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speed vs. quality

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mikejurasw

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Hi all, looking for advice/opinions: Since my regular profession is still in quarantine, I'm doing side gigs, mostly painting. I like to think I'm efficient and thorough. I don't take short-cuts or hide stuff, but I move along from task to task. So....
My plan for a 15x30 living room paint job with two very bold dark colors currently on the walls, the usual obstacles (fireplace, furniture, kids toys) , plus one funky curved wall with 4 small alcoves for art. : Day one - prep.; protect floor, cover furniture, tape off edges, remove wall plates, sand/plaster a few spots, 2-plus coats of primer. About 7 hours , soup-to-nuts. Day 2: color on. cut in and roll two shades of gray (2 coats). About 5 hours. Day 3, touch-ups, clean-up and paint stairway and risers if time permits.
So, here are my questions: 1) Is this a reasonable amount of time to take, working solo, or am I way slow?
2) I've seen online advice on contractor-finder websites (like Angie's list) that say expect to pay $200-$300 for this. That would barely cover my gas and materials. What gives?
Thanks!
Mike M
 
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bud16415

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You know what you need to make per hour including travel. You know what the materials will cost including expendables. You should also have some fixed cost if this is a real business. When you take it all together you should be able to provide a fixed quote. It is then up to the homeowner to decide if they want to pay that and hire you.



What others are charging you have little control over. They may be working for less profit using cheap materials using cheaper labor or maybe they are more efficient.

As a kid I used to mow neighbors lawns and within a short time I had more lawns than I could mow. I asked my dad what should I do to keep up and his advice was to charge more. At first I didn’t get it but in one sentence he explained supply and demand to me.
 

joecaption

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I agree 200% with Bud on this one.
There's 0 reason to take on a job knowing your going to loose money just to get the job!
Very few people get that to do a better job it takes more time, and better materials cost more money.
If I do a job I want someone looking it over asking who did that for you, not who did this to you.
Dozens of times I've been told my price was to high and lost the job, then got another call to try and fix all there screws up.
In my opinion Angie's list is a joke, they get paid for every lead they send to someone.
I needed a tub refinished and they where sending leads to people 3 hours away, knowing they where never going to do it but got paid anyway.
No clue how they came up those fantacy figures on the time this job should take
 

kok328

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Actually, I think you time estimates are too low. Prep is 90% of the job and I don't see that here. Proper preparation and proven, quality materials may prevent multiple coats. Painting contractors in my area will send out a team to knock it out in a day with passable results. These guys are either 1099 or low wage W2 with no insurance or benefits. Some can paint and some are still learning.
 

mikejurasw

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Agreed! Thanks, all. I've thought how I could go any faster, but I think I'm as efficient as I can be and still be at my standard, which honestly is pretty detail-oriented! I guess we're talking about taking some pride in our work as well as earning a buck. Appreciate your advice!
Mike M
 
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