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Discussion Starter #1
Regarding the post you left on the Faux pricing thread:

As far as bidding for wall square footage and floor plan square footage, I do both. For a couple of reasons.

Some people are leary of contractors padding the bid. I'm sure the big box stores help them out in that thought, especially when it comes to painting.

If I do a bid for a new customer who has a 2000 sqft floor plan, and he knows it, I make sure that I give him/her a floor plan sqft price.

If I were to break my prices from floor plan sqft to wall sqft, they would be identical. And that includes everything, from trim, doors, and drywall repair.

So when I give that bid to the new customer, I'm giving him a bid based on 2000 sqft. Doing wall sqft, the bid would be in the area of 6000-7000 sqft.

Now that may seem like a I'm being petty or un-confident in my bidding skills. But what I just described has happened to me 3 times in the past, after the 3rd time I caculated my floor plan sqft prices.

The 3rd and last time, I did a bid for a 1st time customer who had a 1820 sqft home. When I gave him the bid, it was for just over 7000 sqft. He looked at me and said, "Excuse me, my home is only 1800 sqft, where do you get off trying to charge me for 7000+ sqft". I simply explained to him that just because you have a 10x10 room, that doesn't mean you only have 100 sqft of paintable area. You also have to include 4 walls, 10x8 equalling 320 sqft, plus the ceiling, totaling 420 sqft.

After explaining everything to him in the most professional and polite mannor, he still thought I was trying to rip him off in some way or another. I could see it in his face and hear it in his voice.

Thats why I use both now Nathan. Some people are very easy to deal with, and are capable of using more than 5% of their brain to contract their home improvements. Some other people are just paranoid and stubborn.
 

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Well, I would never give someone an estimate with 7000 sq ft written on it. I just give them the price room by room. If they ask how I estimate then I explain the process.

Estimating by the floor sq ft can work in new construction but overall I don't like this process. A 2000 sq ft. home with 4 smaller rooms and a 2000 sq ft home with 3 larger rooms doesn't come out the same. There is more wall space with more rooms.
Also, homes that have a lot of doors, windows, etc... can add to the price.

I've just never understood how someone could do an accurate estimate this way.

Thoughts?...
 

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I agree with Nathan on this one. GC's want sq. ft. prices so they can nickel & dime you to death, and find the lowest price, plus sq. footage is the only language many of them understand.

I refuse to price my work that way, just like the fact in wallpaper, I don/t price it 'by the roll'.

If it works for you, then hey, it works. I just hope you are able to figure in profit and overhead to those prices.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I just wish I could charge 250.00 per hour for an entire job and I'll derive my expenses from that....lol wishfull thinking.
 

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I agree with Nathan.

We should charge for what we are painting. Unless we are painting the floor, the floor square footage doesn't matter.

There may be some general rules regarding relationships between floor square footage and walls, etc. but those are only general relationships. Too many jobs where the general rule doesn't apply, and we're out of business.

The size of the lot doesn't matter, why should the size of the floor?

Brian Phillips
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Brian, you need to read my posts more clearly.

I dont just come up with a figure for floor plan sqft and go...
Its a formula that many painters in my area have used and has taken months to get perfect.
As I said before, If I bid a job using my wall & ceiling sqft prices, then my floor plan sqft price, the total amounts will match.
Its a system used for the customers that want to see a price for floor plan square footage. And I have encountered them on several occasions, from residential, commercial, and sub-painting for licensed builders.
 

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Josh,

I guess I don't understand your system. I just don't see how floor square footage accurately computes to the actual surfaces that are being painted in all situations.

For example, a 12' x 12' room could have 1 door, no crown, and no windows. Or it could have 2 doors, 3 windows, and crown. I doubt you charge the same for the two different rooms, so I don't see how the floor square footage matters.

Granted, there are ways to develop a system to handle all of this. But regardless of the system, all of the surfaces and variables must be factored in.

I'd like to hear more about your system. It would certainly be a lot easier to just measure the room and not mess with a lot of other things. And believe me, I'm always looking for a better or easier way to do things.

Brian Phillips
 

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Discussion Starter #9
The key number I've come to is 4.2.

Now not including door ways, windows cabinets and trim. Take your wall sqft price and times it by 4.2.

Say your wall and ceiling sqft price is .55¢ per sqft. A 10x10 room has a total of 420 sqft of paintable space. (8 foot ceilings, wall space = 320, ceiling 100).
Now at .55¢ per sqft, you total would be 231.00.

Now multiply your sqft price by 4.2. (.55¢ x 4.2 = 2.31)
At 2.31 per floor plan sqft, your total for a 100 sqft room would be 231.00.

Now the add ons are where it gets tricky. Say you have 9 foot ceilings. Using your floor plan sqft price, I came to an add on of 3.2¢ for every foot past 8 ft. So rounding off, a 10x10 room with 9 foot ceilings would be 2.35 per sqft.(I always round up). That would get you extremely close to you wall sqft price.

Same with door ways, windows, and cabinets. I take the width of the door, both bottom and top, added together and subract from total sqft.Say there is a 3 ft passageway in a room. I subtract just width, 6ft, from my total. (100sqft - 6 Ln ft = 94 sqft).

94 floor plan sqft x 2.31 = 217.14

Now use the wall sqft price of .55¢. (Im using round numbers with the door ways, most doors as I know are 33" by 82", but for example I use the round numbers.)
A 10x10 room is 420 sqft. Subtract that 3x7 doorway from the total.
(420 - 21=399)
399 wall sqft. x .55¢ = 219.45

And in using these round numbers...thats how close I can get. 219.45 with wall sqft and 217.14 with floor plan sqft.

As I said before, this is just a quicker way for me to figure sqft. I still charge for trim by Ln Ft. and extra for doors and windows.

Now I know this system might look goofy. But I can breeze through a bid in no time, and get within 15.00 difference using this system.

I hope this helps somewhat.
 
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