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Discussion Starter · #22 ·
It's okay to break down your bid reflecting what you are charging them as it pertains to their home but not as it pertains to your bills or expenses.


Mike.
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ok, so what you are saying is; if I need to make X amount of dollars on the job to cover over head and to make money, I shouldn't add line things into the bid but just up certain parts of the bid to accommodate for it.
I appreciate all the help. I'm always nervous giving a client a bid.

Side question. Do I need to have the customer sign my bid?
 

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Your price to your clients is only one number. No breakdown.

You figure ALL your costs add them up and present it.

Yes, they sign
 

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Bit of advice.

I don't do anything for 120 dollars as a habit. It costs me more than that to roll my truck for the day. If it is part of a larger job, maybe, if I'm making money somewhere else. But as a stand alone single door gig, it costs more than that to do the job.

It isn't like you can set up and do 3 or 4 in different places to make a days wage.

Don't start bottom feeding. It is hard to quit.

We all had to start somewhere, so you gotta do what you gotta do, but you don't want to hurt yourself.

You will end up doing enough jobs for too little money. Don't do it on purpose.

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Discussion Starter · #25 ·
Bit of advice.

I don't do anything for 120 dollars as a habit. It costs me more than that to roll my truck for the day. If it is part of a larger job, maybe, if I'm making money somewhere else. But as a stand alone single door gig, it costs more than that to do the job.

It isn't like you can set up and do 3 or 4 in different places to make a days wage.

Don't start bottom feeding. It is hard to quit.

We all had to start somewhere, so you gotta do what you gotta do, but you don't want to hurt yourself.

You will end up doing enough jobs for too little money. Don't do it on purpose.

Sent from my SM-N975U using Tapatalk
let me show you the current bid im working on. If you can give me some pointers or things I should remove or add.
 

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What I do is write a detailed proposal with, at the very least, a scope of work and a single dollar amount at the bottom.

The entire document is in paragraph form, and the scope of work includes everything I’m doing. I don’t write what I’m not doing unless there’s ambiguity (for example, I’m removing every piece of crown molding in the house except this one piece). If something is not in the scope of work, I’m not going to do it without a change order.

Then I might have a hopefully brief paragraph discussing my requirements (need the whole driveway, plumber to come in sometimes, etc).

The price is the price, and I don’t break it down. Also, if you insist on breaking yours down like that, make sure you add overhead and profit to every item. If the customer rejects your scope of work and asks you to just do the doors, you may end up doing them for free if your profit was in the cabinet install.

But to reiterate what everyone’s been saying, stop breaking it down. It’s not a store receipt, it’s a price for a complete collection of work that you are proposing to do.
 

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Gives them an arguing point against other bids...

Go lump sum, save yuy grief
Also,
Some people will request a refund from your line item if they see you get it finished in an hour, and maybe you charged for a day. ..they rarely will ever kick in more when it's the other way...
You're trying to be transparent, sounds like you're not there yet...that only works for cost plus. And that's only worth it in large money projects not nickel dime stuff...

Try to break things down by the day and bid like that, in a lump.

Add travel line if it's over and above if it's necessary to bring your number into alignment with local but it shouldn't be needed as a written line item. Only in a conversation to close the deal later.

We used to travel all over the country, never disclosed that to the client. Only in our cost plus clients.
 

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just curious, why not break stuff down? i do it to help the customer know where their money is going
Because, as you will learn, a customer will pick the prices apart and it is more hassle than it is worth.

You have to know how to factor in cost of gas, vehicle maintenance and your time for travel. Part of a job is using a vehicle just like a tool. You have to replace blades, right? Do you factor that into your jobs?

If you list all of that on your quote, you'll get the customer who wants to see if you quoted three replacement blades why you only used two and wants a credit, etc.

You can just use: Material/labor as your line item and then define the work you are going to do:
Supply and install 22' of (XYZ) baseboard in Living Room. Does not include painting, etc.

Be super specific about what what is in your scope of work and very important... what is not in your scope of work.

Don't throw in anything. Make sure if the customer says hey, can you add some more? Get a change order signed off on to add.
 

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Also,
Some people will request a refund from your line item if they see you get it finished in an hour, and maybe you charged for a day. ..they rarely will ever kick in more when it's the other way...
You're trying to be transparent, sounds like you're not there yet...that only works for cost plus. And that's only worth it in large money projects not nickel dime stuff...

Try to break things down by the day and bid like that, in a lump.

Add travel line if it's over and above if it's necessary to bring your number into alignment with local but it shouldn't be needed as a written line item. Only in a conversation to close the deal later.

We used to travel all over the country, never disclosed that to the client. Only in our cost plus clients.
LOL, I should have read you post before I wrote my reply.

Good advise. (y)
 

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Your method of pricing your work by the unit; SF, LF, EACH, etc. is not the right way to compile an estimate. That's OK for budgeting, but not to firm price a job.
You would be well served to start reading some books on the subject, attend seminars or take classes somewhere to learn how to estimate. Consider working with an accountant also to help you determine overhead expenses.

If you know your cost, know your overhead and know how much profit you need to make, your price is your price, and high or low compared to others doesn't matter.
 

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Also,
Some people will request a refund from your line item if they see you get it finished in an hour, and maybe you charged for a day. .
Refunds??? No refunds here w/proper contract. If you go to the dentist & look over the bill & request a refund because he finished sooner, you gonna get it? Don’t think so. As Mike mentioned, client sees none of your costs.

Mike
 

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Travel time starts as soon as you walk out the door. I sometimes drive 2-400 m/a day. Even if it’s 1 mile it’s travel time. Again, client sees his #’s not mine. Your putting wear on your rig as soon as you roll off

Mike
 

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Also,
Some people will request a refund from your line item if they see you get it finished in an hour, and maybe you charged for a day.
I don’t think anybody is saying they give refunds. Everybody is on the same page
Once your around long enough, you’ll find the noobs do come on here looking for advice. Even putting such an idea as client requesting discount or allowing such in an already unsure starter’s mind only hurts us all & industry as a whole. In case you missed the point. The noob is not on your “ same page “.

Mike
 

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I do line items, but I make sure every item is profitable by itself. The scope of work has to be clear.


Clean gutters as necessary- $280
Remove crawlspace debris- $140
Repair two kitchen drawers- $260

I do it this way because I do a variety of tasks. Sometimes customers have to choose what their priorities are. It’s easy to delete a line item.

If you just install trim, I would do it more lump sum style.

Look at worst case scenarios as well.

One of your items was to install a stove. What if you have to change a pigtail? How about an anti-tip bracket? What if you scratch the floor pushing it in?
That is a lot of risk for $25.


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Once your around long enough, you’ll find the noobs do come on here looking for advice. Even putting such an idea as client requesting discount or allowing such in an already unsure starter’s mind only hurts us all & industry as a whole. In case you missed the point. The noob is not on your “ same page “.

Mike
I
Once your around long enough, you’ll find the noobs do come on here looking for advice. Even putting such an idea as client requesting discount or allowing such in an already unsure starter’s mind only hurts us all & industry as a whole. In case you missed the point. The noob is not on your “ same page “.

Mike
I didn’t miss any points. This conversation was about why not to break out pricing.

Porterfarm suggested that people looking at what work you did and how long it took vs what you charged may find a large enough discrepancy that they put up a fight about it. Regardless of what your contract says, they will feel that you’re overcharging. Hence mentioning this undesirable scenario is important as a deterrent against breaking out all the pricing a la carte.


You could certainly start a thread warning of the siren’s call of discounts, but that’s not what this thread is about.

Obviously the noob is not on the same page, I meant the rest of us commenting.

I think we need to take a break and see other people.
 

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My situation may be different, but I give a line item price on footings, framing, decking, railing, skirting and lighting.

That way they can see what THEY are paying for.

It also shows them there is more than meets the eye.


Mike.
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I can see why you break it out...

About the only item that could be deleted is the lighting....

But by the time you get them the price lighting aint gonna make much difference....
 

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I can see why you break it out...

About the only item that could be deleted is the lighting....

But by the time you get them the price lighting aint gonna make much difference....
Price per light. So if they add lights they already know what it will cost them.


Mike.
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