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I currently hang and finish drywall. I have done complete remodels in the past and am very proficient at finish carpentry. My question is; How do I bid finish carpentry and trim work for new construction? I need a reliable source without having to contact local contractors and asking the going price.
 

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Cost of materials plus cost of labor plus cost of overhead plus a profit. The cool thing about that formula is it works for just about anything you want to price... from mowing a lawn to building a 30 story hotel.
Sorry about that.. couldn't resist. But honestly it really is that simple. Only you know how fast or efficiently you or your crew can install trimwork.
 

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Bidding / Estimating

dfxdrywall said:
I currently hang and finish drywall. I have done complete remodels in the past and am very proficient at finish carpentry. My question is; How do I bid finish carpentry and trim work for new construction? I need a reliable source without having to contact local contractors and asking the going price.
This is the ultimate question. There is nothing worse the bidding a job too low.
You may want to check out R.S. Means they have books and cds on estimating. It worked for me.
 
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Helo. Ive been a finish carpenter for better than 9 years now and every time I price out a job I attack it mutiple ways.
1) look at cost of material,then mirror that number for labor.
2) A certain price p.s.f.
3) Break the job apart peice by peice and see what each task is worth to you to perform. Also factor in travel time to job, how much more work will come from this customer, and the general attitude of the customer.
4) Look at the man hours on the job and do the math.

I hope this helps. [email protected]
 

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unless it's just a basic builders grade trim job, trim is one of the toughest things to bid. I think matts post is right, you had better brake it down carefully and think it out. A little extra time on a walkthrough and the desk could save your a$$. good luck.
Bob
 

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Don't forget all of the 'other' expenses. Your time putting the est. together. Bookeeping, tax prep, Insurance costs, Workers Comp, vehicle ins., vehicle depreciation, wear and tear on tools, etc., ad infinitum.
If you are good never sell yourself short, the people that you are working for are, most likley, business people as well. Start to expain your situation and they will understand and sympathize. Failing that, walk. And expect a phone call in a day or two when they realize all of the weasels that they are up against.
Simple key to success.
Be on time! I often know where I am going, driven past the house 20 mins. before our meeting. I'll park down the street and have coffee then show up about 2-3 mins. early.
Be clean, smell good, be well dressed.
Be polite. Manners count for everything.
Practice verbage. People with money are, generally, educated. If you hm and haw or use a lot of uhs, you have lost their respect and confidence. Know what you are talking about!
Most intelligent buyers are not looking for the lowest bid, they are looking in the middle. Put yourself in the middle and sell you.
 

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Teetor.. one of the most difficult thing I've had to teach to someone (or attempt to teach) is knowing what they are talking about before jumping into a conversation with someone. It's not enough to be educated and know how to build and know the pros / cons etc.. you have to be able to convey that message in your heart and soul.. you must believe you know it.
Oh and I was going to mention "other" costs is overhead in my formula - but thanks for the expansion of it. Another difficult one to get OE's to add into change order pricing is overhead costs.
 

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I quess I should say that everyone has given good advice and in the building trades it is allways smart to listen to others before you form your own solid opinion.
but you should remember that just because you know what your talking about and have allready ran through the job in your head, shot a reasonable offer and received alot of smiles over an 3 hour takeoff it does not guarantee that you will get the job, let alone ever hear from the potential customer again.
Im not trying to bring you down, just remember that if you feal youve done a fair job, stick to your guns, but stiil listen.
 
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New England Costs

I have been doing finish work for 20 years.
Crown molding @$2.00 lf
Baseboard @$0.50 lf
Chair rail @$0.50 lf
Pre-hung doors @$25 ea
simple window trim out @$30 ea

the above prices are paint grade, stain grade is a little more

Stairs depend upon your skill level. Ususally about $1000 to $2000 depending upon complexity and whether carpeted, stained, painted, or a combination of the above.

[email protected]

etc
 

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Very true. I bid some casing word in a bank. Gave them the full scope of what work I was going to perform. After I finished, one of the employees walked by and said "What are the indents every so often?" I said "Oh that's where the nail goes in to attach the casing to the jamb and wall." I had puttied it and you couldn't see it at all - but you could feel just a tiny indent. She said "Is there anyway to get rid of them?" I said "Sure there is - but glueing the casing on is going to be 3 times more expensive and take 3 times as long"
That ended the conversation. It's all about expectations.
 

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I like that reply

I got my laugh for the day. Nice come back!

hatchet said:
Very true. I bid some casing word in a bank. Gave them the full scope of what work I was going to perform. After I finished, one of the employees walked by and said "What are the indents every so often?" I said "Oh that's where the nail goes in to attach the casing to the jamb and wall." I had puttied it and you couldn't see it at all - but you could feel just a tiny indent. She said "Is there anyway to get rid of them?" I said "Sure there is - but glueing the casing on is going to be 3 times more expensive and take 3 times as long"
That ended the conversation. It's all about expectations.
 

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Let every man do his job.
Well done!
 

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Trim in NC is paying about $1000 per day (Labor Only) This is moving fast with as many guys as you need. Typically 3000 square feet, doors, base, windows (stool apron casing), crown (dining living foyer master), 2 piece chair rail, basic stairs, open treads coming down with carpet.
Builders will pay that any day of the week, if you can get it done in 3 days or less.
Hope this helps!

Sunnyholme
 
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