How Do I Charge.......

 
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Old 02-09-2009, 07:10 PM   #1
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How Do I Charge.......


Hello, i am sorry in advanced if there is a similar thread already started. I am starting a new business right now and am very confused on what to charge. I have been doing this for the past 7 years but i have always had the help of my husband. I no longer have his help and want to venture on my own. My husband was the one that always did the bidding on the jobs and even then, we did not make very much money. The last few months that i have been doing this on my own I have been blind bidding. I just look at what I'm doing and think " how long is this going to take me?" Well now that I am starting a 'real' business, I want a definite way for doing a bid. I know a couple of paint contractors and I have asked them what they charge and they have said about $1 a SF. I have heard that from a few different paint contractors, then today I talked to another one, that I know makes some really good money, say that he only charges .40 a SF. now to me that doesn't sound high enough. To begin with I am going to be concentrating on apartment buildings. It would be much appreciated if I can get som suggestions and feedback on how to charge or how much to charge, by the square foot for walls, ceilings and trim. Thank you so much in advance.
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Old 02-09-2009, 07:13 PM   #2
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Re: How Do I Charge.......


YOU NEED TO GET YOU A MAN THAT KNOWS HOW TO BID PAINT JOBS.

YOUR WELCOME IN ADVANCE

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Old 02-09-2009, 07:13 PM   #3
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Re: How Do I Charge.......


Here we go again.
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Old 02-09-2009, 07:48 PM   #4
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Re: How Do I Charge.......


Did I do something wrong? I really don't think that its funny when I'm trying to ask a serious question. I have 4 kids that I am trying to take care of by myself and I just wanted some advice so I can get my business up and running to take care of my family. Beside that I really don't see what being a man or a woman has anything to do with anything. I run a forum myself and something like that being posted in a thread would not be tolerated. If anyone ever has questions about anything we try and answer to the best of our abilities without being rude, sarcastic or condescending.

Can I ask what "here we go again" means?
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Old 02-09-2009, 08:27 PM   #5
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Re: How Do I Charge.......


What he meant by "here we go again" is that similar questions to yours are posted here on a regular basis by new members of the forum.

There is a ton of great information on this site but none of that info is price related, that is a no-no here. If you need help with some new type of paint or a different technique then feel free to ask.

If you need pricing info then your gonna have to do it the old fashion way, by trial and error. Different contractors charge differently, no-one knows your overhead, labor or profit margins. You are the only person that can determine your price.
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Old 02-09-2009, 08:30 PM   #6
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Re: How Do I Charge.......


The problem is... pricing by the foot, etc is not really tolerated on this forum. Too often we get probable homeowners or hack contractors looking for cost comparisons for the wrong reasons. Sometimes folks ask about pricing for the right reasons, but if you're in LA asking someone in Backwoods US about pricing, things might get funny.

Pretty much everyone who asks the question you asked gets the same type of sarcastic answer.

The lucky few get some good advice:

Figure your overhead.

Figure how long it's going to take you to do the job.

Figure the rate you want to make.

Figure your other expenses. Materials, taxes, whatever costs $.

Figure for some sort of profit. If no profit, why bother, go get a job.

Figure anything else I forgot. (There's plenty)

Do a bunch of math, add, divide, etc, and you'll find a number at the end. First try charging this amount. If you get lots of work, and make no $, you need to see if you're estimating the time correctly. If you bid tons of work and get no contracts, either your numbers are too high, or the markets saturated and you'll be working for 7-11 wages.

Try this out.

If you do all this stuff and still can't figure it out, get a 7-11 job anyways, 'caus this isn't for you. No offense intended, just the way it is.

Good luck!
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Old 02-09-2009, 08:30 PM   #7
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Re: How Do I Charge.......


Quote:
Originally Posted by crystaldwn78 View Post
.Can I ask what "here we go again" means?
About every day someone comes in asking how to much to charge/how to charge/the going rate/how much a sqft.
Basicly you are on the right track. If you know how long it takes you to paint something and you know what it will cost to do the job then you should be able to figure out your price. Just starting out there is a lot of trial and error.
I can not tell you what to charge there are way to many varibles.
Do a search on pricing and you will find a lot of info and see how the thread can turn ugly.
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Old 02-09-2009, 08:31 PM   #8
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Re: How Do I Charge.......


You didnt do anything wrong...maybe work on your sense of humor a little. First, read thru some of the posts on this forum re; bidding/estimating and you'll find out why Sean said "here we go again".

If you've had 2 contractors tell you a buck a sq. ft., you should have asked them if that was per coat or for 2 - 3. In my area, apartment maintenance painting is mainly handled by the "bottom feeders". I wont even enter into that area of the market. Insurance restoration painting on damaged apartments pays better than what they get.

Sit down with the management companies of these apartments and explain your situation and ask what they have been paying in the past. And you need to ask if their sq. ft. prices include materials.
You really need to talk to them just as you'll have to talk to HO's, (that's Home Owners...not the other), and GC's. Nobody can really advise anybody what they should bid at. Every area, job, business, and owner has its own requirements.

As far as running your own forum, run it as you see fit. Lighten up a little on this one, take the good natured chops, and educate yourself by reading many of the posts here. You'll find that, all in all, we're a good bunch of guys (and a few gals) who may just have some answers.
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Old 02-09-2009, 08:40 PM   #9
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Re: How Do I Charge.......


Well I'm sorry that I posted wrong. I have tried everything that I have needed to to get things going on my part and what I have so far seems to be fair in my opinion. The reason I am trying to come out with upfront bids is because I am trying something new. I am making pre-made packets for my potential clients with custom bids involved in the packets. that way they know what their expenses are. A lot of times I have found that my clients have asked how they are being charged and why, so I thought it would be a better way to do it and know that a lot of the paint contractors charge that way as well. Again I am sorry if i have offended anybody, but I just thought that if I did do anything wrong, there are politer ways to respond. Thanks to the ones that has helped.
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Old 02-09-2009, 08:44 PM   #10
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Re: How Do I Charge.......


"there are politer ways to respond"


That's the truth, but hey, you're talking to a bunch of contractors after all.

Welcome to the site.
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Old 02-09-2009, 08:47 PM   #11
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Re: How Do I Charge.......


Apartment painting is a total different animal then residential NC or repaint work. A lot of people that paint aprtments are cranking out 3-6 2bdrm units a day and doing the aprtment for 2-4 hundred dollars. Totaly different than what i do.
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Old 02-09-2009, 08:50 PM   #12
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Re: How Do I Charge.......


If you pick up an estimating book by RS Means-it may have info to help you with generic pricing including the unit of measurements (i.e. LF or SQFT). You could try billing T&M (time and material) to cover yourself, all though I 'believe' people want to know what a project will cost. research posts on estimating, read, read, read. Take constant notes and determine productivity and cost to determine what you're capable of. Use a calculator to determine what it costs to paint per sqft of wall area or lf of trim.

best of luck to you!
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Old 02-09-2009, 08:53 PM   #13
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Re: How Do I Charge.......


Detailed painting estimates seem kind of odd to me. I don't know because I do not paint. These are the things I would expect to see in a painting estimate, Type of paint being used, Which room, What color, Start and Finish date and Cost.

What do the customers care where every dollar goes, if they agree on the price then thats all that matters.

I am currently dealing with a customer that keeps saying "how much do you pay the lumber company for such and such, maybe it's cheaper at Home Depot." Who cares where it's cheaper, he already signed the contract, end of story. He would hate to see the estimate for me to go to Home Depot to pick up the lumber, wait in line and so on. All I do is make a call and the material is delivered to his doorstep.
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Old 02-09-2009, 08:53 PM   #14
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Re: How Do I Charge.......


Quote:
Originally Posted by Forry View Post
"there are politer ways to respond"


That's the truth, but hey, you're talking to a bunch of contractors after all.

Welcome to the site.
thank you very much and i will take a look around the site.
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Old 02-09-2009, 09:52 PM   #15
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Re: How Do I Charge.......


I painted apartments for awhile in my younger days, the complex would pay me 120 for a 2 bedroom. I would bust my a55 working by myself to make $1200 a week, had to roll them, no spraying. Then to top it off it took forever to get a check outta the owners of the complexs. If you have to paint apartments to support your family then thats fine, but if I was you I would try to learn all that I could and try to get into another area of painting while I was doing it. You will never make much doing apartments, lots of work but no money.
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Old 02-09-2009, 10:03 PM   #16
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Re: How Do I Charge.......


Quote:
Originally Posted by crystaldwn78 View Post
The last few months that i have been doing this on my own I have been blind bidding. I just look at what I'm doing and think " how long is this going to take me?"

This is exactly how you should price a job. With a little more milage you'll also have some empirical evidence to back yourself up, but the process will still be the same. " $1/sf " doesn't help you figure in the cost of working around a toddler's naptime schedule, walls full of scotch tape from the teenage son's girlie posters or the fact that the closest legal parking spot is a full city block away.

Welcome to the crudest contractor site on the interweb, and yes mostof us are pigs
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Old 02-10-2009, 12:40 AM   #17
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Re: How Do I Charge.......


You can go in and bid the job any way you know how, let me ask you this first:

Do you know how much you would charge for a wall that is 8 feet tall, 13 feet long going one coat same color?
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Old 02-10-2009, 01:12 AM   #18
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Re: How Do I Charge.......


Quote:
Originally Posted by Wolfgang View Post
You didnt do anything wrong...maybe work on your sense of humor a little. First, read thru some of the posts on this forum re; bidding/estimating and you'll find out why Sean said "here we go again".

If you've had 2 contractors tell you a buck a sq. ft., you should have asked them if that was per coat or for 2 - 3. In my area, apartment maintenance painting is mainly handled by the "bottom feeders". I wont even enter into that area of the market. Insurance restoration painting on damaged apartments pays better than what they get.

Sit down with the management companies of these apartments and explain your situation and ask what they have been paying in the past. And you need to ask if their sq. ft
. prices include materials.
You really need to talk to them just as you'll have to talk to HO's, (that's Home Owners...not the other), and GC's. Nobody can really advise anybody what they should bid at. Every area, job, business, and owner has its own requirements.

As far as running your own forum, run it as you see fit. Lighten up a little on this one, take the good natured chops, and educate yourself by reading many of the posts here. You'll find that, all in all, we're a good bunch of guys (and a few gals) who may just have some answers.
Wolfy... not all apartment repainters are bottom feeders.. they are just different type of painter... (read industrial painter painting living space) it can be VERY profitable if you can get a couple people working for you, constant work, and constant money.

Most complexes have women working for them. As a woman, you should be able to get the info outta em that you need.. *what they have been paying in the past, what their budget is, if they supply the paint, all the necessary charges that they charge for damages (if you repair drywall, what they charge the renter for damages) and what the pay scale is. Women tend to also fight for your paycheck if there is a problem.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Workaholic View Post
Apartment painting is a total different animal then residential NC or repaint work. A lot of people that paint aprtments are cranking out 3-6 2bdrm units a day and doing the aprtment for 2-4 hundred dollars. Totaly different than what i do.
So true, and you should NEVER charge the same rate as a rental unit for a homeowner..

Quote:
Originally Posted by ModernStyle View Post
I painted apartments for awhile in my younger days, the complex would pay me 120 for a 2 bedroom. I would bust my a55 working by myself to make $1200 a week, had to roll them, no spraying. Then to top it off it took forever to get a check outta the owners of the complexs. If you have to paint apartments to support your family then thats fine, but if I was you I would try to learn all that I could and try to get into another area of painting while I was doing it. You will never make much doing apartments, lots of work but no money.
You can make money, but there is a ton of work, but when it all comes down to it, as long as you have food on the table for those 4 mouths, that is all that matters. Just never grow accustom to where you are at, aim for the sky and upper end work. You will do fine. Also you should register at www.Painttalk.com, CT's sister site that has all us painters there
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Old 02-10-2009, 01:22 AM   #19
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Re: How Do I Charge.......


great response
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Old 02-10-2009, 05:43 AM   #20
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Re: How Do I Charge.......


Quote:
Originally Posted by nEighter View Post
Wolfy... not all apartment repainters are bottom feeders.. they are just different type of painter... (read industrial painter painting living space) it can be VERY profitable if you can get a couple people working for you, constant work, and constant money.

Most complexes have women working for them. As a woman, you should be able to get the info outta em that you need.. *what they have been paying in the past, what their budget is, if they supply the paint, all the necessary charges that they charge for damages (if you repair drywall, what they charge the renter for damages) and what the pay scale is. Women tend to also fight for your paycheck if there is a problem.



So true, and you should NEVER charge the same rate as a rental unit for a homeowner..



You can make money, but there is a ton of work, but when it all comes down to it, as long as you have food on the table for those 4 mouths, that is all that matters. Just never grow accustom to where you are at, aim for the sky and upper end work. You will do fine. Also you should register at www.Painttalk.com, CT's sister site that has all us painters there

Thats why I prefaced the answer with "in my area". No insults intended for those who do that kind of work.

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