Are you a subscriber but don’t have an online account?

Register for full online access.

 
 
 
 
+ Reply to Thread
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 21
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    St Louis, Mo for the past 25 years
    Posts
    7,464

    Default painting rule of thumb

    I am going to post this here and hope that Jerald Hayes does not see this. He hates the square foot approach to estimating. I used to read and know of some sort of rough estimating formula that you used to get how many square feet of wall space you had. Seems like there was some sort of formula that square feet of floor was multiplied by 3.5 or some number to get an idea of how much wall space there was. And it was 3.75 if you had walls over 8 but less than 10.

    Anyone know what I am talking about? Would use it to get a quick idea of what amount of area and paint is needed for the occasional quick guestimate.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Boston
    Posts
    157

    Default Re: painting rule of thumb

    I kind of remember that 3.5 number, and doing some quick calcs tells me that's not too bad if you include ceilings. Of course it depends on the room sizes and heights (as well as wall roughness), with smaller, taller rooms coming in at around 4, and more 'normal' rooms around 3.5 on average. I checked with one of the "major players in estimating tools", and they come in right around 3 up to 9' walls.

    If you just want wall area, and not ceilings, then subtract 1 from the numbers above.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brookfield, Western CT
    Posts
    256

    Default Re: painting rule of thumb

    2.5- 3 works for 8-9' ceilings (+1 to include ceiling), but has to be done on a room-by-room basis, otherwise interior partitions are not accounted for.
    Rockers use a similar method for quick calc of boards for a job, I think.
    JoeH

    There Aint No Such Thing As A Free Lunch (TANSTAAFL) -Robert A Heinlein

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Southern NH, north of tax-achussetts
    Posts
    2,082

    Default Re: painting rule of thumb

    I have used 4.3 x living sq. ft. = drywall sq. ft. for a basic ball park on a standard 8' ceiling house straight forward construction. I'll use it to base my phone price off of. For instance 2000 liv. sq. ft. x 4.3 = 8600 sq. ft. of drywall or 180-12' (48 sq. ft.) sheets. I find 4.3 covers closets, staircases, and waste.
    "cheap labor pays for expensive headaches"

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Miami, FL
    Posts
    1,155

    Default Re: painting rule of thumb

    Oww thats good to know, very interesting.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Southern NH, north of tax-achussetts
    Posts
    2,082

    Default Re: painting rule of thumb

    Joe,

    I do all "preliminary estimates" over the phone. The basic sq. ft. formula is a pretty good for a basic price point. I use it to pre-quailify the potential client. If they accept I go a confirm, if not I only wasted the 5 minutes on the phone. We all know the "average" estimate takes about 3-4 hours to do including travel and estimating. Well when gas was hitting $3 a gal I said no more chasing estimates. As gas has gone down I have just stuck to that method. Same thing with bulders, labor only paid in 3rds.
    "cheap labor pays for expensive headaches"

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    St Louis, Mo for the past 25 years
    Posts
    7,464

    Default Re: painting rule of thumb

    Thanks for the input. I thought I knew what I was talking about but all of a sudden it did not seem right to me. I like the idea of being able to give some quick numbers because I often get asked that when I meet with folks. I think if I am going to ask them for a budget number and hope to get an answer then I should be able to give something back. Like I said it is only for a quick ballpark number that I am going to give them.
    I usually tell them something like "since you asked I will take a minute to take a few measurements and give you some sort of quick number if you like. A much more accurate number could be given once I get home, add all my number together, double check them for accuracy and then get them to you." I stress the accuracy part but still have probably half that want some sort of number now. I can then sometimes gauge their reaction to know if I need to sell the job a bit harder or if I am close to what they might want to know.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Los Angeles, CA
    Posts
    4,264

    Default Re: painting rule of thumb

    If you are going to do that, then I suggest you give them a range, not A number. So if it will cost $300 based on your quickie calc, then say between $250 and $400.00 but you will need to take time to figure it out more accurately.. Then ask them how they feel about that and then shut up. Let them respond.

    If they say OK, you can proceed knowing that you are at least in the ball park. If they die, don't waste any more time on them. If they hedge, then probe for which end of the spectrum they are closest to and if it is near your $300 number( high or low), and you don't have other pressing business, go for it.

    Invariably your estimate will be low since you probably overlooked a detail here or there. Some of these are really money hungry and you don't want to get stuck doing a job that costs you money.

    As long as you are fair in your pricing and accurate in your estimating, you don't need to worry about ripping anyone off. Know your own numbers so you don't undersell jobs and shoot yourself in the foot financially.
    Last edited by Kgphoto; 02-13-2009 at 01:48 AM.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Bergen County, NJ
    Posts
    4,410

    Default Re: painting rule of thumb

    I just tried the 4.3 multiplier on some small rooms I've done and it's off the mark. For instance, a 5x8 bathroom comes out to six sheets of 8's. In actuality, it's 5- 8's and 2-10's. However, we couldn't get MR10's fast enough, so we had to use 10-8's with a lot of waste.

    But, I guess if you are doing a whole house, the 4.3 multiplier works for the most part.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    St Louis, Mo for the past 25 years
    Posts
    7,464

    Default Re: painting rule of thumb

    Greg,
    you are probably right that it is not the best way to do it. I am working on a house with a long 20 ft tall stairway. Has only about the bottom 6 foot open on one side. So in this one area you have a lot of wall space but not too much floor space.

    As I said I would just use it as a rough estimate, guess and not much else. Painting or figuring a price is so much more complicated by things like how many coats of paint, how many colors per room (ceiling white, wall color and trim color for most rooms) types of doors (6 panel versus flush) windows (one over one versus six over one).

    Now that I have said all that it does not seem to be that good a thing to know unless you are giving some sort of an idea over the phone. I asked but now do not know if I will really want to use it much.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Los Angeles, CA
    Posts
    4,264

    Default Re: painting rule of thumb

    These multipliers are based on doing a whole house, so that you will have a variety of walls to cover and most large unbroken areas. If you are doing a small cut up room like bathroom, it is just better to do a full take off or multipler plus a fudge factor x # of corners.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Southern NH, north of tax-achussetts
    Posts
    2,082

    Default Re: painting rule of thumb

    It sounds like point was sorta missed. The 4.3 x living sq. ft. is for a whole house, standard construction with 8' ceilings. Thats it. As your talking to the client within the first 10 minutes I will give that price. Now if its a few rooms, get length, width and height and find sq. ft. that way and figure costs based on that. Obivoisly price per sq. ft. will be diffrent on 2 rooms vs. a whole house. But the bottom line this is meant as a ball price when pre qualifing your customer. Its all about price, so give basic pricing, test the waters and proceed accordingly.
    "cheap labor pays for expensive headaches"

  13. #13

    Default Re: painting rule of thumb

    Hey guys, new to JLC but not to painting...having completed over 1,000 residential and commercial contracts, I know a thing or two about estimating... it sounds like your just selling your business based on price alone and not on added value of what you can bring to the table for the customer....If all we ever do as a painter is compete with pricing, how do you ever profit and grow a quality business... The determined method of bidding is a very good technique for bidding projects....It's based on the production of each painter, the cost of supplies, and the target percentage of profit that you have included into each job.... good luck!!!

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Southern NH, north of tax-achussetts
    Posts
    2,082

    Default Re: painting rule of thumb

    Upstate,

    Sell the way it works for you. You want to burn gas and time to try to sell the avaerage h/o on a fansy paint job great. But the reality is that price dictates everything in this economy peroid. The price point matters most, as does quaility. All I'm saying is start off with a basic test the waters price, and proceed accordingly.

    Also take a moment to fill out your profile, thanks!
    "cheap labor pays for expensive headaches"

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    down the shore
    Posts
    2,224

    Default Re: painting rule of thumb

    The basic rule of thumb for painting a ceiling is ....


    .... Keep your mouth shut.
    Last edited by S.Joisey; 03-03-2009 at 07:22 PM.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts