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Archive for the ‘Estimating’ Category

Paintshop: 21st Century Work Partners: Software Programs and Hand-Held Devices

Twenty-seven year old painter Ben got a big shock when he returned to work after a two-week vacation.

 

“Effective immediately…” started the memo. A hand-held tablet would be his “work partner” wherever he went throughout each work day.

 

Using the device, he would be expected to perform the following functions on a daily basis:

 

  1. Clock in and clock out.
  2. Select from list the exact tasks and work orders he would be completing that day.
  3. Select from list the project(s) he would be working on – and the stage of each.
  4. Select products, materials and supplies he would be using for each task, work order and project. That included colors by name and manufacturer product number.
  5. List each work order as it came to him, indicating the start, pause/delay and completion times of each; list of products, supplies and tools for each; brief description of problem(s) incurred; and, future recommendations.
  6. List quantity/amount of each product, material and supply used.
  7. Submit weekly requisitions for basic products, materials and supplies needed to work on any painting task within the next two weeks.
  8. Record when requisition orders were filled, then when supplies were actually delivered.
  9. Maintain paintshop inventory on weekly basis.
  10. Log all communications with supervisor(s) related to each task, work order and project.
  11. Maintain contact list of manufacturers’ representatives, supply stores, sales staffs, etc.

 

In other words, a fair percentage of Ben’s work time would be spent using the hand-held device.

 

“I don’t have a problem with it,” he e-mailed. “But it cuts into my actual painting time like you wouldn’t believe.” He added that he needed to share more details about how the system worked. “No time.”

 

“What’s nice about it is, at any time, I can plug my hand-held into any printer at the hotel, and print out a copy of any file, communication, list, worksheet, chart, color palette sheet, etc. That’s been a big help.”

 

Ben added that the devices are kept in the department when not in use. Locked up at the end of the day in a cabinet inside the chief engineer’s office.

 

I think the concept is great. And full access to a hand-held device with a top quality painting or paintshop software program can save the painter a lot of paperwork, time, and money. Especially when the painter is allowed ample control about how he uses it.

 

RECOMMENDED PAINTER/PAINTING CONTRACTOR SOFTWARE PROGRAMS

1. General and cross-function: www.getjobber.com; www.knowify.com; www.go.intouchinsight.com;

2. Estimating, bidding, invoicing: www.paintestimating.com; www.invoice2go-enterprise.com; www.quickpaintingproposals.com; 3. Business: www.CorkCRM.com.

 

By the way, most of the above online software companies offers an APP version. Ben suggested checking into the possibility of purchasing/downloading and interfacing two or more systems.

 

“Your paintshop and engineering department may need to use more than one program to cover your bases. Also, your department might need to sit down with an IT creative and develop a few custom sub-programs. Example: A running and cross-referencing inventory list.”

 

Thanks, Ben, for the information.

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Smart paintshop practices include whatever support systems and devices that will make work easier. 

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Thanks to everyone for revisiting “Painting with Bob” in 2017.

Copyright 2017. Robert D. Hajtovik. All rights reserved.

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Painting It: Estimating Paint Quantity and Cost

 

In the process of estimating a project, always include the amount of each paint product you will need to use. That means: Number of pints, quarts, gallons, and five-gallon quantities.

 

When the project is small and requires only one type of material, priced at under ten dollars, there’s rarely a problem. It becomes more complicated when you have an entire house, or a commercial building, to paint.

 

When costs enter the picture, accuracy and precision are the rule of thumb. It is possible to bid a job, receive it and later find that you have underbid the work. Let’s say by twenty gallons, and at a cost of $340.00.

 

There’s no problem if your total estimate is in the thousands. But, if the bid is $700.00, then you have just lost 50% of the gross payment. Add those mistakes add up big time over the course of a year. You will barely realize a profit.

 

A permanent solution so you don’t underbid – unintentionally.

 

1. Estimate (accurately) the total square feet and linear feet of the project.

A. Square feet: Measure length and height of longest and adjacent wall. Multiply.

B. Linear feet: Measure length of longest wall/area. Multiply by number of walls.

 

2. Establish a spreadsheet on the various products by name, and cost per unit.

A. For each product, list the manufacturer’s color name and code number.

B. Specify the manufacturer for each product you intend on using.

 

3. Calculate a base figure for sales tax for all quantity units.

 

4. Establish a spreadsheet detailing specific surface coverage for each material.

 

5. Design a chart comparing surface texture with volume of material used.

 

6. Figure in a transportation charge for pickup and delivery of supplies.

 

General Rules of Thumb – based on quality of product you choose.

 

1. Average gallon of latex paint covers = 400 sq. ft. at cost of $9.00 – $21.00.

2. Average bedroom = 1.5 gallons of paint.

3. Clear coating a wood door = 1 quart of finish at cost of $12.00 – $15.00.

4. Semi-gloss latex for bathroom ceiling = ½ gallon at cost of $6.00 – $9.00.

5. Latex paint for 2500 sq. ft. house = 7 gallons at cost of $120.00 – $160.00.

6. Oil stain 10 Oak doors = 1 gallon at cost of $22.00 – $30.00.

 

Estimating paint product quantity and cost takes time. It deserves your full attention. Even the top estimators –eg. in construction, or engineering/facilities management – know the tradeoffs for doing their job right. Every time.

 

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Estimate each time as though your job depends on your accuracy.

Probably, it does. And, so do the jobs of others!

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Enjoy your New Year. And, thanks for visiting “Painting with Bob.”

Copyright 2015. Robert D. Hajtovik. All rights reserved.

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