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How to Bid a Painting Job — 6 Tips to Estimate a Painting Job and Win More Clients

Rachel Present Schreter | Jul 24, 2018

Have you ever started a painting job and then realized it was going to cost a totally different amount than you initially estimated? The best way to avoid this is by creating a thorough estimate. Knowing how to bid a painting job is the first step to winning more clients and keeping them happy. You don’t have to be a seasoned veteran to accurately bid painting jobs. These six tips will help you with your painting bids.

1: Use a comprehensive template

Bidding paint jobs with a template will help you consider all the possible aspects of a job. The more details you include on your template, the more accurately you can bid each painting job. You can search online for a template that works for you, or you can create your own, whether for residential or commercial jobs. The template should include material costs, and time needed for each task. Remember to consider overhead costs like marketing budgets, office staff salaries, and insurance for painters.    

2: Use estimating software for painting contractors

If you love technology, you can use software to create your painting bids. Estimating software specifically designed for painting contractors has several benefits. For starters, it makes estimating easier. It automatically calculates material costs and quantities and lets you include photos. It can even track jobs from start to finish to help you stick to your numbers. With your phone or event tablet in hand, you can create and show your potential customer their impressive-looking estimate on the screen. It will be more like a presentation than handing over a work estimate.

3: Accurately calculate materials needed

One of the most important aspects of knowing how to bid interior painting—or exterior for that matter—is accurately assessing how much material the job will require. The best way is to measure and record every room and every surface you plan to paint. Don’t leave it to guesswork! Some painters can make a gallon of paint go further than other painters. How much you can get out of one gallon of paint? Also consider whether you’ll need to prime any surfaces and if the job calls for more than one coat of paint. Will you be painting the ceilings? The trim? Running out of paint means running to the store, running up your original estimate, and wasting time. Nobody wants this to happen. You can also add 10%-12% for brushes, rollers, trays, tape, and new dropcloths.

4: Bring your credentials to commercial painting bids

Knowing how to bid a painting job and especially a commercial painting job can lead to abundant and consistent work. If you are placing commercial painting bids, you might need a painter’s license, depending on your state. Having these credentials will help you get more jobs in commercial painting. Be prepared to bid just enough to cover your costs on some initial commercial painting bids if that would mean working with a client that could lead to consistent, profitable work in the future. 

5: Break down the time needed for each task

Time is money, and it’s important to accurately estimate how much time and labor each painting task will require when deciding how to bid a painting job. The more you can specify on your estimate, the more your clients will trust your expertise and the more likely they will be to hire you for the job. Consider whether you will need multiple painters, for which tasks, and for how many hours. Attention to detail is a strong sign of professionalism.  

6: Find out if the client has special preferences

When you bid a painting job, whether it’s for commercial painting bids or residential work, consider your client’s preferences. Are there time constraints or deadlines that will require bringing in more painters to help you? Does the client want a custom color created? Did you find out if your client prefers flat, texture, or glossy paint? (Be sure to discuss the benefits and drawbacks of each.) People like choices, especially if it’s a choice of using superior quality products. Choices can include different brands of paint or textures.  

Follow these tips and you’ll be well on your way to success in bidding for profitable and enjoyable painting jobs for years to come!

 

Authors

  • Sofya PogrebSofya Pogreb
  • Sanjay BiswasSanjay Biswas
  • Natalie CutlerNatalie Cutler
  • Rachel Present SchreterRachel Present Schreter
  • Guy GoldsteinGuy Goldstein
  • Alon HuriAlon Huri
  • Evyatar SagieEvyatar Sagie
  • Zeke ScherlZeke Scherl
  • Annie RyanAnnie Ryan
Rachel Present Schreter
Rachel Present Schreter | Author
Rachel is passionate about helping small businesses get the tools they need to succeed. Rachel is a marketing guru with years of experience working with tech companies, non-profits and small businesses to ensure that they are reaching the right audiences with their products.

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  • Sanjay BiswasSanjay Biswas
  • Natalie CutlerNatalie Cutler
  • Rachel Present SchreterRachel Present Schreter
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