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Until recently I was a bridge construction superintendent with over thirty years experience. I always enjoyed the work, but I woke up one day and realized I was spending my life living out of a suitcase going to where ever the company I was working for sent me. After some soul searching, a divorce because I was never home and seeing my children grow up without me I decided to go out on and start my own home maintenance and repair business. It seems to have been a good decision. Business has been better than I ever expected and I am growing bigger everyday. It is becoming apparent I am going to have to hire some help soon to try to keep up with demand.

The reason for my post this time is I am looking for some help with an estimate. I have been asked to give an estimate to repaint 6,900 l.f. of four rail fence. That translates to approximately 900 4x4x5’ post. With four rails of 1x6s and post I am estimating around 29,412 sq.ft.. The fence was previously painted with white latex paint that is flaking or peeling off. I figure 1000’ has two to three coats of paint that that the last coat is blistering and peeling off in sheets. The entire fence is covered with green and black mold and mildew. The new paint the customer wants is a black acrylic lacquer. I am planning on pressure washing the fence to clean it. I am figuring on spraying and back brushing on the fence coat.

I want to thank any of you in advance that can offer any suggestion or ideas both for pressure washing and painting this fence that could help with estimating and accomplishing this project.


Len Sutton
Len’s Home Services
[email protected]

You have failed if you fail to try.
 

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The job you describe sounds like a nightmare. :eek:
Pricing is tough, only you know what type of money you need to stay in business. Figure out your production rate, as in how long will it take to power wash it, how long to scrape it, etc. Basically find out XX amount of days or manhours will be needed to accomplish the project. Times that by your hourly or daily rate. Then add on overhead (once again only you knows what your overhead is) and always add a percentage on top for profit. Whoops, don't forget the materials charge too. A job like this might hold unseen variables, bid it high. In case a section of wood needs replacing or who knows what else, keep a couple Change Order Forms handy and have the client sign off on each and every change or add-on to the original contract price.

When we do an exterior with mold present, (and I don't do many anymore), we would have one man using a garden-type pump sprayer filled with a bleach/water mix spraying ahead of the power washer. Have a second guy come along behind him (allowing about 25 feet, or enough time for the bleach to work) and scrub it with a brush on a pole. Then about ten feet behind him came the power washer.

I would also add that I would prime it with an penetrating exterior alkyd primer, and add some mold/mildew inhibitor to it. And put a clause in your contract that you will not be responsible for the regrowth of mold.

Good luck. :Thumbs:
 

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I have no idea about what a sf cost would be - just wanted to point out if you are spraying it I would figure more like 30000sf of paint. There is quite a chunk of overspray with a fence.
 

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make sure you get a different tip for that airless. Maybe a 212 or something else real thin. It'll be worth it for just this one job for overspray.
 

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Also, something to consider: if it is very windy you can lose 50 % of your paint just being blown away! We do some industrial sandblasting and repainting of heavy equipment and such mostly with expensive urethanes and epoxies.....pays to watch the wind very closely. Best of luck......
 

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A neighbor down the road from me had his horse arena fence repainted. They sprayed it, but they did it inside a carport sort of structure that they drug along. It had a top, and a front and back enclosed. The sides were open, where the fence passed through. It was about 15' long. They just drug it down the fence line as they painted. The work was being done by a specialty fence painting contractor, as there are many such "board fences" around farms in my area.
 

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mgraveman said:
make sure you get a different tip for that airless. Maybe a 212 or something else real thin. It'll be worth it for just this one job for overspray.
I don't think I've ever heard of a 212 tip. Common sizes are 213, 215, 217, and 219. Just FYI tip sizes are as such: The first number represents the fan size a tip will spray when multiplied by two. For instance, a 213 sprays a 4" fan at about 12" away. The last two digits are the orifice size. So a 213 would have an orifice size of 0.013" or thirteen thousandths of an inch. I actually prefer a 200 size tip because the fan is small and much more controllable.

Here's where it becomes inportant. If you're spraying a heavy bodied acrylic or lacquer you will want at least a 217 or 219....The heavier the paint, the larger the orifice size. When you start spraying if you get "fingering" (a line of paint along side of your spray pattern) you either need to use a larger orifice tip or increase your pressure. If that doesn't stop the fingering effect and give a smooth pattern, then your last resort is using a little water/thinner to thin the paint down enough to make it spray right.....

.....but what do I know? :nerd:
 

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Just love these forums, I always thought of the fingering affect as people driving by and flipping you off because of the overspray. You learn something all the time. :laughing:
Joe
 

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Len,

You might want to check to be sure the lacquer won't lift the existing paint. I'm not familar with the acrylic lacquers, but the "original" lacquers are pretty hot and can lift a lot of coatings.

With this in mind, tell the owner you'd like to conduct a test to insure compatability. Prep and paint a couple of sections (and charge the owner for this test). You will then know if the lacquer will be an issue, and also be able to determine your production rate.

I've had situations like this and I almost always propose a test (with a charge). It benefits the owner because they can be sure of getting a durable job. It benefits you because you can make sure you will provide a durable job and can bid the job more accurately. Bottom line is create a win-win.

If I can't bid a job with a reasonable degree of confidence, I'm not going to bid it. There is plenty of work out there and I don't need to take chances. I equate jobs like this to trying to give a bid over the phone. In both cases I don't have the information I need. If I can't get that information, I can't provide a meaningful bid.

Brian Phillips
 
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