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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi Everyone!

My names Kelly, I'm a Custom Painter with 12 years experience and a recently started business. I have had a lot of custom jobs, but now comes the heavy hitter, a 92 unit luxury town home complex (new construction) I am trying to write my bid (needs to be in Friday! ah!) via the blue prints they sent me. I am starting to understand the prints and I think I know how I will assess the costs. I have a silly newbie question though... am I to provide the paint and simply include the paint estimate into the bid? Or do I bid the job and get reimbursed for paint after completion?

Thanks for the much needed help :)
 

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Super Moderator
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Trick question......right????:whistling:laughing:

Do you have a spec book with the job?

TYpically you provide everything to complete the job.

All labor, materials & equipment.

Then wait to be paid, usually 45-90 days, less retainage.

So have the funds to bankroll the job.

Me thinks with your question you should pass on this one.:thumbsup:

Good luck.....
 

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Drywall Slave
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Most painters I know get half up! The paint Is included in their footage price.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Aha, I will do that. Thank you so much for the help. Its scary to me to write a bid so damn high, now add the piant... jesus pete... its going to be intimidating to hand in. Half up? I don't think I have the balls to do such a thing (besides the fact that 'Im a chick, lmao) I have savings for this. Wish me luck!
Any other suggestions would be greatly appreciated! :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
BTW, anybody want to take a look at my lame bid sheet, tell me what I could add/take away I would be over the moon, [email protected] if you're interested in helping.
I really want this job!
:D
 

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I'm with Griz. If you haven't cut your teeth on 10 unit, 20 unit or even a 30 unit complex, you will have a hard time knowing where to price. A large complex like this is a lot different than doing 92 single homes. You will be pushed around by each and every trade, and you will be pushing them.

If they are all custom units with custom colors and trim with stain, you will be hard pressed to make any money if you don't have a large crew. I know one guy who could keep up on a project that size, but he was doing mostly blow and go all one or two color retirement centers.

They will want you in and out and will most likely have more than one unit ready at a time, then they will start selling them towards the end and you will be dealing with change orders for colors and textures, all the while needing to get the ones done that are already sold. Then as other trades get change orders, it will start pushing your finish schedule around as well. However, since they are selling them as fast as possible, you won't have much leeway in your time schedule.

These projects tend to build up steam towards the end and you need to be ready.

If you go for it, good luck. And eat your Wheaties.

Edit: Some of these projects you won't get anything up front until you deliver paint, materials, etc.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
That was great input VinylHanger, I hadn't considered the possibility of them being custom. I doubt it, but that's something I need to look into. I really appreciate the feedback!
 

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pro
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You need to know "ALL" the facts about this job, how many colors, finishes, estimated time schedules per unit ect. If you bid labor and material for one color and find out there is three colors in each unit well you get the picture, or like someone else said will it be 2 units a day or 4 that need to be painted. All the little details will kill you if you haven't asked the right questions. It would be better to pass on the job then get awarded the job and then have to cancel because you didn't price it right.

But if you feel you can do it and your confident I wish you the best.
 

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Particulate Filter
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One thing I have done in the past with large projects is turn in a very high number. Then ask to see the other bids when they turn you down. At least youll know the cards everyone is playing the next time you before you actually place a bet. Be ready to fight tooth and nail for every change order because the only way youll win the bid is by being underpriced.

And do a court search on the people youre loaning a quarter million dollars to.
 

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if painting is anything like plumbing I would say that you need to have a standard paint...one that's mid level and that works...a paint you stand behind....id use it as a fixed item in your bid.....don't give any credit back if you don't use all of it....

one thing ive found about multi units is they are typically bid around cost....you need to hustle to make 5% profit...........ive bid on 2 family condo's and was told you break even on the first couple, but speed up due to repetition and start making money from then on..more and more as the project moves forward

id never bid on something like that...10%-15% profit or id skip it...

good luck to you...don't under bid or you will be out of business soon
 

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One thing I have done in the past with large projects is turn in a very high number. Then ask to see the other bids when they turn you down. At least youll know the cards everyone is playing the next time you before you actually place a bet. Be ready to fight tooth and nail for every change order because the only way youll win the bid is by being underpriced.

And do a court search on the people youre loaning a quarter million dollars to.
All true.
 

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Hair Splitter
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Aha, I will do that. Thank you so much for the help. Its scary to me to write a bid so damn high, now add the piant... jesus pete... its going to be intimidating to hand in. Half up? I don't think I have the balls to do such a thing (besides the fact that 'Im a chick, lmao) I have savings for this. Wish me luck!
Any other suggestions would be greatly appreciated! :)
Couple of things.

1) This is not custom, but closer to slop and mop. (I know bad term, but closer to reality). Don't get caught up in details, remember it's about production on a larger job.

2) You can do it. There is no difference in 10-20 or 90 units. They all take the same time per unit. It will all hinge on their deadline and your schedule. Do you have enough resources to finish on time?

3) Labor will always be your largest expense. Make sure that you know your workers and their capabilities.

4) If you think your bid is high add more, it isn't. Like others have said, bid to profitable.

It is unlikely that you will get 50% up front on a commercial job. You may get materials, but I doubt you will get any labor. You need to find out the draw schedule and make sure that your contract defines your payout parameters. How many units need to be complete before collecting? 1,2,10? And then budgeting accordingly.

Good luck and go for it, and never compromise. You are worth what you are worth and profit is not a dirty word! :thumbsup:
 

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You need to own the job. they will want visual production, even if it is out of order . you will paint a wall(s), and they will get damaged. You will be expected to do it again on your own tab.
On a big job like that, they will be merciless.
You will need a good line of credit for payroll.
Good luck.
If you think that your quote is high, It's not.
 

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Have Trowel, Do travel
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there's no problem, pretend it's one unit and multiply by 90, leave off a percentage for the quantity, and your done
 

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Hi Kelly, sounds like your excited.
Not a bad thing but I can agree with others, I've made more on the smaller jobs and lost more on the larger jobs.
Large numbers don't always mean large profits. Now days when I see a large job I tend to be extra cautious.

Never bid a job just so you can get it, never bid a job on the possibility of future work, never bid a job because it's the type of job you want.

Only bid if the profit margin will meet your goals, and the percentage is high enough to provide some cushion for all the variable's such as taking longer, delayed payment, increased labor costs, increased material costs, etc.
Nothing is guaranteed, not profits, not future work, not the timing of the job.
Before you spend the profits from other jobs on this one, remember contracting is like gambling, and subcontractors are often at a higher risk than prime contractors.

Not so long ago I gambled with my personal finances on a larger job,
the other party breached the contract after we had substantial amount of labor and materials into it, and I am fighting to get even a portion of my investment into their project back.

Only you can decide what your willing to risk, and if the payout is worth the risk.

Only gamble with money you can afford to never see again.

All that being said, best of luck!

Mike
 
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