Paint Job Estimating

How to: Estimating Painting Jobs is the most asked question and the most often viewed articles that I write.

Painters have been around for a long time, so paint estimating is not "rocket surgery". I can give you a starting point based on my job costs; absolutely You need to create a job cost history of your own.

To estimate painting an interior room, I measure this room, say 12Lx16Wx8H, and otherwise I have a lot of open space, I do not deduct for doors or windows, normally. I take two widths (24) PLUS 2 lengths (32) TIMES the height (8), or 448. 4.48 (because in construction we count in "hundreds" so 448 = 4.48 hundreds, right?) X.667 x $ 25 = $ 74.70 to roll one coat of latex paint on a smooth wall. Not counting paint.

So, let's say I estimate painting one hundred square feet of smooth wall surface at the rate of.667 hours. In other words if I charge $ 25 / hour (I would probably say to go to work at the post office instead), because you are not making $ 25 after expenses, but let's pursue this. One hundred square feet of wall in a re-paint, not new construction, because painting new construction is a much lower rate per square foot because a painter can go much faster. Why? Setting up, protection, preparation and cleanup are almost zero. So when you painters talk to each other, make sure that you are talking apples to apples.

Any, so my rate is $ 16.67 to paint 100 square feet of wall in a lived in home not new construction.
So point one, is that our estimate?

Where do we estimate prep, cleanup, replacing plate covers, traveling to buy paint, break time (nobody works 8 hours in an 8 hour day unless you are superman), cleanup, dealing with the customer.

Point two in paint estimating.

Why this is only a starting point is that:

1) You may go faster or slower than me so you have to time yourself and / or your crew. And then use your job times not mine. Each house may have different rates. Your crew is faster or slower.
2) What if it takes you 3 hours to drive to the job?

This list could go on forever, but we need guide lines.

Keep track of how long it takes your crew to do a room.

Start your painting estimate with YOUR historical time to paint a room or door or window. And then look at it individually, for example, do you have to stop working and leave the house when the mother takes the kids to school?
Do you have to clean up each night?

How much spackle?
How much prep?
Clean up?

Your competition is not other painters your competition is yourself.