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What would you charge per window ? What would you charge per door
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 13, 2017 9:56 am 
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Hi just wondering if anyone can help me with pricing a job. I normally always price a job then when get it and start the work I speak to customers and find out I've underpriced by quite a bit to other quotes given. E.g. Priced a staircase general painting of ceilings walls and woodwork nothing hard. Went in at £400 plus materials and next quote the woman received was £1200 and £1500 !! Where am I going wrong.

Anyway back to my question. I have about 25 windows to paint in U/C and gloss general prep. They're not in too bad of a condition also have some Georgian patio doors to do and then an old gate. What's the average prices you lot charge per window please and the doors ? Just looking for average pricing really to get an idea if I'm too cheap or others are too greedy. Also I've been told loads of times if they look like they have money to up the rate but I just want to be reasonable to all

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 13, 2017 11:18 am 
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Don't up the price because they look like they have money, that's just a shitty thing to do.

As for pricing it depends on the size and style of window. Standing open window with 2 panes would be £30ish a window for me, sash might be £50, large sash with loads of panes £100 a window.

Easiest way to price is work out what you want per day, however many hours that might be, then work out how many days something will take you. Experience will make this a lot easier. For Windows you just work out your hourly rate from the above and decide how many hours each window will take you. There's your price. Always allow a little extra as exteriors can be awkward and throw in unknowns once you start


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 13, 2017 11:31 am 
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And factor in weather with exterior jobs as rain can set you back considerably. It is not as if you can check the long range weather unless it is an imminent start. :thumbright:

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 13, 2017 12:18 pm 
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Yes, I definitely agree with Nicky - don't charge more because they have more money. If you do that you'll run the risk of one customer saying "He charged me £800 for a room" and her friend saying "Really? He only charged me £300 for a room the same size."

Regarding those windows - it would be impossible for me to say how much I would charge because the price would depend on so many factors: type of window (i.e. small panels vs. on big panel), state of them and how much prep is needed, ease of access (some windows take longer because they are harder to reach), and so on. For exterior work I always charge my normal day rate plus 50% to take into account weather interruptions. If I complete the work in the time allocated then I'll always knock a bit off and say to the customer "It took me less time than I thought." They always like that.

The hall, stairs and landing you mentioned - £400 is way underpriced for that size of job. As a guide, I charge £160 a day for labour. That includes the running costs of my van (which are very low as I do less than 1,300 miles a year), cost of rollers, brushes, masking tape, rags, white spirit, filler, etc. On top of that there is the price of the materials. A "standard" room, say an average sized bedroom, with usual filling, rubbing down, masking the carpets, etc, with two coats on the ceiling, two coats on the walls, plus one door, one radiator, one window sill and skirting to undercoat and topcoat, is two days, so £320 plus plaint. If there is a feature wall to paper, that's an extra day.

A hall, stairs and landing, like you described, with five doors upstairs and five doors downstairs, plus stairs woodwork to do, is likely to be at least 6 days, sometimes 8 days if it's big and there are a lot of balusters on the stairs to paint, so a minimum of £960, but often £1280.

I never quote based on an hourly rate because I don't want to be paid by the hour as I need to know how much money I am going to earn every day. I get 3 out of every 4 jobs that I quote for so I'm not charging too much. One ex-decorator I know was quoting £100 a day (sometimes he went as low as £75!) just to undercut me. Not surprisingly, he was getting loads of work. In fact, he ended up working 7 days a week for over six months and was always bragging about how much work he had booked in. On average, I work 9 days out of every fortnight (some jobs just finish on a Thursday and I purposely don't book anything in for the Friday), so over an eight-week period I will earn an average of £5760. The ex-decorator I mentioned above would have earned £5600 over the same eight weeks. I always have plenty of work booked in but I worked far few days than he did. He was so knackered that he ended up doing poor quality work so he got virtually no repeat business and was having to travel further and further to get work. He gave up after just 18 months and is no working on a building site.

So, the moral of the story: Charge a decent amount and do a good job and you will get plenty of repeat business and referrals. Charge too little and cut corners and you will work yourself into the ground.



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PostPosted: Thu Apr 13, 2017 7:39 pm 
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Thanks mate for that reply. Great help. I still can't after all these years (14 but 10) self employed get the feeling of I hope they don't think I'm ripping them off or trying to when quoting ! That's why I'll work out a quote then most of the time end up doing it again trying to make it cheaper ! All these replies are quality though and making me feel a lot better about how I quote my work ! Cheers :)



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PostPosted: Thu Apr 13, 2017 8:14 pm 
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Nicharrison24 wrote:
Thanks mate for that reply. Great help. I still can't after all these years (14 but 10) self employed get the feeling of I hope they don't think I'm ripping them off or trying to when quoting ! That's why I'll work out a quote then most of the time end up doing it again trying to make it cheaper ! All these replies are quality though and making me feel a lot better about how I quote my work ! Cheers :)


If you are getting plenty of work and repeat business, then its time to change your approach to quoting. If you worry about overcharging and panic once you have priced up a job and start trying find ways of reducing the price before sending it off then it would be worth making a systematic approach to your quoting process.

That way once youve quoted, thats the price, be confident about the price and send it off. Dont be influenced by trying to make your price an amount you think is affordable or reasonable to the customer.

What I would suggest is that on your next quotation, instead of thinking of ways to reduce your price, once you get to your end figure add a percentage on, say 10% and see how you get on. And dont crumble before sending tbe quote off!

Also remember your customers will have clients and will be charging them the full going rate for their services. A lawyer or solicitor -£200 an hour or more.



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PostPosted: Thu Apr 13, 2017 8:31 pm 
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I think that for a job like this there are a lot of windows and the client would feel more assured if they can see a quote that itemises the work so it justifies the price to them. They really need to understand that proper preparation, repairs as discovered, caulking and painting a number of coats on each window is not a quick job. Going through this process will at least give you a much better idea of the potential time it will take which will then allow you to price fairly. If the customer does not take you on at least you know that making it cheaper might have got you the work but you would not be getting the appropriate rate.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 14, 2017 7:54 am 
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I must admit i'm the same when pricing up outsides.I always think i'm charging to much until i start the job..This week i started my first outside of the year.Four days of moving & climbing a large triple ladder really takes it out of you..In future i'm going to add half a day just for moving the ladder around..I wish i could stop doing outsides completely unless its scaffolded or just single storey building.



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PostPosted: Fri Apr 14, 2017 9:15 am 
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dubman2 wrote:
I must admit i'm the same when pricing up outsides.I always think i'm charging to much until i start the job..This week i started my first outside of the year.Four days of moving & climbing a large triple ladder really takes it out of you..In future i'm going to add half a day just for moving the ladder around..I wish i could stop doing outsides completely unless its scaffolded or just single storey building.


Yes it's not much fun lugging round a 30 kilo set of triples all day. Did an outside this week and my back is killing me.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 14, 2017 11:45 am 
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Thanks for all these replies, defiantly opening my eyes to pricing and making me feel a lot better that my quoting is reasonable if anything it's on the cheaper side. I just don't like the fact if someone asked a customer about the work and they said yeah he's good but a bit expensive. But I also don't want to keep busting my nuts working hard Day in day out when I could be having easier days for a higher rate. It's very rare I even stop for a break. Just have a cupper if the client offers or a bottle of water with me. The amount of money I must waste on packed lunches haha I make them intending to stop then the work takes over.

Thanks again though for the replies all have been very helpful. Hope your back feels a bit better asap dubman nothig worse is there !



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PostPosted: Fri Apr 14, 2017 9:53 pm 
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Evening guys. Just another thought too. I have to prime some previously painted stained wood. What's the best primer recommended by you all ?
The stained wood will be painted to match all the windows which is an off white colour. I'm not sure of the make the customer has chosen but I know it's water based paint. Is the zinsser bullseye 1-2-3 the one or is there a cheaper option I can offer the customer ? I'm trying to describe all the preparation and thought I'd recommend the best primer to them too.

Thank you


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 14, 2017 10:05 pm 
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Nicharrison24 wrote:
Evening guys. Just another thought too. I have to prime some previously painted stained wood. What's the best primer recommended by you all ?
The stained wood will be painted to match all the windows which is an off white colour. I'm not sure of the make the customer has chosen but I know it's water based paint. Is the zinsser bullseye 1-2-3 the one or is there a cheaper option I can offer the customer ? I'm trying to describe all the preparation and thought I'd recommend the best primer to them too.

Thank you


I'd go with Zinsser Coverstain.



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PostPosted: Fri Apr 14, 2017 10:13 pm 
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Sorry if a silly question. As it's an oil based paint is it any good for the water based paint to use over the top ?


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 14, 2017 10:19 pm 
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Absolutely fine for either. It's their best exterior primer. Would be better for the stain blocking than 123 IMO.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 14, 2017 10:20 pm 
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Ok mate, thanks for taking the time to reply.



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