How to Make an Estimate for a Professional Paint Job

Worker painter paints a wall.Back view. Professional builder makes repairs.

Estimating cost for a paint job can be a tricky task. Neither do you want to pitch so high that you stand way ahead of the market, nor do you wish to pitch so low that you become a low quality service provider and lose the contract. When it comes to estimating a paint job, you have to be just about right and the only way of doing it is by careful analysis of what your customer requires and how effectively you can deliver. Here are 6 steps which I believe are essential to perform if you want to properly estimate costing.

Perform a Site Visit

Start by visiting the place to get the idea of what the site looks like. When it comes to paint job cost estimation, there are many factors that one should pay attention to. Some of them may involve poor wall conditions, darker walls, multiple accents, different colors, etc. measure how much paint will be required and ask the client if they just want the walls painted or they want more like door paints, furniture paints, etc. Also it is better to ask them beforehand if they will supply you with the paint or you will have to arrange it on your own. Whether they would like to get a specific brand or you can choose the one for them. These things will help you estimate the cost more accurately.

Estimate the Cost of Paint

If you are living in the U.S. then paints can cost you somewhere in between $15 to $80 based on the brand and quality which you want to use. On an average, $45 is a good cost estimate per paint gallon. Now estimate the amount of paint you will require for the job and talk to the contractor about discounts. If you have a good relationship with the contractor and you buy a lot of paint from him every month, it will be easier for you to get a sizable discount on your overall paint costs.

Estimate the Cost of Material

If you’re performing an exterior paint job, there will be other material that you will require apart from just the paint. These materials include Primer, Caulking, Tape, Masking Paper, Masking Plastic, etc. The amount of materials that you will be using depends on the amount of paint that will be required. Estimating cost beforehand for the materials will help you devise a better paint job quote.

Therefore, perform a thorough cost estimation and select the best materials for the job. Same as the paint, you can also ask the contractors for a discount on materials and save up some profit.

Estimate Labor Cost

Another area that you should focus upon is labor costing. This can get a bit tricky because on average, a labor may cost you around $20/hour. But to hire a person on the per hour basis can give the labor a leverage to extend the time of performing a paint job as per their own likings. The greater the number of hours, the more you will have to pay to the professional. The best way to avoid this hassle is to discuss everything with the labor beforehand. How much time will they require to perform the paint job and what will be the overall cost per day. Based on the costing, you can then pitch the client accordingly.

Also, it will be wise to keep an extra day for other tasks such as tree removal, wall fixing, or difficult jobs.

Estimate your Markup

Are you new to the painting business or are you an old chip in the block? It will define what markup you should be setting up for yourself. To begin with, you can start with a 30% markup if you’re new to the business. And just in case, if you are a seasoned vancouver painter, then you can begin at a 50% markup as you will be working as a more experienced individual within the respective field. There’s a strong chance that you as a more experienced firm may have a staff, an office, accounting fees or higher sales & marketing costs.

So before you set your markup, make sure to analyze all the overheads and costs involved.

There are several other costs that will be incurred which includes warranty fund, clothing, vehicle and gas. Round up and estimate a desired markup and then make the decision what markup will work best for you.

Lastly, Perform Detailed Calculation

Now you’re finally going to pitch your client so before you do it, make a final calculation.

Assemble every desired cost in one place and sum all the overheads. These may include Paint Cost + Material Cost + Markup + Additional Expenses. Round up the total sum to a close figure and then it’s up to you to choose whether you wish to offer them a discount or make some additional profit. Create a formal document for price estimation and dispatch it to the client representing as a vancouver painting company.