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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys I'm a newbie. I did an estimate on an interior paint job 3 rooms, 1674 sq ft, ceilings, trim, doors and all prep work and materials. The estimate I gave was 2461.64 for everything with a 2 man crew. She just emailed me saying my price was 50% more than the last bid and the materials were way overpriced. But the catcher is she told my guy that went to measure that a previous bid was at 2.00+ a sq ft. So does this price sound outrageous and whats up with the mentioning about the higher priced bid?
 

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You are cheap for here. I would have been $1K higher.
You are being played by the customer or she is in for a really cheep paint job.
Old sales proverb: Buyers are liars.
Unless you are absolutely desperate for the job, tell her that you are no longer interested and will not compromise your standards. See what happens. You may also want to get together with her and review the scope of work. Some guys just come in and shoot a place, others paint.
 

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Teetorbilt said:
You are cheap for here. I would have been $1K higher.
You are being played by the customer or she is in for a really cheep paint job.
Old sales proverb: Buyers are liars.
Unless you are absolutely desperate for the job, tell her that you are no longer interested and will not compromise your standards. See what happens. You may also want to get together with her and review the scope of work. Some guys just come in and shoot a place, others paint.

Thanks for the insight. I don't want to cheat customers or myself either... :rolleyes:
 

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Hard to say if you are over or under the ballpark. It depends on your production times if the price is legit or not. How long did you expect for this job to take with 2 men?

Plus, I never seperate materials from labor. The customer gets one price, turnkey deal. If you seperate, you see what happens, you get nickeled & dimed by the price shoppers.
 

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well man, there are alot of factors here, i usually estimate about 500 dollars for a standard size room, trim, doors and everything, paint and materials included.

This price is for rooms with minimal prepwork ( moving a couple of pieces of furniture, removing a few pictures from the walls, and minimal prep on walls and trim) Any other prepwork is extra cost (moving excess furniture and personal belongings, major prepwork to walls and trim like priming new texture, removing wallpaper etc.)

in my experience a standard bedroom takes about 2 gal. of paint for ceiling and walls. Estimate paint for trim. for three bedrooms, no more than two gallons should be enough for the trimwork. you could mask all three bedrooms with two rolls of paper, four rolls of tape and 1 roll of masking film. 1 tube of caulk should be enough for caulking all three bedrooms( with minimal prep). for spackling 1 can is more than enough.
all in all, paint materials should run you no more than 90 dollars for each room.

so now that i look at it, yes you did bid high, but it also depends where you live i guess, im in northern california. Thats cool though, contracting is like fishing in my opinion, sometimes you catch em sometimes you don't. keep your attitude positive and more work will come.

Also, how much do you pay your employees?
what is their production rate?
what is your overhead?

All of these are factors for preparing your bid, for all i know you might have been right on the money with your bid.

I do not have employees, and work pretty fast, but not too fast that it interfears with quality of the job. Also my overhead is minimal.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
saucedo80 said:
well man, there are alot of factors here, i usually estimate about 500 dollars for a standard size room, trim, doors and everything, paint and materials included.

This price is for rooms with minimal prepwork ( moving a couple of pieces of furniture, removing a few pictures from the walls, and minimal prep on walls and trim) Any other prepwork is extra cost (moving excess furniture and personal belongings, major prepwork to walls and trim like priming new texture, removing wallpaper etc.)

in my experience a standard bedroom takes about 2 gal. of paint for ceiling and walls. Estimate paint for trim. for three bedrooms, no more than two gallons should be enough for the trimwork. you could mask all three bedrooms with two rolls of paper, four rolls of tape and 1 roll of masking film. 1 tube of caulk should be enough for caulking all three bedrooms( with minimal prep). for spackling 1 can is more than enough.
all in all, paint materials should run you no more than 90 dollars for each room.

so now that i look at it, yes you did bid high, but it also depends where you live i guess, im in northern california. Thats cool though, contracting is like fishing in my opinion, sometimes you catch em sometimes you don't. keep your attitude positive and more work will come.

Also, how much do you pay your employees?
what is their production rate?
what is your overhead?

All of these are factors for preparing your bid, for all i know you might have been right on the money with your bid.

I do not have employees, and work pretty fast, but not too fast that it interfears with quality of the job. Also my overhead is minimal.
Well our business is pretty new my husband has done all types of maintenance, remodling, and landscaping he's just tiered of working for someone else and having them rob his pockets while he's doing all the work so we decided to start our own business and since I have a bacholors degree in business I decided to take the head position and run the company while working for a doctor at the same time, so I'm the one figuring out the bids, materials cost, employee pay ect... An it's confusing as hell! :evil:

On this job my two men would have made $300.00 each, materials @ 493.95, the house was old and had the uglyest color walls and a lot of prep would have been needed. The three rooms added up to almost 1700sq ft and I charge a min. of 1.41 per sq ft. Is that good?

So guys like I said I am a newbie so all feedback, opinions, and help is greatly appreciated. Oh by the way we live in Houston, TX...
 

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Xtreme,
No one can tell you if your price is right.
You know your numbers, your overhead-including your salary,
direct costs for the project, (materials, equipment expenses, wages
-including yours if you work on the field) and the all important profit.
 

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ProWallGuy said:
Plus, I never seperate materials from labor. The customer gets one price, turnkey deal. If you seperate, you see what happens, you get nickeled & dimed by the price shoppers.
Are you serious? I have been seperateing almost everything from overhead to equiptment... How do some of your potential customers react to that?

P.S. If I am highjacking let me know I will start a new thread.
 

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Humble, I see this as in line but skirting. A new thread could be eyeopening.
 

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Well xtreme, congratulations on both of you for starting your own buisness

Like you, I also started my own buisness recently. I began painting when i was 14, i worked for an old coach of mine who was a teacher/painter. He taught me the trade the old school way, paying attention to detail and quality instead of speed to get a quick buck. By the time i was 17 I was already painting houses for him and directing 5 man crews. He would be doing one job while i would be doing another. We would work summers, weekends, holidays, after school, and some nights. This trade put me through junior high, high school, and college.

finally, 4 months ago, after working with him for 11 years, it was time for me to fly solo. I recieved my license and bond and away I went.

You see, its one thing to know your trade by heart, and be able to supervise, and direct crews. Its a whole different ball game when you have to put a price on all of that. This is the point where i am at, becoming reliable with my bids. Out of five jobs that i have gotten on my own so far, i have come short on two of them.

I see it as a learning experience. I started a log where i write down the outcome of all my jobs. I write down who i did the job for. description of the job, what i bid it at, how much i spent on materials, how many hours it took to complete the job, and how much money i made. This way i have a reference for future bids. I don't know if this is the best way to become better at bidding, but it is what i decided to do. No one out there is going to tell you how much you should charge. You have to figure it out on your own based on what works for you.

I have learned that books and school are good to an extent. Real life experience is more valuable, and when you combine schooling with real life experience its even better.

Why don't you have your husband help you out on the bids, since he knows the trade he can give you valuable information as to how long a certain job will take and how much material will be needed, you then can do the math. Or perhaps you could ask your employees, if they are skilled workers they can be of some help too. You only need do this in the begining, at least thats what i think, as you complete more jobs you will get a better handle ot material costs and your employees production rates. You will rely less on estimating books and more on your own experience.

Well good luck with your buisness.
 

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Xtreme said:
Hey guys I'm a newbie. I did an estimate on an interior paint job 3 rooms, 1674 sq ft, ceilings, trim, doors and all prep work and materials. The estimate I gave was 2461.64 for everything with a 2 man crew. She just emailed me saying my price was 50% more than the last bid and the materials were way overpriced. But the catcher is she told my guy that went to measure that a previous bid was at 2.00+ a sq ft. So does this price sound outrageous and whats up with the mentioning about the higher priced bid?
She is trying to play you against others,In my bids(proposals)I always put job in steps-step#1 step#2 etc.For me it has worked out ,if a customer thinks you are a little higher most of the time they will go with you if you have a detailed spreadsheet given to them compared to others who only give them a price.Just be sure as to not put cost of materials in there :Thumbs:
 

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your bid seems right on, I would have charged her just about the same you charged. the only thing I can think of is that she got another bid from some guys that would do the labor themselves, so they don't look at labor hours to pay other people, and maybe they don't have to buy the materials. other than that, your bid seems right on.
 

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If no-one tells you your prices are too high, you're not charging enough

FWIW it does not sound high for this area, of course the "other bid" could be her nephew, or jut what her son told her to tell any contractors to get a better price

I also suggest not separating the materials from labor
It is the first thing H/Os look at when the want to shave off some pennies
It also opens the door to "How about if I buy the materials?" or "Why must you use that expensive paint, it's not the Taj Mahal" and the infamous "I saw that Behr on sale at Home Depot, why don't you to use that?"
Best keep that door closed
 
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