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New here and new to home improvement business and want to knowyou charge installation cost? Do you charge per sq ft?

Customer already has all new fixtures.

Small bathroom remodel
Removing current combo shower, sink and replacing it with new fixtures.
 

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New here and new to home improvement business and want to knowyou charge installation cost? Do you charge per sq ft?

Customer already has all new fixtures.

Small bathroom remodel
Removing current combo shower, sink and replacing it with new fixtures.
SF is just a unit of measurment, just like LF, CF, etc. The successful use of any of them falls into how accurate the underlying numbers are... so as Griz said, you HAVE to know your numbers... just as one simple example of underlying numbers being converted to SF...

Let's say you want to make $75-$100K/year... if you work 40 hours a week (likely more but another discussion) that's 2080 work hours a week... that's $36 ($75K) to $48 ($100K) per hour JUST for what you want to make and does not include any of your other costs (i.e. - overhead, taxes, etc.)... So now, you guesstimate that it'll take you roughly 50 hours to do an average 7x10 bathoom...

50 hours
x $36 - $48 hour
= $1800 - $2400

To get your "SF" just for that number, you'd then divide that $1800 - $2400 by the 70SF to get you to $26-$35 SF for a 7x10 bathroom... I use this simple example, using only ONE of your costs, to demonstrate to you that if you are OFF on your guesstimate of the hours it takes you and it takes you 60 hours, that LOSS cascades throughout your SF pricing because the underlying numbers were not accurate...

SF (or LF, CF, etc.) pricing is better off used for materials that already have those fixed costs associated to them...

The better way to insulate yourself from being "off" on your guesstimate in hours is using LOMP (see my next post)...
 

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L - Labor
O - Overhead
M - Materials
P - Profit

Labor... this includes what you want to make GROSS every year for you and anyone you employ, PLUS taxes, Insurance, bene's, retirement, etc....

Overhead... Shop, cell, advertising, WC, electric, heat, vehicle insurance, any vehicle payments, accountant, equipment maintenance, office supplies, etc...

(These two figures (Labor and Overhead) are added together and divided by 2080 hours (40-hour week) and this is the MINIMUM you can charge per hour as they are a CONSTANT. So if you expect a job to take a day and a half, you better assume TWO days unless you are somehow able to fit another job in that half day (unlikely)... so you would take the hourly cost from this calculation and multiply it by 16 (two 8-hour days).) If you have a day where you had no business, it NEEDS to be accounted for in your upcoming jobs if you do not have capital reserved or an emergency fund to absorb it. Until you have a strong understanding of your numbers and get more accurate at guesstimating the hours it takes you to do something, you are better off multiplying this number by a factor of 1.25

Materials... these are what your materials will cost for the project. Everything. Then you add a percentage for handling, delivery, etc... I should also mention, we've taken to adding gas to materials because of it's variable nature. We record how many miles it takes to get to a prospects house for the estimate, and calculate our average gas price for the month and build it into materials. Because we add a percentage on top for handling/delivery, it helps cover any variance... Because you will know what they charge, subs can be included in this category...

Profit - this is what you pay your company, (NOT to be confused with your pay left over after a job, which is covered under Labor) which is based on all of the above... so add up Labor, Overhead, Materials and then multiply x whatever profit margin % you have determined you need. This goes towards things like 3-6 months of Capital Reserves, Emergency Fund and Equipment purchases...

If you do not have PROFIT built into your pricing, there is only ONE place it can come from.... YOUR pocket... EVERYONE ELSE still expects to be paid (subs, suppliers, insurance, taxes, etc.)...

Your challenge is when you add up the numbers for the above (the only variable should be materials and the Profit percentage will take care of itself as it is based on the other three) is you will be surprised at how much it indeed costs you to be in business...

Then you will have to go after the business that can support what you need to make... and then you will come to realize that not everyone is your customer, but only those who can support what you need to be in business... If you drop your pants on a job to "buy it", if you have not accrued any capital reserves or emergency fund, it comes DIRECTLY out of your pocket...

There's no secret involved... just getting to know your prices and what YOU need to charge, not what the other guy charges, which is irrelevant to what YOU need to charge... all this assumes you're an actual contractor and not a homeowner, but might be a good education if you are as homeowners have no clue as to what it costs to be in business nowadays...

Best of luck... 8^)
 

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You know whats sad ... i work for a very large property management company, assigned to a very large account. Lots of new build and renovation work. As we all know, no 2 projects are the same. But they are really bog on tracking SF costs.
 

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Square foot costs are a valid yardstick for generating a rough estimate or checking your price. Some trades work very well with square foot pricing, flooring and drywall come to mind. For complete projects, you can get away with it in some markets that are experiencing a boom because everyone is asking outrageous prices.
A lot of my estimating is square foot with a minimum and a difficulty modifier.
 

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L - Labor
O - Overhead
M - Materials
P - Profit

Labor... this includes what you want to make GROSS every year for you and anyone you employ, PLUS taxes, Insurance, bene's, retirement, etc....

Overhead... Shop, cell, advertising, WC, electric, heat, vehicle insurance, any vehicle payments, accountant, equipment maintenance, office supplies, etc...

(These two figures (Labor and Overhead) are added together and divided by 2080 hours (40-hour week) and this is the MINIMUM you can charge per hour as they are a CONSTANT. So if you expect a job to take a day and a half, you better assume TWO days unless you are somehow able to fit another job in that half day (unlikely)... so you would take the hourly cost from this calculation and multiply it by 16 (two 8-hour days).) If you have a day where you had no business, it NEEDS to be accounted for in your upcoming jobs if you do not have capital reserved or an emergency fund to absorb it. Until you have a strong understanding of your numbers and get more accurate at guesstimating the hours it takes you to do something, you are better off multiplying this number by a factor of 1.25

Materials... these are what your materials will cost for the project. Everything. Then you add a percentage for handling, delivery, etc... I should also mention, we've taken to adding gas to materials because of it's variable nature. We record how many miles it takes to get to a prospects house for the estimate, and calculate our average gas price for the month and build it into materials. Because we add a percentage on top for handling/delivery, it helps cover any variance... Because you will know what they charge, subs can be included in this category...

Profit - this is what you pay your company, (NOT to be confused with your pay left over after a job, which is covered under Labor) which is based on all of the above... so add up Labor, Overhead, Materials and then multiply x whatever profit margin % you have determined you need. This goes towards things like 3-6 months of Capital Reserves, Emergency Fund and Equipment purchases...

If you do not have PROFIT built into your pricing, there is only ONE place it can come from.... YOUR pocket... EVERYONE ELSE still expects to be paid (subs, suppliers, insurance, taxes, etc.)...

Your challenge is when you add up the numbers for the above (the only variable should be materials and the Profit percentage will take care of itself as it is based on the other three) is you will be surprised at how much it indeed costs you to be in business...

Then you will have to go after the business that can support what you need to make... and then you will come to realize that not everyone is your customer, but only those who can support what you need to be in business... If you drop your pants on a job to "buy it", if you have not accrued any capital reserves or emergency fund, it comes DIRECTLY out of your pocket...

There's no secret involved... just getting to know your prices and what YOU need to charge, not what the other guy charges, which is irrelevant to what YOU need to charge... all this assumes you're an actual contractor and not a homeowner, but might be a good education if you are as homeowners have no clue as to what it costs to be in business nowadays...

Best of luck... 8^)
Great formula. I also like to include what I call the "Aggravation Factor". This is for when the job gets a bit tricky and takes a little longer than expected.
 

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Stelzer Painting Inc.
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It's important to differentiate between the total square footage of an area vs. floor square footage. They are too often used interchangeably, but are usually completely different figures. Flooring guys can use floor square footage no problem, and if you were doing work on ceilings in a 1-level home, flooring square footage could also be useful. For most other applications, it pays to calculate the total square footage of the work in question.

Ex: Drywaller provides a builder a price to hang, mud & texture walls & ceilings. He gives the builder his rate based on floor square footage. His 1st house with that builder is a 1-level ranch, 8' ceilings, and the drywaller does great on the job, favorable margins, completes it on time, everybody's happy.

His 2nd house with that same builder is also a 1 level, but this one has vaulted ceilings throughout. Both the 1st & 2nd houses had very similar floor square footages, and since drywaller bases his prices on floor square footage, his price is very similar to the 1st house. Drywaller is falling behind and having to take money out of his pocket to cover the difference in materials & labor. Builder's pissed he's taking so long and that he keeps requesting more money, Drywaller realizes he's having to furnish 35% more materials and roughly 50% more labor. Drywaller's employee quits cuz his boss can't even cut his check on Fridays anymore. Builder never works with him again.

Know what to measure and account for and know your numbers. They are yours and yours alone. Finding out my numbers will do you no good unless you plan on being my accountant. Good luck.
 

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It's important to differentiate between the total square footage of an area vs. floor square footage. They are too often used interchangeably, but are usually completely different figures. Flooring guys can use floor square footage no problem, and if you were doing work on ceilings in a 1-level home, flooring square footage could also be useful. For most other applications, it pays to calculate the total square footage of the work in question.

Ex: Drywaller provides a builder a price to hang, mud & texture walls & ceilings. He gives the builder his rate based on floor square footage. His 1st house with that builder is a 1-level ranch, 8' ceilings, and the drywaller does great on the job, favorable margins, completes it on time, everybody's happy.

His 2nd house with that same builder is also a 1 level, but this one has vaulted ceilings throughout. Both the 1st & 2nd houses had very similar floor square footages, and since drywaller bases his prices on floor square footage, his price is very similar to the 1st house. Drywaller is falling behind and having to take money out of his pocket to cover the difference in materials & labor. Builder's pissed he's taking so long and that he keeps requesting more money, Drywaller realizes he's having to furnish 35% more materials and roughly 50% more labor. Drywaller's employee quits cuz his boss can't even cut his check on Fridays anymore. Builder never works with him again.

Know what to measure and account for and know your numbers. They are yours and yours alone. Finding out my numbers will do you no good unless you plan on being my accountant. Good luck.
You're getting a bit into the weeds here. In your drywall example with 99" walls and vaulted ceilings, the fellow would have a different sqft price or a modifier. The point of it all is to have a base number to compare against. If your bid comes up at $83 a square foot and you've never been under $120, it's time to have a close look at the numbers.
 

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I use a general sf price for areas like flooring, sheetrock, and paint, but that all gets grouped in to my final job price.

I have more of a "standard hall bath is this price" on bath remodels, it would equate to 275-300 sf, but I've never tried that sales pitch before lol

- Rich
 

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Stelzer Painting Inc.
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You're getting a bit into the weeds here. In your drywall example with 99" walls and vaulted ceilings, the fellow would have a different sqft price or a modifier. The point of it all is to have a base number to compare against. If your bid comes up at $83 a square foot and you've never been under $120, it's time to have a close look at the numbers.
Not off in the weeds at all, and you're proving my point in your comment. In my example, the drywaller would've used the same price for each and not had a modifier or multiplier because he hasn't had the foresight to inact one. My point was that it's useless to discuss square-foot prices for anything other than floors without considering total surface area, then factor your pricing based on that. You can't have a multiplier or modifier without first considering something other than straight floor square footage. And if we're actually talking about something other than price per floor square feet, then it'd be helpful to mention that.

Crazy how many folks still rely on floor square footage as a unit of measure for anything other than a basic starting point. I'm still asked to give "ballpark" prices based on floor square footage on a weekly basis. Since I don't do floors and haven't seen the property, I'm unable to accommodate.
 

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Not off in the weeds at all, and you're proving my point in your comment. In my example, the drywaller would've used the same price for each and not had a modifier or multiplier because he hasn't had the foresight to inact one. My point was that it's useless to discuss square-foot prices for anything other than floors without considering total surface area, then factor your pricing based on that. You can't have a multiplier or modifier without first considering something other than straight floor square footage. And if we're actually talking about something other than price per floor square feet, then it'd be helpful to mention that.

Crazy how many folks still rely on floor square footage as a unit of measure for anything other than a basic starting point. I'm still asked to give "ballpark" prices based on floor square footage on a weekly basis. Since I don't do floors and haven't seen the property, I'm unable to accommodate.
I give ballpark prices all the time. I work primarily with architects and they usually want a rough estimate when the preliminary plans are firmed up enough to get footages, window types, and a general idea of how the framing will go together. I've done this on pretty much every project I've done for the last ten or twelve years. I'm generally within 10% of what the actual bid ends up being. Often, I'm a lot closer than that.
The biggest benefit for me has nothing to do with pricing. It get's me in on the ground floor. I'm the guy with the answers to their questions, I'm the guy they come to with any concerns they might have. I'm the guy the architects say they loves to work with. So when it's time to build the project, I'm the guy the owner comes to. Often as not, I get the project as the only bid.
All of those budgets are based on simple square footage. Floors are quick and easy. Floor square footage multiplied by 3.5 will get you pretty close on drywall for 8' walls, just add ceiling, another very easy number to get. Siding footage is even simpler, it's axb, done. Roofing, gutter, foundation, are all easy numbers to find, and lend them selves well to sqft estimates. High end wood windows can get dirty fast, but by looking back at prior work it turns out that a thousand bucks a hole is a really good starting place, then toss that number in as an allowance amount.

This is just how I go about getting a budget number. It works for me, it might not work for you. It only takes a couple of hours and I quickly get a pretty good snapshot of the entire project. When the plans are complete I get another run at it, and that's where things get a better breakdown.
 

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Stelzer Painting Inc.
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I give ballpark prices all the time. I work primarily with architects and they usually want a rough estimate when the preliminary plans are firmed up enough to get footages, window types, and a general idea of how the framing will go together. I've done this on pretty much every project I've done for the last ten or twelve years. I'm generally within 10% of what the actual bid ends up being. Often, I'm a lot closer than that.
The biggest benefit for me has nothing to do with pricing. It get's me in on the ground floor. I'm the guy with the answers to their questions, I'm the guy they come to with any concerns they might have. I'm the guy the architects say they loves to work with. So when it's time to build the project, I'm the guy the owner comes to. Often as not, I get the project as the only bid.
All of those budgets are based on simple square footage. Floors are quick and easy. Floor square footage multiplied by 3.5 will get you pretty close on drywall for 8' walls, just add ceiling, another very easy number to get. Siding footage is even simpler, it's axb, done. Roofing, gutter, foundation, are all easy numbers to find, and lend them selves well to sqft estimates. High end wood windows can get dirty fast, but by looking back at prior work it turns out that a thousand bucks a hole is a really good starting place, then toss that number in as an allowance amount.

This is just how I go about getting a budget number. It works for me, it might not work for you. It only takes a couple of hours and I quickly get a pretty good snapshot of the entire project. When the plans are complete I get another run at it, and that's where things get a better breakdown.
I don't disagree with your methods and I'm not opposed to giving ballpark pricing if you have an idea of the scope of work at hand. I keep saying that it's not constructive to provide pricing based on floor square footage alone without knowing the specs and scope, and you keep saying you do it all the time once you have an idea of specs & scope.

You continue to use multipliers in your example by considering other factors than straight floor footage. I've continued to state that something other than floor footage needs considering, (hence the need for multipliers, or modifiers, as you call them). I'm pretty sure we can put this debate to bed now.
 
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