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:
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.