We are simply on a roll. Another year wrapped up and over 190k in gross income. Lemme show you…

I believe we are in an emerging market here in Eau Claire, or possibly the economy as a whole is just building. Eau Claire is known out of all major cities in close proximity to have lower pay rate, so contractors such as myself, if willing to travel could be earning more money/job or /hour.

Like my buddy Jim says, “Ride the wave as long as you can.”

Our contractors treat us good and we try to treat them good back.

Contractors have a pretty good head on their shoulders when it comes to an occasional mistake and they don’t sweat the small stuff. Pretty much always getting paid. There is the occasional negotiation but that is just business and is expected. All and all it’s been pretty fair.

Recently I gave a $500 credit to one of my contractors because I had bid it too high and when it came time to send the invoice out I listed the credit on the invoice and it didn’t hurt their feelings a bit :O)

On the other hand if I make a mistake on a bid and bid it too low I will probably end up eating it. The way I determine if my bid is too high or just as a way to double check if my bid is accurate is to get my hanger’s bid. Then I simply divide their bid price by a percentage number i.e .20

This number could vary depending on how much you want to charge, but it is a VERY fast way to do a bid.

So how do I come up with a bid number of my own without the hanger’s bid?

There are 3 basic ways:

  1. take finished (area that gets drywalled) and multiply by either 3.5 or 3.6 (I use 3.6). This will give you approximate wall and ceilings (everything that gets sheetrock/wallboard). Then you multiply that by price/sq. ft. i.e 5,000 sq. ft x .70 (it could be .8 or .6 or whatever you decide to charge, depending on your price and what’s included i.e hang, tape, prime, texture, finish paint (1 color, 2, 3, 8)
  2. take ceilings (length by width) or sometimes the print will have finished sq. ft (then if you trust it, you could use that number) and add the exterior linear walls x i.e 8 ft (if 8 ft ceiling height) = this will give you total sq. ft of exterior walls (perimeter). Then the more time consuming part is to add up linear sq. ft of interior walls and multiply by ceiling height i.e 8 ft = total interior walls sq. ft. Then add up those 3 totals and you get total sq. ft
  3. is like a shortcut to 1st way in that you do one multiply instead of two. Takes a bit to figure out initially, but is a very lazy way to bid. If you know that the garage size stays the same you simply multiply the main floor finished area sq. ft x 3.1 or 3.2. In this case you take the standard way you do a house i.e main floor and basement get hang, tape, text, prime and maybe 1 coat of finish paint but the garage is to code (hang and firetape the ceiling and adjoining firewall). These multipliers will vary if the plans vary i.e garage changes size compared to the house finished sq. ft.
  4. Which i have never used but here it works nicely is to use a software program. These programs can determine how much will go into a job all the way down to every stick of bead it requires. I imagine the software don’t come cheap. If you’ve used it, let us know how it performs in the comments below.

Then after you bid and get it accepted and get it scheduled in. Do the job, clean up and get paid. Then do taxes and pay uncle Sam his cut. Rinse and repeat.

Hope this helps.

Questions go in comments below, I will TRY to get to them, sometimes i get a little busy, so patience plz.

Over n’ out,