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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have been toying around with a contacting company for a while so i set up a web page and put a free ad in and bang i got a lead.


So they guy has a bunch of commercial properties and we wants paint and dry wall etc.


How much should i charge per sq foot? I guess i have to go there an measure the walls? Should i quote him on the phone? Going out there seems like it will take a lot of time.


I guess drywall $5 a sq foot and paint? $2 a sq foot.
I don't have invoices or anything. What do i need to get started?


If i give a written quote and he agrees, then how much deposit should i ask for?
 

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Should i quote him on the phone?
Going out there seems like it will take a lot of time.
I don't have invoices or anything. What do i need to get started?
If i give a written quote and he agrees, then how much deposit should i ask for?
1) People are different, but I know that I am not interested in anything verbal. And if he is running a business, likely he wants it on paper and wants it detailed. Primer, how many coats of paint, what type of paint, scraping of old paint, repairs to drywall, how many colors, etc.

2)Yep, quoting takes a lot of time. In a lot of businesses, if you have a 20% hit rate, you are doing pretty good.

3) Lots of software out there for small business. Quotes and Invoices you can likely find blank Excel/Word templates on your computer already or online. If you are not handy with a computer, check with Staples or a printing company -- they probably have some generic quote books that you can buy as is, or they can likely print your company name on it. While you are there, you should also get them to print up some business cards.

4) The deposit will be what your invoice states that the required deposit is. Quote should also say when payment is due.

5) In most places, you will likely need at least workmans comp. insurance (which is actually pretty cheap around here). Might be required to have liability insurance too. Is a sales tax applicable in your state ? -- have to register for that too.
 

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Naildriver
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You need to have your business system in place before you begin soliciting. I get calls all the time for work on commercial sites. If I don't hang up on them immediately, I will toy with them a while. Often, they are in some other country, stating they have too much work in my area and want me to sub contract to them for certain aspects. This is a scam. No one will hire you straight out of the blocks without seeing your work, work references, liability insurance information, etc. Step cautiously, get your ground work laid, then proceed even more cautiously.
 

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I was a contractor for 21 years in a former life.
Go there, you do not know the site conditions without seeing it. Make sure work to be completed before you arrive is clear so you don’t have to do free extras to do your work.
Spell out everything, scope of work, who supplies materials and what is being used, time to complete from notice to proceed, debris removal, supply of electricity, price, payment terms. I would not set foot on someone’s property without being fully insured. Charge what you need to get to make the money you want to make.
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
It seems there is shortage of labour and contractors, the guy seem really desperate on the phone and texted me a few times. He sounds like he has a lot of work.

But about quoting, so you measure the walls sq feet for painting? Same for drywall. Add more for high end paint. I've done a lot of renovations, but i have a hard time with estimating. 2 or 3 coats would be normal. How much should a deposit be, 20% ? Getting ripped off would be a real concern.
 

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You need to tell us where you are. That may allow better answers.

You asked about 20% up front. That might be fine in some areas.

In Calif, you are limited to 10% with a cap of $1,000 no matter how large the job.
You would also need a contractors license, post a bond, and if you are hiring help show proof of workman’s comp insurance.

It also a darn good idea to go downtown and buy a business license when you first work in a given town. While some guys do slip in and out without one, the fine can be heavy if you are caught.

Those things may be similar in your area, or a lot looser. Hopefully we have someone here that may comment directly on the rules in your location after you post it.

Edit: I forgot to mention license requirements like written tests, and experiance. You need to prove your work experiance in the field. How many hours varies between various licenses. (Drywall/painting would be less than electrical.) House flipping doesn’t count unless you worked for a company that just happened to be a licensed drywall contractor. DIY never counts.
 

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We live in NY and FL. FL has contractor licensing with experience and/or education requirements and a written test. NY has nothing except in a couple of big cities. You need to establish a business, get insured and get accounts with suppliers. Then you can order delivered material. At the estimate you need to figure out how many sheets of each size boards and how many of each type. I don’t get a high level of confidence from your questions. Maybe you should work for someone in the business for a while.
 
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Remodel and New Build GC
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ALL VERY GOOD ADVICE ABOVE...

And first I would check your states consumer protection laws. (In Cali you could run into a fair degree of trouble if unlicensed for instance)

But if not a material issue in your state, plenty of tradesman start out, and still function "informally".

Use a cost plus time quote/estimate. Tell him an hourly rate, plus cost of materials ESTIMATE.

Materials to be paid for upon delivery to locationj, at invoice pricing. Your hourly rate paid for maybe weekly....with cancellation by either party's option.

That protects him and you.

Now, this becomes pretty subjective, but if the party wants a firm price quote, that depends alot on your expertise and experience and the specific job.

Nothing intended bad, but it does sound like you are just starting off....so I would discourage attempting that on any non-simple job.

When my son in HS and the college was building decks (quazi under my license)...I told him to take his estimate and add 25% for a firm price contract. That worked out pretty well for him, but I was helping him with his estimate.

Good luck...everyone has to start somewhere.

Best
 

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Remodel and New Build GC
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Really, for drywall and paint ?

I can see an estimate for a repair where you are really not sure what you are getting into. But if I were hiring for paint and drywall, I would be expecting a firm price.
SPSER.... YES....could not agree more with ya buddy......but do consider this young man's experience.

Best

EDIT: NFW ....I'm going to pay someone to paint a wall 2 bucks/sqft ... even if it's the Sistine chapel.',,,Welll maybe the Sistine Chappel/
 

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Remodel and New Build GC
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Really, for drywall and paint ?

I can see an estimate for a repair where you are really not sure what you are getting into. But if I were hiring for paint and drywall, I would be expecting a firm price.
WHY....what;s wrong with a cancellable "contract" with an unproven new kid.
He could be great....or not. Give him a chance
 

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Concrete & Masonry
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I didn't read all of the replies, but if this is indeed commercial properties, I would expect the owner is willing to give you exactly 0% down payment, and I wouldn't expect full payment until 45-60 days after full completion. How long can you sit on the cost of the materials?
 

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retired painter
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With any estimate/bid you need to determine what it will cost you to do the job along with a reasonable profit. The profit margin can go up/down dependent on what other contractors charge for the same work. The only way I would consider giving a price over the phone would be to a customer I've already done a bunch of work for. It's always best to walk the proposed job first!
 
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