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Old Drywaller, New Estimator

 
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Old 06-03-2006, 07:21 AM   #21
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Re: Old Drywaller, New Estimator


Kirk,
You're right. Don't worry about the size of the sheets when bidding. Make sure you have enough SF to cover your a**. If the job is small enough you can go to the site and measure the board sizes before bidding. You simply make a sheet up with your board size and thickness I.E. 8'-1/2" ...10'-1/2"... 12'-1/2"...8'-5/8" .... Then walk it measure it as you would hang it and put a mark by each sheet as you go. At the end you will have your complete list. If you are working from prints as I do mostly you can use the meathod I described (Carter's Meathod). If your wall are slightly under 8' they still measure as 8'...9'-4" becomes 10' and so on. All drywall comes in even 2' lengths so your estimates should always round up to the next 2' incrament. If you would like I could send you an example of an excel spreadsheet I use for estimating to help. I also do teaching.
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Old 06-03-2006, 10:46 AM   #22
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Re: Old Drywaller, New Estimator


Dave,

Yes! Thank you! I would love to see your spread sheet. I was going to apply your techniques to a spread sheet I was going to create.

I always walk the job before I give the estimate, so I can see if there are any concerns. Ie, acess, missing blocking, debris or floor conditions that make scaffolding or stilts a problem, spacing to doors and windows, etc.

When you work from plans, do you just cover the contingencies with a fudge factor or do you list possible allowances and up charges for discovered conditions on site?


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Old 06-03-2006, 11:19 AM   #23
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Re: Old Drywaller, New Estimator


Kirk,
No fudge factor other than P&O. When you give a bid you give it in at least 3 parts. And you must know everything it takes to do the job EVERYTHING!

#1 Your proposal..Simple enough

#2 Your scope page. This should describe everything you propose doing in as much detail as possible.

#3 Your exclusions page. This page I use a standard sheet for the 1st 20 items or so. I compiled it over several years and it applies to every job big or small. Things like no engineering..dumpsters provided by GC...Not supplying my own electricity...No fire caulking of other trades penetrations...etc. I review all of them per job because on occasion I will provide some of the items. Then I add to it with job specific exclusions.

This will do the basic cover of your A**. Next is the contract. Some people are sneaky and will put some of your excluded items into your contract. Always read every line item in your contract. I make a copy when recieving one and mark the heck out of it. I highlight items for review. Put big X's in areas I want taken out. Now some people won't change their contract. I then review it and add for the items they want to include. Sometimes there are simple verbage items that can be manipulated and initialed by you and the contract originator. This is fine as long as it is notorized at the signing.

A fudge factor is only used when you don't know what you are bidding on. It's the same as putting dollar amounts on a dartboard and tossing away. Did you fudge too much? Not enough?.

Profit and overhead should cover all items that you pay for without regard to a job taking place. I.E. Insurance..Leases...Rent...Tools and equipment.....

The best job is the one where you go in thinking I plan on making 20% profit and you finish with 20% profit...or more.

On the profit side...
Establish your cost. That is every item it takes to do a job. Every screw piece of trim...roll of tape...EVERYTHING! Next you need to figure what your cost of doing business is. The longer you are in business the better determination you can make. Total all your monthly cost. Even add the little things like the doughnuts you bring to the site on Friday's..etc. It all takes from the bottom line. Figure what that percentage is related to the time frame on the job. If you have little overhead you might be able to take jobs for a much smaller profit margin that someone with a large office staff and a fleet of new trucks. That is how we compete with the big boys. They might buy their materials cheaper, but they have a huge overhead. I know of a few companies who have to make 30% just to keep themselves afloat! I know of some streamlined companies who only need 10%.
I will forward my spreadsheet..exclusion and a typical scope sheet to you. Feel free to use them as a template.
Dave
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Old 06-03-2006, 06:25 PM   #24
 
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Re: Old Drywaller, New Estimator


Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveH
Kirk,
No fudge factor other than P&O. When you give a bid you give it in at least 3 parts. And you must know everything it takes to do the job EVERYTHING!

#1 Your proposal..Simple enough

#2 Your scope page. This should describe everything you propose doing in as much detail as possible.

#3 Your exclusions page. This page I use a standard sheet for the 1st 20 items or so. I compiled it over several years and it applies to every job big or small. Things like no engineering..dumpsters provided by GC...Not supplying my own electricity...No fire caulking of other trades penetrations...etc. I review all of them per job because on occasion I will provide some of the items. Then I add to it with job specific exclusions.

This will do the basic cover of your A**. Next is the contract. Some people are sneaky and will put some of your excluded items into your contract. Always read every line item in your contract. I make a copy when recieving one and mark the heck out of it. I highlight items for review. Put big X's in areas I want taken out. Now some people won't change their contract. I then review it and add for the items they want to include. Sometimes there are simple verbage items that can be manipulated and initialed by you and the contract originator. This is fine as long as it is notorized at the signing.

A fudge factor is only used when you don't know what you are bidding on. It's the same as putting dollar amounts on a dartboard and tossing away. Did you fudge too much? Not enough?.

Profit and overhead should cover all items that you pay for without regard to a job taking place. I.E. Insurance..Leases...Rent...Tools and equipment.....

The best job is the one where you go in thinking I plan on making 20% profit and you finish with 20% profit...or more.

On the profit side...
Establish your cost. That is every item it takes to do a job. Every screw piece of trim...roll of tape...EVERYTHING! Next you need to figure what your cost of doing business is. The longer you are in business the better determination you can make. Total all your monthly cost. Even add the little things like the doughnuts you bring to the site on Friday's..etc. It all takes from the bottom line. Figure what that percentage is related to the time frame on the job. If you have little overhead you might be able to take jobs for a much smaller profit margin that someone with a large office staff and a fleet of new trucks. That is how we compete with the big boys. They might buy their materials cheaper, but they have a huge overhead. I know of a few companies who have to make 30% just to keep themselves afloat! I know of some streamlined companies who only need 10%.
I will forward my spreadsheet..exclusion and a typical scope sheet to you. Feel free to use them as a template.
Dave

Good word Dave.
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Old 07-03-2006, 08:22 AM   #25
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Re: Old Drywaller, New Estimator


Dave, I also do my estimates using Excel. I am always looking for better methods so I would really enjoy looking at the spreadsheet and docs you offered kgphoto (estimate, proposal, scope page and exclusion page). Just remove the "remove" from my email address.

Greatly appreciated
Kim

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Old 10-26-2006, 08:01 PM   #26
 
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Re: Old Drywaller, New Estimator


Hey Dave . . . would also love to see that spreadsheet if I could . . .

Thanks-
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Old 10-30-2006, 04:01 AM   #27
 
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Re: Old Drywaller, New Estimator


only 12 ft sheets ,i wished i drywalled in america ,over in australia we hang 20 ftx4ft6" 1/2'' thick,no wonder i needed a shoulder reco after 30 years hanging,rob
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Old 10-30-2006, 07:26 AM   #28
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Re: Old Drywaller, New Estimator


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2 Bucks a foot. Are you serious? That is an awesome price. I'll tell you one thing if they are getting 2 bucks a foot, they are either really slow or only working 2-3 hours a day, to make 250-300 a day.
I would say you have a gold mine there.
Hey Drywall,

Don't make a simple mistake here. They may charge $2.00 sq ft, and the INSTALLERS may make $250/day. But the rest goes to the company to pay the overhead. So the installers may only see $1.00/sq foot.

I see you equating their billing price with the installers pay. 2 different animals.
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Old 12-06-2006, 10:42 PM   #29
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Re: Old Drywaller, New Estimator


[QUOTE]
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveH View Post
Kirk,
No fudge factor other than P&O. When you give a bid you give it in at least 3 parts. And you must know everything it takes to do the job EVERYTHING!
Good stuff!
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Old 12-13-2006, 10:23 PM   #30
 
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Re: Old Drywaller, New Estimator


Quote:
Originally Posted by Drywall1 View Post
2 Bucks a foot. Are you serious? That is an awesome price. I'll tell you one thing if they are getting 2 bucks a foot, they are either really slow or only working 2-3 hours a day, to make 250-300 a day.
I would say you have a gold mine there.
i hear u we get .25 ft to board and we hang 5000 a day with 3 guys
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Old 12-14-2006, 09:27 PM   #31
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Re: Old Drywaller, New Estimator


My company cleans up the drywall debris after the hangers are done. We call it scraping. Were the scrapers for three drywall hanging companies here in central Indiana.
The companies we work for hang, finish and texture walls and ceilings when required. When they leave the walls are ready to paint.
Instead of using dumpsters for the scrapes we come in and remove all the scrapes and clean sweep the entire house. We wipe off the window sills and clean any nails or trash out of the tubs.
We are paid by the sq. foot. .035 for all 5/8s and commercial work and .03 for residential.
Where we do most of our work is close to the Indianapolis area. We leave 30 miles north of there and most of the drywall companies in my immediate area are not as organized and I have often thought of introducing the system my clients use around here.

Well estimating has always been my fear factor when I considered this move.
I want to say thanks to Dave for taking the time to discuss his methods in this thread.
if it's not too late I would like to have a copy of that excel spread sheet as well.
Thanks.
Randy
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Scotts Dependable Services Inc. (Sense 1996)
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Old 03-28-2007, 07:10 AM   #32
 
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Re: Old Drywaller, New Estimator


Thanks so much Dave ! I've been looking for a true structure whereby I can give estimates. What a help!
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Old 03-28-2007, 09:00 AM   #33
 
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Re: Old Drywaller, New Estimator


Gentlmen if you know your business, there are several options to use.
I use 3 methods and use the highest figure as a safety net.
For starters......MAN HOURS + 30%.....if you can't look at a job and tell how long it's gonna take, than you should just be a laborer. Secondly I take the total number of combined actual sheets and assume ball park $45-70 sheet(all labor and material) depending on level of dufficulty.
Third......usuing the board count, get the square footage of board and use those numbers. ???????
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Old 03-29-2007, 11:08 AM   #34
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveH View Post
Ok Ok Ok!
I am a drywall estimator. I have been for 20 years and have an independent estimating company. I bid over 20 million a year in jobs. The methods described here are all dangerous! VERY DANGEROUS. You may get lucky with a square foot of floor space calculator, but it doesn't allow for how many feet of walls there are in a house/building. You can have two houses with the same Sq Ft of floor space and a wide difference in wall footage. The way to do this properly is to measure all your exterior walls and take them times the height. make sure to measure through you doors and windows!. This will give you your Sq ft of drywall for the exterior walls. Then do the same for your interior walls except take the total length of you walls times the height times 2. this will give you your footage for your interior walls. If there is green board or Durock being used use the same meathod for these them minus them from your total. Once you have you walls you measure your ceilings. always round up th e the next even foot I.E. 9' becomes 10'. Add all these up and you have your ceiling footage. Next if you have cathedrals or volume ceilings add your extra footage for these. You know how much you pay per board or sq ft for installation. So use these amounts to figure your labor. If you pay more for ceiling hanging you already have your qty break-out for this same for high work in cathedrals or volume areas. I even break out the soffit seperate because you usually will pay more for these. Now for the materials. You get a quote from your supplier for the board to make sure you are covered. You take your Sq Ft of board and divide it by 1500 for the rolls of 500' tape you need or 750 for the rolls of 250' tape. Then you take your total footage and divide it by 500 this will give you your total numer of boxes/buckets of mud for the job. Figure one screw/nail per foot. Now you have your labor and materials you can do the final step which is adding Profit and overhead. You should never bid a job without knowing EXACTLY how much Material - Labor - and Profit you have in it. This is the only way to estimate any job. Don't forget to add in your cornerbead scissor lifts or scaffolding as well as any supervision you may have.
Dave
Dave, I hope it is not too late to ask for your spreadhseet. I have small renovation company and it would help me to do my estimating. To estimate for remodeling jobs is much complicated, because it is also involves repairs. Do you have any advice on the estimate for repairing drywall?
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Old 03-30-2007, 01:25 PM   #35
 
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As far as repairs go ask your drywall guy to look at it and give you an estimate on hours. take the hours and figure the amount of materials and just add 30% or more to that number.
My company in ohio here is THE ONLY on call repair service around. We don't go out and bid them, we just get some info on the phone and make an appointment to do it. We set the minimum at $99 up front for an hour worth of repairs. If my guy calls me and says it's gonna take longer, I ask him how much longer, than he puts the home owner on the phone and I estimate at about $60-100 hour for every hour after the first.....The home owner gets all this upfront so there is no surprise or anything. Estimating seems to vary so much depending on who you talk to. Many years ago I actually bid a job WAYYYY HIGH accidentally. Botom line the home owner still was happy. It was worth it to them. It was a 300 sheet job with almost no corner bead and all flat ceilings. Well I got the prints with another job mixed up. Lets just say I was like $4000 higher than my normal pricing.....On a 300 sheeter.....WOOPS!! Estimating is used only to keep you in the good...not the customer. Unless they say it's too much......I say you can never bid too high....
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Old 04-05-2007, 06:20 AM   #36
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Re: Old Drywaller, New Estimator


Quote:
Originally Posted by 1KingOfDrywall View Post
As far as repairs go ask your drywall guy to look at it and give you an estimate on hours. take the hours and figure the amount of materials and just add 30% or more to that number.
My company in ohio here is THE ONLY on call repair service around. We don't go out and bid them, we just get some info on the phone and make an appointment to do it. We set the minimum at $99 up front for an hour worth of repairs. If my guy calls me and says it's gonna take longer, I ask him how much longer, than he puts the home owner on the phone and I estimate at about $60-100 hour for every hour after the first
King,

On a repair I can patch the hole, fix the cracks or peel a corner or whatever, but how do you handle the charge for the return trip to finish coat coat and sand? Thats always been the pain in my arse. People ask how much to fix that hole in the wall and I end up having to make either 2 or 3 trips to fix that little hole. Usually it's a good chance to drum up a little more work as I have to be there and make the extra trips, why not have something else done while I'm here
Thanks
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Old 04-05-2007, 11:04 AM   #37
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Re: Old Drywaller, New Estimator


Butcher? Wouldn't this be the time to use setting compounds? I have never tried them, but I have been in the same situation with repairs of having to make the trips after each coat dried. I am thinking of getting some setting compound and experimenting with it. A few years ago, there was a fella that would casll me to repair his drywall after a party, fit, etc. LOL! I think he sometimes did not understand why it should take 2/3 days for a simple repair. It was aggravating t o me too. Now that I have ead more on these other compounds, that problem may be solved. Mud, wait 10/20 minutes, recoat,etc..
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Old 04-06-2007, 07:10 AM   #38
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Re: Old Drywaller, New Estimator


Boman, yeah you can save yourself allot of drive time if you use Durabond(Brown Bag) for your repairs, We like to base coat and skimcoat(Topping Comp) repairs let them set for 24 hours so that they are good and dry then return to sand out prime and paint as needed. I have been doing repairs along time(22 yrs) and unless the humidity is high the base coat will take a little longer to dry, you can always ask HO to put a fan in the room for you and leave it on over night.
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Old 04-08-2007, 09:43 AM   #39
 
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Re: Old Drywaller, New Estimator


Hi so those prices include boarding and taping? maybe drywall 1 guy is referring to taping only?
Just trying to follow the conversation.
I do taping only in georgian bay area of Ontario, this is what a general told me his guy does. Sq. ft x 4 x cents per foot ( about 40 for our area) On a recent quote I had to knock that in half again to get to where and customer wanted
Q. I was using the sq.ft of the floor in the house should I be using the sq ft of the walls (and /or ceiling)?
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Old 04-08-2007, 10:26 AM   #40
 
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Re: Old Drywaller, New Estimator


Hi I just read great owls post of Dave H. 's formula ,that works for me .
Have a Safe Holiday and see ya

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