I was contacted by a local assisted living facility to give them a bid to paint the hallways, stairwells, elevator vestibules, office areas, kitchen and dining areas, and common rooms for their 3 story 130 unit building. The paint to be applied is a neutral color, and it is going over the existing neutral color. This all had to be painted while residents were milling around. Special care had to be taken to make sure all drop cloths were taped, and sealed, so as not to present a trip hazard.
The bid was to include making any necessary surface repairs, remove wall paper from three common rooms, some border from various other places, then prime and paint the hallways. I was also to include staining the decks and railings of 86 - 6 x 12 balconies, an exterior shed measuring 15 x 20, 2 large gates, and the columns and entry way of the building. All in all I figured to paint approximately 48600 ft² of wall surface, 7000 ft² of ceiling, one side of 130 doors, and both sides of another 20 or so, about 1250 ft² of trim. Then all the exterior staining. I figured .35 ft² to repair, prime, and paint the interior surfaces. My final bid was $52,731. I figured this was a very good bid, but was told I was way off base from what the other contractors bid. I asked, but could not find out what the other bids were. They were not looking to negotiate price, they flat out told me I lost the bid because I was was too high.
I am a residential builder, not a painting contractor. this was my first commercial painting bid. What in the hell did I do wrong? What might some of the painting contractors here have bid for the job as I described it. I would appreciate any constructive comments you might have.