Instant Estimates?

It just struck me that lately, in my continuing effort to keep my business relevant, have been hearing/ reading a lot about ‘instant estimates’.

        Companies whose selling strategy is turnkey excluding the need for the customer to be fully involved with their own painting project. One part of this is what they call instant estimate. In order to do this they need to have a set price for every ‘piece’ of painting you have to do. This of course is not really a new idea. Service providers have been estimating projects forever based on how much it is to do something by the foot, or by the square foot.


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I usually look at everything as a whole rather than the pieces that make up the whole. The idea with instant estimating is that one would be estimate without going to the job and look at it. Sure they can give you a price for a or a room with 8′ or 10′ ceilings, but can they get an idea of exactly how much work is going to be needed in say a bedroom. When I look at room I also see all of the parts of the room that make up a high end paint job in that room. I can’t see what is the benefit of charging out all bedrooms equally. Not only are there different surfaces on walls, what you are painting over, but also how much drywall repair is there to do? And what is it you are trying to achieve? Some just want a ‘face-lift’. Just a coat of paint to clean it up for one example, and others want to show it off with and eggshell finish that will show more imperfections if they exist. Some people just see a room with paint while others can see it as a piece of art and every part of the procedure is different for every job.The companies offering the impersonal estimate must be hoping that all of the jobs are going to average out to a specific cost. However much they need to make. The fact that not just every room but every customer is going to be different plays a huge role in how much the paint job is going to cost but what is it worth? Every company still has to be profitable in the end. But I know that some rooms same size, take sometimes a great difference they take in the time that it takes to paint them ‘correctly’. When I say correctly I mean every customer has a different idea of what is the right way to do it. . Not just ‘painted’ but how will it look? How many coats are going to be needed to make sure that eggshell finish is not flashing when sun comes up in the morning. There are so many variables I try to get to know my customer and know exactly what they want before I can tell how time it’s going to take me top do a 14′ x 14′ room with 8′ ceilings. I can’t see how our discriminating customers can believe they are the same if even if they are the same size.

So I do not think either myself or my customers would think that these so called efficient ways for a person get estimates and some painting done. The efficiency I strive for is going to be appreciated by the kind of people we work well with. The people whom I enjoy working with are much too meticulous in what they expect from their painter.

What do you think? Is there a list of variables concerned with pricing a paint job correctly that can be accurate for a wide range of surfaces and expectations? You can leave your


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