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Trying to get my painting business up and going I lost my job 17 yrs for a furniture co. I worked in maintance working with interior decorators building show rooms for the furniture market and painting offices and so forth. Have had a couple little jobs I have put out flyers and had some business cards made but I am having problems with estimates What is best way to try by the job, hour, or figuring by the sq ft.
Not much of a computer whiz here but lately been surfing the web and reading all I can.
Have thought about trying to get some Sub work but nothing has come of that
Found a site Service Magic where they refer people to you but not sure about that want to find out some info on them
I am from NC near Winston Salem kinda out in the country but a lot of construction going on but just cant seem to get hooked up with the right person
Dont know any painters around here so looking to you guys for any advice you are willing to share

Thanks
Mike
 

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A couple of questions for you. Will you be in the bucket or out of the bucket, meaning... will you be the one painting or will you be running the business?
If at all possible I would recommend that you stay "out of the bucket." Of course this all depends on your goals but if you want to grow this company you need to concentrate on the business and not the work.

Once you answer this question I can give you some more advice on how to estimate a job. How you run your business, in the bucket or out, will change how you estimate.

- Nathan
 

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My advice on any estimate job:

Dont figure by size.
Figure how long the job will take you.
Multiply this by how much you are worth per hour. This is labor.
Figure how much material will cost.
Add Labor to material. Add any permits or other costs. Don't forget delevieries. Add your overhead (see below). Now add a 10%.

This is the BARE minimum you can take to do your job wihtout losing money.

You will need to figure your over head. Rent+ utilities+ advertising+ subscriptions+ insurance+ phones+ office workers pay+ ANY fee that can not be atributed to any single job. I then take this number and divide by 200 since there are about 200 working days per year (for exterior work). This number is your overhead and chances are good you are forgetting something!

Many people figure by size of the room because they cave done 1000 jobs and know averages. They know what it breaks down per square foot and it's quicker for them but I suggest until you are comfortable you do all estimates the long way. It's the only way to be accurate.

After 6 years in the roofing business I still make mistakes by charging per square. Only when I break the whole job down to every last nail am I 100% confident of profit.
 
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At this point I have no choice but to be in the bucket got to get the money coming in so we dont go broke here. Painting is all I know and that is what I want to do now I dont know enough about the business end of it that is what the wife is doing now checking to see what all has to be done insurance, permits all the tax stuff trying to not to over look anything
 

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Well, if you were going to stay out of the bucket I would say Pay Peicework which also effects how you estimate a job.
Since you will be "in the bucket" then you need to do exactly what Grumpy said.
Figure out all your expenses and what you want to make. From there divide by how many hours/days you will work and you get your hourly rate.
Then estimate by the hour.

You will be amazed at how many jobs you can get just by looking professional, showing up on time, and providing people with a detailed/printed estimate.

Will you be doing residential repaints or something else? Are you going to have any employees?

Also, a guy by the name of Paul Burns has some excellent material on paying Peicework and getting out of the bucket for painters.
You can find his website here: http://www.paypiecework.com
And see his powerpoint presentations here: http://www.paypiecework.com/Piecework_files/frame.htm

You may need his services later on.

-Nathan
 
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nwingate said:
Well, if you were going to stay out of the bucket I would say Pay Peicework which also effects how you estimate a job.
Since you will be "in the bucket" then you need to do exactly what Grumpy said.
Figure out all your expenses and what you want to make. From there divide by how many hours/days you will work and you get your hourly rate.
Then estimate by the hour.

You will be amazed at how many jobs you can get just by looking professional, showing up on time, and providing people with a detailed/printed estimate.

Will you be doing residential repaints or something else? Are you going to have any employees?

Also, a guy by the name of Paul Burns has some excellent material on paying Peicework and getting out of the bucket for painters.
You can find his website here: http://www.paypiecework.com
And see his powerpoint presentations here: http://www.paypiecework.com/Piecework_files/frame.htm

You may need his services later on.

-Nathan
Get to a good book store and by the MEANS ESTIMATING GUIDE. They have several, you want the one for remodeling. Read the introduction on how to use the guide. Once you know how to use the guide it will give you an idea of what other painters in your area should be charging for various different kinds of work. Everything has a different rate. It will break the appoximate material and labor costs down for brushed, rolled or sprayed work, exterior work, interior work and will even tell you how much one man needs to put out in a day (usually by square feet). It will also give you a percentage to add or deduct depending on where you live in the US. For instance, NYC would be more expensive to work in compared to a small town like Mayberry due to labor costs, insurances, auto costs etc.....The guides are not cheap, the last time I looked they were over $80.00. Remember this, someone always needs to be working ON your business if you are working IN it. If you are going to start out as a one man outfit you will have to do both. This is very hard. Maybe your wife could help with setting appointments for estimates and bookeeping etc.. Maybe you could even teach her to do the estimates and you guys could be a team. Good luck to you.
 

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I found that guide to not be accurate. In the residential arena we charge a medium rate, not low or high. From the look of that book our rate was incredibly low! Super Super low.

I bought it with the intention of boosting my sales, but I know what my direct competitors charge, I have copies of ther contracts, and this was not what they charge.
 

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I agree on the RS-Means books. I attempted to use it for costing some portions of the project I'm currently working on. It was almost 80% low compared to actual estimate submitted.
 

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ceramic tile bid

I need help estimating a tile job. I tiled the floor of a basement with 18 inch tile. The home owner now wants an 8 inch trim put around the basenment with the same ceramic tile. How do i bid this job?
 

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Is there bullnose to put up, or do you need to do a polished edge to make the base?
you want to know how much to charge for the install of the base or the whole job?
 
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