View Full Version : Estimating

01-02-2009, 05:32 PM
How much detail, if any, do you go into when giving either an estimate or quote to a domestic customer?
Do you give a breakdown in materials, how much the labour costs and hourly rates, do you agree a price over a handshake, think of a number double it and write it on a business card, scribble it on a notepad or measure precisely and submit a detailed estimate?
From personal experience I have found that if you give too much information about your estimate to a client, they will use this to shop around for a better price. Anyone else have similar experiences?

01-07-2009, 05:17 PM
That last paragraph made a good point. This post never got a reply, and that's why it's bumped back from the archives.:)

01-07-2009, 06:09 PM
Firstly I ask them if they know how many square metres of board there is to tape and what type of house it is. Are there any canopy ceilings or higher than normal bits. If they do, then I multiply it by a rate, add a bit for beads and there's my price. If they say it's a 4 bed house, I say the average 4 bed house is 500 m2 and that'll be x amount. I say that if there's more metres, its going to be a bit more. I'll give them a bang on accurate price if they want it, but if that means going there and measuring up beforehand, that time goes on the quote. I don't let people waste my time. Generally on new build stuff, I don't need to see it before I start.

01-07-2009, 07:49 PM
This post must have been buried several pages down? Now I remember sending this after being asked to quote in detail for a house extension and the home owner attempted to haggle a lower price with different permatations.

Such as;
they supplied the materials themselves :lmao:
they fixed the plasterboard themselves :suicide:
suggested I tape the job in 2 quick coats, rather than 3 :sneaky:
what our hourly rate and square metre price was.

Strange times we're living in when someone else goes around with a tape measure after youve left and calls to let you know your measures a few mm out. Sometimes I feel you're better just getting straight to the point and asking "How low do I need to quote to get this job, and I'll tell you in 10 seconds whether or not I can match the price that Marek Underkunttz has given you!!!"

In the end up I lost around 3 hours pricing a job I never had a hope in hell of getting. Like Tony I dont have this timewasting hassle on new build. Haste ye back boom times!:glare:

Getting back to why I posted in the first place. I avoid a detailed estimate, and if possible, try to give a fixed price instead.

01-07-2009, 08:21 PM
For small basements, which is the majority of my work this year, I walk down the stairs and add hundreds of dollars until I reach a total which makes me feel good about the job, usually about 1200 - 1800. if i worked that out to hours it would be expensive... about 80/hr. A few years ago Financial Planner whose office I did for told me: "I took your 40$/hr because I trust you, and this $280 is a fair price, but usually a business person would rather hear 400$ than 40/hr and not know the total" I have taken that to heart.
for contractors I get repeat work from, I have a sliding scale. For each corner bead profile 1.50/' square, 2.50/' for bull-nose and a board price by ceiling height, so a room with an 8' ceiling is 35 cents/ft, a 9 foot ceiling is 40 cents/ft and 10'... goes up from there.

so my repeat contractors get a pretty detailed quote, casual jobs get a flat rate, and a discount later if I inconvenienced them some how.

01-07-2009, 08:34 PM
10.76 sq ft = 1 sq metre. I had to work that one out LOL.

02-07-2009, 03:04 AM
yeah.. it's a weird country. we adopted the metric system in .. 80? 81? but we still think of mileage for cars in miles per gallon, our height in feet and inches, and all building materials are based on 4x 8 foot sheets and square foot measurements.. which we faithfully transfer to Mils:
"ceiling height is 1200 mils".
"um.. about 10 feet I think"