Help Bidding Jobs

 
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Old 07-05-2015, 11:24 PM   #1
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Help Bidding Jobs


Hello everyone, I'm hoping to find some help. Im a full-time firefighter (24hrs on/ 48hrs off) and I do construction on the side. I've been doing construction for 14+ years and owned my own company doing remodels and building garages for the last 7 years. I made the transition into just painting after receiving several request from previous clients. I never priced just painting, i always just included it in my remodel or build price. I need help figuring a good way to bid jobs both interior and exterior. I use quality equipment (Wooster & Purdy) and have recently bought a nice sprayer (Graco Ultra 395 pc). Can anyone suggest a good rule of thumb for pricing my labor? I'm getting pretty good at estimating paint and materials (tape, plastic, and paper) but need a better way than guesstimating time and breaking it down into an hourly.
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Old 07-06-2015, 12:46 AM   #2
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Re: Help Bidding Jobs


Here's how I got a bid for a bath from my painter Here's the text conversation


Me:
Curtis, Here's a pic of the ceiling detail in Macks bath.

Curtis:
Looks cool. It's just going to be wall sealer then paint for walls and ceiling right?

Me:
Yes, I thought I'd give you an idea of what it was. It is fresh drywall. You've seen the bath haven't you. Can you give me a price so I can get it in my contract? Thx

Curtis:
It's a couple days for me and one guy plus materials so I'm about $1300.

Me:
Ok Thx. I'll keep you posted on the time.

Curtis:
Cool Thanks

Sounds like he's making about 500 a day for labor for himself. Give or take a few bucks.

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Old 07-06-2015, 10:15 AM   #3
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Re: Help Bidding Jobs


Sheesh. I just quoted an entire rental without paint for 1400. They thought I was nuts. I did too, as it was just something to keep my buddy busy for a week or so while I worked on another project. I normally don't slum these days, but these were good customers and they've sent me lots of work.

Your cost is what it is. It costs me 1000 bucks to have a guy on the job for a week. Not much wiggle room there, as then I start paying him to work. For me to be there it is double or more.

Until you get a few under your belt, it will be an educated guess. Once you have a baseline on time, it will get easier.
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Old 07-06-2015, 03:31 PM   #4
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Re: Help Bidding Jobs


I absolutely don't understand bidding/pricing questions. How would we know how to tell you to bid. Do you want to make $17 per hour or $37 per hour? Are you slow, fast or mediocre? In my opinion all bids are a guess based on experience.

One thing is for sure since you're a part timer doing side work you'll underbid me every time. It's annoying when I waste my time bidding only to find out I'm competing against someone doing side work.
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Old 07-06-2015, 04:01 PM   #5
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Re: Help Bidding Jobs


Im a general contractor that dabbles in gynecology on the weekends. What would your wife pay for my services? Id like to be competitive.
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Old 07-06-2015, 05:39 PM   #6
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Re: Help Bidding Jobs


It's the "construction on the side thing" that's the problem for most of us. Since you "do this on the side" and probably don't carry liability insurance or workman's comp, probably don't have a dedicated place of business, nor any kind of licensing, you are competing with legitimate business who have all of that along with other over head expenses you never even think about or consider.

So, without trying to be "too snarky," just decide how much you want to make on the job, add it to your quote and be done with it.

Just be sure you work on houses built AFTER 1978. Because I'm sure you don't know what RRP is, or are LEAD SAFE certified.
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Old 07-06-2015, 05:47 PM   #7
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Re: Help Bidding Jobs


In this state you don't need workers comp, liability, or a license. My point is you should check with the requirements of your state.
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Old 07-06-2015, 06:11 PM   #8
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Re: Help Bidding Jobs


Quote:
Originally Posted by Californiadecks View Post
In this state you don't need workers comp, liability, or a license. My point is you should check with the requirements of your state.
Regardless, you most likely carry it whether it's required or not because you are a legitimate businessman. Side jobbers rarely do, nor do they have the other things that are legitimate expenses you have in this business and need to account for when pricing your jobs.

That's all I was saying.

It doesn't look like you need a GC license in KY either. Just Electrical, Pluming and HVAC and to work for their DOT.

http://contractors-license.org/
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Old 07-06-2015, 06:35 PM   #9
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Re: Help Bidding Jobs


Firefighters are subsidized construction workers due to the nature of their jobs and often times contract the work they get with their other firefighter buddies and underbid everybody else, even the ones who are cutting every corner they can.
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Old 07-06-2015, 06:59 PM   #10
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Re: Help Bidding Jobs


Dunno, started off "on the side" myself. Just don't think you are going to find a rule of thumb. Sometimes you make the nut, sometimes you make just wages.
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Old 07-06-2015, 08:24 PM   #11
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Re: Help Bidding Jobs


Wow, that got offensive quick. I just wanted some advice, like the concept of this community suggest. A few of you were helpful and I appreciate that but some of you all seemed angry about me asking for help.
To answer a few questions. I do "side work" because firefighters don't make **** but it's a calling that I answered. So, I do "side work" because my family needs the money. And so we are clear on a few other false statements; I am liscensed, I do carry liability insurance, have a work truck payment, and I don't carry workmans comp because it's just myself. So now that I have proved I suffer as bad as everyone else, can I get some help.
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Old 07-06-2015, 08:34 PM   #12
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Re: Help Bidding Jobs


Well, sounds like you're confident in your material estimating, now you just need to figure your labor, profit, and overhead into it.
As was mentioned earlier... You'll probably lose a bit on your first few until you've got it right.
From past experience you know (or should know) what your overhead is to keep the lights on for your business, and after a few jobs, and depending on your schedule /booking, you'll be able to calculate a decent profit from your projected workload.
Basically... It's just going to take a bit of time on your part to get the numbers just right for you.
Good luck.
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Old 07-06-2015, 08:34 PM   #13
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Re: Help Bidding Jobs


Quote:
Originally Posted by 37North View Post
Wow, that got offensive quick. I just wanted some advice, like the concept of this community suggest. A few of you were helpful and I appreciate that but some of you all seemed angry about me asking for help.
To answer a few questions. I do "side work" because firefighters don't make **** but it's a calling that I answered. So, I do "side work" because my family needs the money. And so we are clear on a few other false statements; I am liscensed, I do carry liability insurance, have a work truck payment, and I don't carry workmans comp because it's just myself. So now that I have proved I suffer as bad as everyone else, can I get some help.
I know my painter charges me to change colors as well.

Last edited by Californiadecks; 07-06-2015 at 08:41 PM.
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Old 07-06-2015, 08:41 PM   #14
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Re: Help Bidding Jobs


For the record I'll bet a right nugget every one on here used to do work on the side. I'm a free market kind of guy. Yes that includes anyone doing side jobs. Whom I really don't compete with anyway.

I think you are in the right place. I would like to welcome you to contractortalk.

Last edited by Californiadecks; 07-06-2015 at 08:58 PM.
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Old 07-06-2015, 08:48 PM   #15
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Re: Help Bidding Jobs


Just so I understand, you are asking, "how do we charge," not "what we charge," Right?
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Old 07-06-2015, 08:53 PM   #16
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Re: Help Bidding Jobs


Quote:
Originally Posted by Californiadecks View Post
In this state you don't need workers comp, liability, or a license. My point is you should check with the requirements of your state.
In my state you don't need W/C if you have no employees .[I have no employees. ] But carry Comp. [no hanger I sub out carries ins]

I have liability but yet some G/Gs could care less ..so long as I have Comp that's all they want. Then other G/Cs only care about Liability and never ask about Comp! ......And not once !! Have I ever been asked If I were Licensed !
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Old 07-06-2015, 08:58 PM   #17
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Re: Help Bidding Jobs


Quote:
Originally Posted by blacktop View Post
In my state you don't need W/C if you have no employees .[I have no employees. ] But carry Comp. [no hanger I sub out carries ins]

I have liability but yet some G/Gs could care less ..so long as I have Comp that's all they want. Then other G/Cs only care about Liability and never ask about Comp! ......And not once !! Have I ever been asked If I were Licensed !
If you bid under 500 bucks with no employees you don't need a license or insurance. No one under any circumstances need liability insurance by law here.
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Old 07-06-2015, 09:08 PM   #18
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Re: Help Bidding Jobs


Quote:
Originally Posted by californiadecks View Post
here's how i got a bid for a bath from my painter here's the text conversation


me:
Curtis, here's a pic of the ceiling detail in macks bath.

Curtis:
Looks cool. It's just going to be wall sealer then paint for walls and ceiling right?

Me:
Yes, i thought i'd give you an idea of what it was. It is fresh drywall. You've seen the bath haven't you. Can you give me a price so i can get it in my contract? Thx

curtis:
It's a couple days for me and one guy plus materials so i'm about $1300.

Me:
Ok thx. I'll keep you posted on the time.

Curtis:
Cool thanks

sounds like he's making about 500 a day for labor for himself. Give or take a few bucks.
thats so funny i do the same thing. My subs never step foot until i there tagged and bagged. WOULD NEVER WASTE THERE TIME OR MINE. SETTING UP ALL DAY WALKTHROUGH SUBS. IF YOU GUYS HAVENT FIQUERED THIS CHIT OUT THAT YOU DO DAY IN DAY OUT THEN SHAME ON YOU.

Last edited by CITY DECKS INC; 07-06-2015 at 09:13 PM.
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Old 07-06-2015, 11:57 PM   #19
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Re: Help Bidding Jobs


All depends on the dollars we are talking. You got balls big enough to not do a job walk on a $450,000 contract....
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Old 07-07-2015, 01:38 AM   #20
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Re: Help Bidding Jobs


If he's found a way to not have your overhead and still be able to take work from you (or not) and still feed his family all the power to him. Why would you disrespect someone just because they haven't dedicated their life to it. It's frankly non of your concern. Nor has he indicated one thing that's worthy of being disrespected. There's no standard for commitment. It's a free market it's exactly how free markets are suppose to work. You ain't any better of a person then he is, doesn't matter what kind of craftsman you are.


By the way he never claimed to hang doors. He paints. All those pretty pictures were just too intimadate him, weren't they?

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