear idea if these customers will even be customers.
Agreed. As difficult a question as it is, I always ask for a budget on the first meeting. If they aren't willing, I will throw out a range and gauge their reactions. I don't have time to waste on tire kickers so I try to minimize wasted time as best as possible.
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Old 06-06-2016, 10:25 PM   #707
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Re: Pricing, Estimating, And Success


That's ballparking, not pricing. Ballpark you aren't committed to the price.
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Old 06-07-2016, 06:10 PM   #708
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Re: Pricing, Estimating, And Success


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That's ballparking, not pricing. Ballpark you aren't committed to the price.
You can do the same basic thing and have it as a firm quote. It really depends on what you do as to how well that would work out.
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Old 06-07-2016, 06:37 PM   #709
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Re: Pricing, Estimating, And Success


I would rather "ballpark" a job @ 4-6,000 go home, find some technical mumbo jumbo, and price it at $6250
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Old 06-06-2017, 10:15 PM   #710
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Re: Pricing, Estimating, And Success


Hi all first time on this site was looking for a bit of guidance on prices. I am fairly new to Canada so tend to research the cost of things to make sure I am not undercutting myself.

I am currently underpinning a basement that was originally a post and beam Construction. We have had the engineer out to survey as we found the footings were only a 2 feet down. All of this we will fix but the excavation is what I need help pricing.

Basically we have to excavate under the house through mud stone which the engineer obviously said needs to be removed. The foot print is 522sqft and we need to dig to 8 ft. The top 1' is soil the rest is all stone. Any help on pricing this would be great. Thanks people.
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Old 06-07-2017, 07:45 PM   #711
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Re: Pricing, Estimating, And Success


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Basically we have to excavate under the house through mud stone which the engineer obviously said needs to be removed. The foot print is 522sqft and we need to dig to 8 ft. The top 1' is soil the rest is all stone. Any help on pricing this would be great. Thanks people.
If you're going to sub it out, get quotes from 2-3 subs and take your pick.

If you're going to do it in-house, there's no way we can tell you what to charge. We don't know what tools and equipment you have, what kind of workers and so forth. Figure out how long it'll take and charge accordingly.

There is no magic formula, even here on the internet.
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Old 06-07-2017, 08:02 PM   #712
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Re: Pricing, Estimating, And Success


I just nearly replied to a post from 2015
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Old 06-07-2017, 08:12 PM   #713
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I wish there was lol. Here in Calgary you're normally looking at 350 ft for every 2-3 ft down but that's through normal soil conditions. I have 3 experienced guys a 3 ton excavator and a bobcat. It's hard to estimate what you can't see. Some of it is soft and some of it is solid. Thank you for the input.
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Old 12-28-2017, 12:54 PM   #714
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Re: Pricing, Estimating, And Success


Yes, it is ball parking.
I did that for a customer with major structural issues in their house. The vertical members holding the purloins across their 2 story vaulted ceiling above the kitchen area had collapsed through the decking (no structural member below them). The walls kicked out and the roof swaybacked.
I ball parked it at 5000 ash for the structural repair, without replacement of drywall in the dining area and living room. They needed 100% repair of torn drywall, resurfacing of all drywall and texture, removal of textured ceilings, repair of tears ceilings and paint 100% . I told them that the price should be about 11-13K just for structural if they wanted wet stamps etc. as there would be some methods and items required by the engineer that I can do without. I told them that the price would be T&M only, no bid.
SO, every morning they would not allow me to start before 9, and I had to be GONE and 100% CLEAN by 4:30. All furniture was moved daily, covered and moved back again. None of this was considered in the bid.
Long story....I finished the repair for 5600. The customer was LIVID.
SO, I bid the rest of the job. Included PODS, masking off with 6 mil plastic, closing off areas one at a time with the REQUIREMENT that no one enter those areas except my men. Clean up was limited and moving ONLY out and in for anything. Never moving more than 2 times.
My bid was trimmed and cut down at 16K for the entire job, all cosmetic repair and primer/2coats throughout, including vaulted ceiling. I set schedules for all subs and guaranteed us OUT of THERE in 7 weeks. I didn't get the job.
Nine months later the handyman finished his work. My dad met her at the HOA meeting when leaving asked her how she liked her "new home". She burst into tears. I know that she spent over 3 times my bid by the time it was over.
Bottom line. NEVER do anyone any favors to save them money. They will spend it with someone else and have no respect for you.
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Old 03-25-2018, 04:13 AM   #715
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Re: Pricing, Estimating, And Success


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I will re-answer this questions because it has been pointed out many times how important it is and want to simplify it for the new contractors

Using the (what other guys charge) or (sqft method ) does not work. It can provide a basis of price comparison for what you rate is but that is it.

You have to know all the information that Brian told you about in the orginal post. Your rate, cost, sqft price is based on your individual numbers. It can't be given to you by anyone here only by you solving the equation yourself by filling in the number blanks as they relate to your business/company.

Now the hard thing i think for new contractors to understand is, if your numbers are higher than the going rate, then you justify your cost by doing good work, have something that makes your company stand out for the better doing good work and getting good referals etc so your increased price is not an issue because your reputation is solid and proceeds you.

Now if your new and do not have the solid reputation. Until you get to that point you will have to either increase productivity. or lower overhead cost if you have no other choice but to match the going rate especially if you are a new contractor until your reputation is solid enough to command the pricing you need without the intial hassle you have as a new contractor.

But in your early years and until you hang up your tool belt you have to go above and beyond in the quality of work, attitude and knowledge to be seen as the best of the best and qualify for that higher asking price you need and deserve.

I went to a sales seminar many years ago and the guy ask me if I knew how to get a 100K kitchen remodeling price on a job and I spouted of specs on custom cabinet pricing, appliances, custom features needed etc. When I was done he said it was easier to just ask for it. again I am simplifing the answer but I hope you get the drift.

One of the greatest compliments a customer gave me was while refering me to a friend he told his buddy upfront that I was expensive but worth every penney he paid me and would hire us again in a heart beat.

This was a compliment because I felt he valued my services enough to recommend me to one of his buddy and also felt his money was well spent. If you get hundreds of customers like this in your career, it makes the pricing alot easier.

I have to agree here 100%


Im a new contractor still in my first year of business. I had worked closely with a heavy industrial concrete contractor for 15 years prior to getting my license but hit a wall when i realized just what RDS was saying...nobody i thought i knew in the industrial sector wanted anything to do with me...I have my insurances cranked up enough to do work on an airfield bare naked and still...no one wanted me. Because my reputation i thought i had went out the door when i lost the title i held at my old company. I had no reputation.

So i hit smaller commercial TI projects and residential work. The first residential job i ever took was installing a smooth microtopping over a pool deck that was beat to hell. the house overlooked the rosebowl and sold for 3.8 million. anyway the owner/builder that hired me watched me struggle over and over and over with this deck for 3 weeks to the point i couldnt afford to bring any help. But i finally finished it...I returned after the fact to remove some material that had hardened to the bottom of the pool...i even lost my phone IN the pool on this project on top of all the money i lost....

That same guy has hired me for every single house he flips since then. I've recouped the loss x 10 and become pretty damn good at installing microtoppings .

I asked him why he hired me after the first job because i figured that was that and his response was this

"If its ****ed up, you fix it. If its not ****ed up but i dont like it, you fix it. but the reason i kept you around is because if its ****ed up and i dont know anything about it. well, you still fix it."

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