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I've been painting for 6 years, mostly paid hourly and have done mostly repaints and restorations in commercial settings. I'm new to painting new residental construction by bid and I have alot of questions regarding labor rates.
I accepted an offer from a local builder to paint the interior of eight two bedroom apartments. After completing the job, I was amazed at how little money was involved for the amount of time it took. The builder supplied the paint.
The specifics are to apply two coats (same color) of latex to all wall surfaces (new drywall) with only having to cut in the ceiling since the work was done before the trim carpenter installed any cabinets, base, doors and molding. There was nothing to cut in around except for where the walls met the textured ceiling which was not painted. The total wall sq. ft. per apartment was 1,984 times 2 for two coats. (a total of 3968 sq ft to be painted). Other than that the only other thing to be painted was two coats of paint of two new steel doors. The job paid 250.00 per apartment for labor only. Im not exactally how everyone estimates (wall sq. ft. or floor sq ft?), but the labor rate worked out to 6.3 cents per sq ft per coat. I know new residental construction rates are low, but I would really like to know how anyone with experience in new construction feels about this scenario. It would help me out a great deal to know how this stacks up.
Thanks, Bret
 

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If that job were here, I'd be enjoying my dinner of beanie wienies curbside and hoping that the cops would pick me up so that I'd have a place to sleep.
 

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When he offered to have you paint them, did he offer you that price as well? As a painting contractor, you should be setting the price, and I would have sent that fella packing real fast with a JOKE of a price like that. Put it this way, you were paid less than what I charge PER DAY on a job, for the entire 4,000 sq ft of painting. When he said $250, did you tell him he at least forgot one zero? If you can't even get them to pay one month's worth of rent to paint it, you're wasting your time. Don't fool yourself, they make their money back as soon as someone moves in......Do us all a favor, walk away laughing next time someone asks for work so cheap.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
AAPaint said:
When he offered to have you paint them, did he offer you that price as well? As a painting contractor, you should be setting the price, and I would have sent that fella packing real fast with a JOKE of a price like that. Put it this way, you were paid less than what I charge PER DAY on a job, for the entire 4,000 sq ft of painting. When he said $250, did you tell him he at least forgot one zero? If you can't even get them to pay one month's worth of rent to paint it, you're wasting your time. Don't fool yourself, they make their money back as soon as someone moves in......Do us all a favor, walk away laughing next time someone asks for work so cheap.
I knew it was low, but obviously not that low. As I stated in my original post, I'm new to high production residential painting on new construction, so I had no idea of what any going rates were. I figured I would just give it a try at that rate to get my feet wet. Thank you for your reply

Bret
 

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...jammin
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Bret said:
...the labor rate worked out to 6.3 cents per sq ft per coat...I would really like to know how anyone with experience in new construction feels about this scenario.
That's horrible
Please don't ever do that again
It's almost a tenth of what you should be charging
Next time please ask here before you do the job
:)
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Price per sq ft.

slickshift said:
That's horrible
Please don't ever do that again
It's almost a tenth of what you should be charging
Next time please ask here before you do the job
:)
Could you tell me what prices per sq ft is acceptable in new construction for labor only? I have no idea what others are getting.
 

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...jammin
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Bret said:
Could you tell me what prices per sq ft is acceptable in new construction for labor only? I have no idea what others are getting.
Oh, sorry, I was thinking including materials, as that's how I do it
But still, that's way too low
It really depends on what's going on, I can't really tell till I put an eyeball on it
PITA and Fudge Factors, ladders, cutting, fixtures, etc., etc.....
But off hand, $0.78 sq. ft. mat. inc. using Pittsburg Speed Hide (contractor grade)
That stuff I get for about $12 a gal. so not much of that $0.78 is for paint
Also your area could be reeeeeeeal different than mine
Labor here is about 20% over Nat. Avg.
You could be 20% under...
 

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Discussion Starter #8
reply

slickshift said:
Oh, sorry, I was thinking including materials, as that's how I do it
But still, that's way too low
It really depends on what's going on, I can't really tell till I put an eyeball on it
PITA and Fudge Factors, ladders, cutting, fixtures, etc., etc.....
But off hand, $0.78 sq. ft. mat. inc. using Pittsburg Speed Hide (contractor grade)
That stuff I get for about $12 a gal. so not much of that $0.78 is for paint
Also your area could be reeeeeeeal different than mine
Labor here is about 20% over Nat. Avg.
You could be 20% under...
The region in central Ohio and the builder is a very hands on person that does everything the cheapest way possible. I was using Glidden speed flow which he supplied and pays $8.00 a gallon for. Its the worst paint i've ever used. He didnt even want to use a primer. I've ordered a painting contractors estimating book off of ebay to see what info it contains regarding area, ect.
 

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about estimate

in ca you pay yourself between 40 to 50 an hour and 15 to 20 for the people that help you, i hope that help you, or you can use cost estimator fro a website contractor.com.
 

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Teetorbilt said:
If that job were here, I'd be enjoying my dinner of beanie wienies curbside and hoping that the cops would pick me up so that I'd have a place to sleep.
Beanie Weinies are that expensive where you're at, eh?

How long did it take to earn this 2,000 dollars?
 

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I would have charged $1 a s/f to do the two coats, if he supplied the paint, but when he asked me to shoot it without any primer, I'd have told him to paint it himself. No matter how good a paint you use on fresh hung drywall without a primer every seam & butt joint is going to stand out like a sore thumb. This guy sounds like a real jerkwad of a GC and not someone you want to work for on a regular basis.
 

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housedocs said:
No matter how good a paint you use on fresh hung drywall without a primer every seam & butt joint is going to stand out like a sore thumb.
Yeah Bret the no primer thing is real bad
 
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Bret said:
I was using Glidden speed flow which he supplied and pays $8.00 a gallon for. Its the worst paint i've ever used.
Hmmm...guess you haven't used Behr then?
 

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Bret, you'll probably want to start refusing work when others supply the paint
Unless they supply to your specs
I also agree with housedocs that you'll probably not want to work for this guy much longer
He's a hack
Believe me, it will not take long for word to get around that you are a hack
It won't matter that you are doing your best, you'll still get the hack label by working for one
Then no-one will touch you for any real jobs
 

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You need production rates first
Gyp bd. ceiling (2) coats flat 90-150sf per hour.
walls (2) coats flat (using same product, not primer and finish coat) 200-250 sf per hour.
etc. etc.
Get the PDCA estimating guide available thru http://www.pdca.com.
If your serious about education, I'd be glad to help you. You can contact me at [email protected].

Good luck
Brian
http://www.drucksinc.com
 

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Brett

What I usually do is I give my estimate by the room size. All of my estimates includes one coat of paint. Usually on pre-painted surfaces. If another coat is needed then I charge half the price. A coat of primer is a coat of paint. Before anyone signs a contract the customer is fully aware of what is and what is not included. I have yet to go wrong with any of my prices. They are always fair and competitive.
 
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