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Pricing Questions

 
 
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Old 10-12-2007, 06:37 PM  
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Pricing Questions


The number of questions regarding pricing particular jobs seems to have reached a new all time high. While I can understand such questions to a certain degree (and it's a very small degree), they usually leave me scratching my head.

The answers also often leave me scratching my head. How anyone can give a price that has any meaning is beyond me.

I equate such questions to the calls we get wanting a price over the phone (or by email). I get calls, or emails, asking: how much would it cost to paint my 2,000 square foot house?

I used to start asking a bunch of questions-- what is the size of each room, how many windows, what type of window, how many doors, etc. with the hope that they would get my point. They seldom did. (I actually did have one customer answer the questions and I gave her a price. After a site visit to verify everything, I found her information accurate and sold the job.)

Now I just ask 2 questions: How long will it take us? How much paint will we need? If they can give me accurate answers to those 2 questions, I can give them an accurate estimate. But they can never answer those questions.

The same applies to such questions here. How much I would charge is irrelevant. The only 2 essential issues in estimating are the time required and the materials required. Then we add overhead and profit-- which are functions of the time and materials-- and we have our price.

I can understand that someone may not know the time required to complete a project. I run into things that sometimes puzzle me as to the time needed. Indeed, I have on occasion asked for production rates for something I've run into. But a production rate is far different than a price.

So, pricing questions are really misdirected. The real question should be the time and materials required to complete the job. That's a question many people could legitimately help with. Asking about a price is foolish and meaningless in my opinion.

Thanks for reading.

Brian Phillips
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Old 10-12-2007, 06:46 PM  
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Re: Pricing Questions


Brian, if you don't mind, I'd like to post this as a 'sticky' in the business section.

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Old 10-12-2007, 07:28 PM  
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Re: Pricing Questions


...sticky
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Old 10-13-2007, 08:38 AM  
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Re: Pricing Questions


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Originally Posted by ProWallGuy View Post
Brian, if you don't mind, I'd like to post this as a 'sticky' in the business section.
PWG,
I plan to write something a little more detailed on this subject. I'll post it in the business section, and if you deem it appropriate, apply a sticky.

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Old 08-13-2012, 04:29 PM  
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Re: Pricing Questions


I appreciate what you have written and can understand your point. Makes great sense to me. Just new to conroe texas and looking for info to help get on the right foot. I look forward to reading more of your writing. Thank you again.

charlton
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Old 08-13-2012, 04:34 PM  
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Re: Pricing Questions


5 years. That may be a new record.
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Old 08-13-2012, 05:59 PM  
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Re: Pricing Questions


PWG, I am glad you are interested in making this a sticky. As a guy who is "new" to the trades (about 6 years), and even newer to contracting for hire, and often doing things that I have only done a couple of times; working up a price has been very vexatious.

The no pricing policy (and the disclaimer's wording) I think has needlessly kept folks from getting the help they are looking for because I think most folks (certainly myself) are really looking more for the *time* it takes to accomplish something. Now I know times will vary for different folks and especially for someone tackling something new; but what I am interested in is what is a reasonable/appropriate time frame to complete a task. I will build a bid off of that and then if it takes me twice as long I can chalk it up to inexperience and have an idea of how much faster I need to get or increase the time factor the next time around.

I don't know if you mods would consider putting some of this affirmative wording in the disclaimer ("how much questions are not allowed but how long questions are OK" type of thing) but for a lot of guys that are tackling something new this would give them the most important help I think they are really after (well not the really lazy ones) and not just make them feel like *everything* related to determining "how much" is verboten.
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Old 08-13-2012, 06:03 PM  
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Re: Pricing Questions


Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian View Post
The number of questions regarding pricing particular jobs seems to have reached a new all time high. While I can understand such questions to a certain degree (and it's a very small degree), they usually leave me scratching my head.

The answers also often leave me scratching my head. How anyone can give a price that has any meaning is beyond me.

I equate such questions to the calls we get wanting a price over the phone (or by email). I get calls, or emails, asking: how much would it cost to paint my 2,000 square foot house?

I used to start asking a bunch of questions-- what is the size of each room, how many windows, what type of window, how many doors, etc. with the hope that they would get my point. They seldom did. (I actually did have one customer answer the questions and I gave her a price. After a site visit to verify everything, I found her information accurate and sold the job.)

Now I just ask 2 questions: How long will it take us? How much paint will we need? If they can give me accurate answers to those 2 questions, I can give them an accurate estimate. But they can never answer those questions.

The same applies to such questions here. How much I would charge is irrelevant. The only 2 essential issues in estimating are the time required and the materials required. Then we add overhead and profit-- which are functions of the time and materials-- and we have our price.

I can understand that someone may not know the time required to complete a project. I run into things that sometimes puzzle me as to the time needed. Indeed, I have on occasion asked for production rates for something I've run into. But a production rate is far different than a price.

So, pricing questions are really misdirected. The real question should be the time and materials required to complete the job. That's a question many people could legitimately help with. Asking about a price is foolish and meaningless in my opinion.

Thanks for reading.

Brian Phillips
[Thanks for coming out of retirement to post this. Big thumbs up! ]

Doh! Now I get it, the *thread* is five years old. ...zombiethread got me again...
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Last edited by moorewarner; 08-13-2012 at 08:59 PM.
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Old 08-13-2012, 06:03 PM  
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Re: Pricing Questions


Quote:
Originally Posted by VinylHanger View Post
5 years. That may be a new record.
Yeah, But I really don't mind this one being revived.
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Old 08-15-2012, 09:40 PM  
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Re: Pricing Questions


Quote:
Originally Posted by moorewarner View Post
what I am interested in is what is a reasonable/appropriate time frame to complete a task.
Start a thread on keeping track of production rates.
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Old 08-15-2012, 10:05 PM  
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Re: Pricing Questions


Quote:
Originally Posted by ProWallGuy View Post
Brian, if you don't mind, I'd like to post this as a 'sticky' in the business section.
Probably still should be a sticky in several sections of the forum.
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Old 08-18-2012, 06:34 PM  
 
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Re: Pricing Questions


Brain has a excellent newsletter go to his site and sign up. Production rates are great just don't forget all the factors that go along with them

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