Estimating Paint Jobs

Estimating paint jobs accurately and profitably is one of the biggest challenges faced by painting contractors. You must determine the labor and material requirements for the job, and your accuracy in doing so will determine your profitability. Considering the number of substrates, variables, conditions, and other factors involved, this can seem like an impossible task.


The Myth of Estimating by the Square Foot

It is not uncommon for a painting contractor to ask what price he should charge per square foot. In and of itself, this may seem like a plausible question. However, the square foot involved is on the floor, rather than a paintable surface.

This type of pricing is common in new construction. It provides an […]

The Bare Bones of Estimating Paint Jobs

New contractors often ask how to estimate jobs. The following formula applies to any kind of painting job—interior or exterior, large or small, commercial or residential:

Total price = (((Overhead per man hour) + (Average wage + labor burden)) X Man hours) + (Materials + Material markup) + (Other expenses + markup) + Profit

While […]

The Eye-ball and the Low-ball

At one time or another, most painting contractors have used the “eye-ball” method of estimating. They simply look at the job—eye-ball it—and come up with a price. While this method can be reasonably accurate at times, it is fraught with potential problems. It can be easy to overlook details of the job, it is not […]

You charged too much

Occasionally a customer will complain that a job didn’t take as long as they expected it to take. They may be happy with the work, but not the time it took us to complete it. They may make noises that we should reduce the price.

The simple solution is to point out that they agreed […]