Pricing/estimating is the hardest aspect of the trade (I think). If it was easy, everybody would be a successful contractor. There are volumes of info to be dicussed on this. Be a little more specific, and maybe we can help.
My bids look like a couple off pages of computer programing.
I started using a software based sytem for invoices and estimating.
You insert your prices, it assigns a code, and when u enter the sqft on the estimate window, it calculates the total cost.
But swish, on all the codes I put into the invoice system, I have a total of 22 for different codes for interiors and 36 for exteriors.
For interiors I have a sqft price
addtional per sqft for textured ceilings
addtional per sqft for addtional coats past 2
addtional per sqft for moving of furniture (some customers have teenage boys)
wood trim per foot
and so on and so on.....even more for exteriors.
Ive been painting for a while, but this is only my 2nd year in business.
My 1st year, I charged and hourly rate plus expenses. My 1st year went very well, alot of my solid work coming from general contractors.
But alot of points have been made on previous threads...
Hourly jobs you will have the customer standing behind you looking at his watch, but its not a bad way to charge for sub contract work. Most contractors understand how a day goes.
You have to figure out whats best for you. Nathan is right too, it depends on where you live...I live in Mid-Michigan, where I'm very competative in my prices.
But only an hour and 15 minutes down I-75 in detroit, the average painting cost is almost 3 times what it is here.
Josh, you mention wallpaper stripping. There has been a lot of debate among paperhangers on how they charge for removal. How did you come about with your sq. ft. price? And for curiousity sake, would you share what that is?
To be honest with you Pro.
For the things like stripping and hanging wallpaper, (I only hang borders, but I strip everything else), I tired to base everything of an hourly rate since I work alone.
I know how much 5 yards of wallpaper boarder costs, and I know how long it takes me to hang it. So I will tell you flat out what I charge in Mid-Michigan, to hang wallpaper borders I charge 2.00 per foot.
But your wanted to know about stripping. Again I base it off of an hourly rate, and what kind of adhesive is holding the paper onto the wall. (Ive been in some older homes, where I swear thay used concrete to put the wallpaper up)
But basically for stripping borders, I charge the same that I do to put it up, 2.00 per ft.
For stripping full walls or half walls, based on what I want to make per hour, I arrived at .75¢ per sqft. (8x10 wall will cost 60.00)
But I always have a clause in the bid stating that if the wallpaper is old, or have more adhesive holding it to the wall, there will be an addtional .25¢ per sqft.
Dont misunderstand me though, I rarley hang wallpaper, just borders, so my knowledge of the actual product is dim. But I sure as hell strip alot of it in some older homes that I repaint.
Also, my prices are based for competition in my area, as I said in my above post, my buddy has a painting business 1 hour away in Detroit and he's getting almost 3 times the money I do. And he stays competitive and never hurts for business.
Oh Btw Pro,
The .75¢ and addtional .25¢ is per wall stft and not floor plan sqft. Sometimes I confused ppl with that. I do wall sqft because, as your probally know, you go into a room that has only 1 wall with paper hung. So I very well cant have a floor plan sqft price that I throw into the bill when Im only doing 1 wall.
Sounds good to me. Keep track of it each time you strip, and you'll learn each and every primer/adhesive combo there is. The toughest??? A home brew when someone doesn't prime and applies clear adhesive to prepasted paper. Comes off best with C-4 or dynamite, whichever is handier.
Historical data/production rates is IMO the best way to set prices. And don't forget profit/overhead.
I had one where they floated the wall with joint compound or something, then put the wallpaper over it while it was still wet. There was one short wall and one long wall....the wallpaper on the short wall was coming off so it ended up being a fairly easy job but once I started on the long wall.........unfrickinbelievablely tedious! I had to refloat the walls and then retexture.
LoL, I had this one, a 12x8 wall, where the wallpaper would not come off even if I used a flamethrower(hypothetical). Very old house. I told the customer it would be too time consuming to strip it, therefore being too expensive for her.
So I grabbed a gallon of oil base Kilz, gave it two coats, and it looked like a new wall. lol
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