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How to Bid on Paint Jobs

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To ensure profit on the job and a successful bid, walk a fine line between competitive pricing and fairness to your company and the subcontractors working with you. There are numerous considerations involved in this type of bidding process, including the size of the space that needs to be painted and the products used to do the job effectively.

Assess the scope of the job. Your bid depends on how large or small it is, the time frame set forth by the client and the specifics of the work. For example, determine if you are painting one room or the entire face of a building. Find out if you are using one color or multiple hues. Not only will an assessment of the job overall help you to bid properly, but it will allow you to determine how much help you will need to complete it.

Formulate the number of hours it takes to complete the job. Then, multiply it by your normal rate per hour. This gives you an overall idea of how much the job may cost upon completion. Depending on the status of business and the overhead you will incur on the job, you may want to knock a few dollars off the price just to remain competitive.

Estimate manpower. If the job requires more than yourself and an assistant, then factor the cost of additional labor into the price of the bid, drawing on your average hourly rate. Make sure you are fair to both your employees as well as the individual or company with which you are contracting for the job.

Estimate the cost of materials. Research the cost of paint, brushes, drop cloth, tape and anything else you might need to complete the job. The cost of materials should also be incorporated into the bid for the job, regardless of whether you have the client purchase them ahead of time or you get it all and reimburse her later.

Submit a formal bid proposal in writing to the client. It should be the summation of everything you've promised to do as well as a time line and a stipulation of all of the details of the arrangement. It should be simple, well-written and concise.


Lynda Moultry Belcher is a writer, editor and public relations professional. She worked for a daily newspaper for 10 years and has been a freelance writer for more than 15 years. She has contributed to Divorce360 and Revolution Health Group, among other publications. She is also the author of "101 Plus-Size Women's Clothing Tips" and writes "Style At Any Size," a bi-weekly newspaper column.