How To Get An Accurate Painting Estimate

GET AN ACCURATE PAINTING ESTIMATE: Once you get the building to stand up, a paint job is needed to convert the walls of brick into a living space. It is needed to transform the look and feel of the commercial or residential space without investing a lot of money. But a painting job is not as simple as it may seem. Apart from prioritizing the business owner’s satisfaction and happiness, you must also ensure that the expenses are being covered and enough profit is being made to keep your business going. And this is when you will require Painting Estimate.

Why go for a Painting Estimate?

Painting Estimate is the first real step towards a clear communication with the customer. They vary in style and a well written professional estimate can help you win the job. Painting Contractors, therefore, are extremely serious about getting the correct estimates. They do not want to overcharge their customers but at the same time, they don’t want to undercharge and make no profit at all or worse, lose money.

Painting Estimates are more than just project price. In addition to the estimated cost, information like the contact information, project timeline, and payment specification are also to be included in writing. The more information you provide, the more likely you are to get the job. For a fair and competitive estimate, you have to determine your fixed costs along with your variable costs and decide on the amount of profit you want to make.

Exterior Paint Jobs

For an exterior painting bid, three things that need to be considered are the total hours of prep work and then the application and total material cost. You need to first determine the total labor cost and the total material cost. Then add them up to get the final cost. Your prep and application hours will depend on the condition your house is in. Therefore it is recommended to break the job down in detail because not all surfaces and trims are created equal.

Size of House (sq ft)Painting Cost ($)

Interior Paint Jobs

Interior painting jobs are always more expensive than an exterior painting job, sometimes costing 2x or 3x the price of an exterior painting job. This is because of the greater surface area and an increased number of walls. There are more doors, windows, closets, and baseboards to cover. A greater amount of paint is required especially because more than 1 coat of paint is needed to cover surfaces especially the ceilings.

Door$50 per door
Moving Furniture$50 per hour

The Labor hours for an interior paint job are greater than an exterior paint job due to the need for a more detailed process for maskup and cleanup. Some painters use the tactic of charging per room ranging from $200-$600 per room, depending upon the size of the room.

Size of House (sq ft)Painting Cost ($)

How to get an Accurate Painting Estimate?

Different professionals utilize different tactics to get an estimate but there is always room for improvement. Here is how you can get an accurate painting estimate.

Visiting the Jobsite

The first thing you need to do is get off the phone and visit the job site. You need to actually see the job and not just hear about it in order to get the estimates correct. The homeowner is not a professional and may not be able to effectively communicate the areas that might require extra materials so if the homeowner is giving a great description, it is not enough.

When you visit the Jobsite, take note of the size of the room, wall hangings, and texture fixers. If there is furniture to be moved, then you must clarify with the homeowner regarding who will be moving the furniture. Make use of the natural light while assessing the room, so don’t schedule your estimates at night or dawn.

Involving the Homeowner

Listening to the homeowner’s concerns and making them feel part of the project is a vital part of the job. The homeowners are not professionals and may require clarifications on some work. Clearing their doubts and bringing them aboard with your methods and your style will help build trust. If they are in it from the start, they are bound to like and be satisfied with it by the end. Instead of just surprising them with the end product, make them a part of the project from the start. By giving a voice to their concerns, you will glean more information about what they actually want.

Writing a Project Plan

Instead of just verbal discussion with the customer, write down what you plan to do and how you plan to actually do it. The Plan will include a summary and a timeline and must be discussed with the customer so that if he/she has as issue with it, you both can resolve it before the work begins. The plan will help the customer know that you understood what he was asking for and correct you if he feels that something was misunderstood.

Calculating Painting Costs

6 expenses are to be considered when estimating a paint job.

1. Paint

In order to determine how much paint will be required, you will need to add the lengths of the walls together and then multiply it by the height of the room. This will give you an area of the room. Now add an extra 10% to this number to cover any waste error. One gallon of paint covers 400 square feet. So if you have the area, you can estimate how many gallons it will require to cover the whole room. If the homeowner is just repainting the room with the same color, you will just need one coat of paint but in case of a different color, you will require two coats of paint. The paint finish also varies the paint cost, so make sure the homeowner is clear about what he intends to use. A gallon of paint can cost anywhere between $15-$30 depending upon the quality, brand, and the contractor discount.

2. Materials

The quantity of materials required depends upon the number of bricks, rooflines, windows, and the amount of prep work needed. For an exterior paint job, the required materials are Masking plastic and paper, tape, caulking and primer. The list is pretty typical but varies greatly depending upon the house. If there is a lot of prep work you might need 3 gallons of primer and 12 tubes of caulking. If a lot of brick and roofline need to be masked off, you might be needing 3 rolls of plastic and 5 rolls of paper.

3. Painting Supplies

A painting job will also require material supplies like brushes, trays, tapes, masks, and cleaning supplies. Include the costs for these in the total cost.

4. Labor Cost

Labor costs must be factored in every estimate especially if you need to bid out for the project. Labor costs are calculated by multiplying the total labor hours with the hourly wage. But estimating labor cost is not that easy because so many factors need to be considered. A basic estimate mostly used by contractors is that 2,500 square foot house exterior can be finished in 1-2 days by a good crew of 2 3 painters. The safest way to get a good labor price is to bring the experienced crew to the house so that they can tell you about the time-consuming things so you can factor in the extra work. One more thing to remember is that if you are inexperienced in this field then it is better to charge more to protect your profit margin. Charging more protects you from an underbid.

Size of the House (sq ft)Full Working DaysTotal Labor Cost ($)

5. Marketing

Whether you use lead providers, lawn signs, or door-knocking for marketing you should always track the overall cost. It’s best to first identify the marketing strategy that gives you the best return on investment and then spend all your money on it. A good rule of thumb is to keep your marketing percentage below 10%. Lead providers typically cost $30-$60 per lead, Lawn signs $10 per sign, Door to Door leads $10 per lead while referrals and lead groups are free of cost.

6. Factoring in your Profit through Markup

It’s extremely important to add markup into your bid so you can earn money for the services that you are providing. For example, if you are spending $1,790 on your painting job and you want to make a 35% profit, then your markup will be $1,010, which means you should charge a total of $2800. One should aim for at least 25% net profit margin

Payment Stipulation

Payment requirements, policies, and deadlines must be provided to the customer in writing to avoid any kind of misinterpretation and problems in the future. You must be clear about when you expect the payment after the job is completed. This clarity will ensure on-time payment.

Work Guarantee and Revisions

A guarantee that the work will be completed as discussed and will be at par with the expectations will relieve your customer, improve his satisfaction, and help build trust. Also, include what will happen in case the customer is not happy with the end product and sees some problems with it. Ensure the customer that such problems will be resolved and properly taken care of. But also clarify that you will not be held responsible if they don’t end up liking the color of the paint that they chose themselves.  

Including Contact Information

Make sure to include your contact information in the document so that the customer can contact you. You can use business cards for this purpose or just write your business name and contact number at the top of the document. You can also pass along your business cards to friends and family as a referral.

Paramount Estimating:

We at Paramount Estimating understanding the importance of an accurate estimate to your project and our team of highly skilled professionals provides estimates with an accuracy rate of 99.99% and a turnaround time of just 24 to 48 hours. We offer our services to all kinds of residential and commercial buildings irrespective of the size. Our estimation services extend across the USA to General Contractors, Sub Contractors, Architects, Consultants and House Constructors. We will help you save a lot of time and money and you will get very competitive rates for takeoff. So the next time you are in need of a professional to provide with you accurate satisfactory estimates make sure to contact us.