Up in the air on how to bid this job.


I am being asked how much I would charge to pressure wash, prime, and paint an exterior for someones rental house. I have 25 years carpenters experience. And in those years, I have screwed myself more times than I want to admit. She wanted me to do gutters at first. Now she wants me to prep and paint first. She doesn’t want me do charge her by the hour. She wants a bid for everything. And she wants to supply all materials, even the airless sprayer. I am in fear of screwing myself again. She is persistent on wanting a bid asap.

Two story, t-1-11 everywhere but in gables and between windows in front. Lots of trim. House needs pressure washed first. Labor only. Can anyone give me the advice I need? Olympia, Washington Thanks

2 Responses

  1. Start by understanding all of the work you need to do. Take a good look at the house and write down all areas that need prep. This is really where the work is, painting is easy by comparison. Try to put a hour or day number to the prep that the house needs. Include scraping, sanding, caulking and priming.

    Now you have to put a number to the actual painting. Make sure to write down exactly what the owner wants. What colors and where do they go? Will it take 2 coats on everything? What level of quality? If this is a same color- blow and go job then make sure to get this writing.

    Now double check what tools and materials the owner will supply. Make this a part of your written proposal for the home owner. Is there anything you will need to supply/buy? There are many items needed to do a good paint job; brushes, mini-roller with covers for the trim, drop cloths, hand-masker with tape and paper or masking plastic, etc.

    It will be challenge to get a good price together but at least you won't need to buy much or supply much more than your labor. The risk is fairly low for this type of job.

  2. Karl, you need to put this advice in a book and supply it to ALL paint contractors EVERYWHERE. If all would go by this we could ALL make a living instead of some cutting a fair price by half thus nobody making a living.

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