PaintPRO , Vol. 7, No. 6
November/December 2005
PaintPRO, Vol 7 No 5

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Other articles in this issue:
Clear Wood Finishes
Keep Mold at Bay
Better Caulking Techniques
Estimating, Etc.
Contractor Profile: Catchlight, Inc.
Manufacturer Profile: California Paints
Paint Industry News
Product News
Product Profiles
Toolbox: Measuring Devices

PaintPRO Current Issue

Estimating Etc.
During the course of these articles, we have discussed and reviewed a couple of different pricing methods: unit prices and summary of costs.
by Len Hijuelos

There is yet another method that is widely used in the residential repaint market. Since our company does very little residential repaint work, I’ve adapted a format that I use for some of our smaller commercial repaint work, such as painting a suite of offices. For want of a better term, we will call this the “Day Labor” method, which might be considered a variation of the “Summary of Costs,” which we discussed in previous articles.

It is probably an individual quirk of mine, but I find that I arrive at a more realistic cost by using this method rather than the summary or unit-price method. In effect, you are focusing more on time than on square feet of surface. One of the factors that enters into this is that in the repaint market you have things to contend with that you don’t have in new construction, such as moving furniture, protection of flooring, prep work, etc. Let’s look at a couple of rooms in an existing residence in which we have to paint ceilings, walls, and trim, including doors. Our pricing sheet might look something like this:

Work Process
Living Room
Move furniture, mask, etc.
4 hrs.
Paint ceiling, one coat
1 gal. flat latex
Paint walls, two coats
4 gal. flat latex
Paint trim, one coat
1 gal. semigloss
Replace furniture, demask
Move furniture, mask, etc.
Paint ceiling, one coat
1 gal. flat latex
Paint walls, two coats
3 gal. flat latex
Paint trim, one coat
1 gal. semigloss
Replace furniture, demask
Labor 31 hrs. @ $16
Payroll taxes, insurance 32%
Flat latex 9 gals. @ $12.50
Semigloss 2 gal. @ $16.50
Sales tax 8%
Subtotal $1,813
Overhead and profit 45%
Total $1,179    

Obviously, there can be many variations on this format. The main thing is to be sure that your assessments of time and materials are realistic. Like any other pricing method, there are no magic numbers; your assessments will be based on your experience.

Probably, the people who can make best use of this type of pricing are those that are not sure of their ability to make a take-off of square feet of walls, ceilings, etc. Based on the questions and requests for information we see in the chat rooms, it would appear that the majority of these people are in the residential repaint market. This type of format could well be a good starting point.


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