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Posts tagged ‘inventory’

Painting It: Balancing a Painting Budget

When sizing up the expenses for a painting project, what should you ask yourself first?

Normally, you want to know what the final finish products will cost. Reasonable enough, since

they are comparably the most expensive items.

 

Painting to achieve durability and quality is what establishes the basis for a budget. It’s very simple: you get what you pay for.

TIP: When two gallons of paint are separated by costs greater than half the price, the most expensive is not necessarily the best. Don’t let a paint salesperson tell you differently.

 

The type of paint. Well, that’s a different story.

 

A specialized coating, such as acrylic clear coat for protecting wood, may cost $50 a gallon.

A urethane for painting exterior metal could cost up to $125 for the catalyst, base and solvent. A finish that you’ve selected for your garage floor could cost you at least $70 a gallon.

 

I base the total cost of a painting project on the following things:

 

  1. total square feet of surface to be painted, and the number of coats of paint.
  2. total linear feet  of moldings, trim, fascias, soffits, etc.
  3. type and number of doors – eg. louvered, flat, recessed paneled.
  4. time in labor for preparation, priming, and finish painting. This can be underestimated!
  5. cost of preparation and painting products and materials.

 

The cost for paint and materials is a fixed price based on the present market value.

 

Where money is dramatically lost or saved, labor comes into play.

 

The time estimated to perform the work is critical to the total quoted price of a job. Usually, this is figured on the total number of “man hours multiplied my dollars-per-hour charge, or as a contracted price per unit.

Example: Painting a door costs $25; painting 10 doors costs $250. To each total, add cost of paint, preparation materials, and necessary supplies.

 

The labor charge must also be adjusted for the degree of difficulty or the extensiveness of the process. Bottom line: It is “experience” that establishes competitive labor charge or rate.

Example: Refinishing a piece of furniture.

What’s involved: Stripping, then cleaning the surface; using wood filler, process of repeated sanding, application of multiple coats of finish, and waxing.

What can happen: An “inaccurate estimate” in any one of these steps could cost you your entire profit in completing the whole piece.

 

The inventory for painting tools and supplies can be charged as a fixed monthly expense.

Example: You purchase 10 rolls of masking tape and 25 sheets of sandpaper on average per month. Cost: $40 per month, times 12 months: $500 a year expense. Items such as brushes will be purchased based on use. TIP: Always make allowances for projects which require more.

 

Productivity is another area which can offset the budget, in a positive or negative way. The quantity of work performed in any given time period can create a profit, cause you a loss,

or allow you just to break even.

 

“Why so much of a difference,” you might ask? The business model says: By decreasing time in labor, your profits will increase. That’s not true, necessarily.

 

What happens to that anticipated profit, when a rush job results in poor work and client rejection? You need to redo the job. And, YOU have to foot the bill for materials and labor the second time around.

 

Typical labor-saving materials, tools and equipment in the painting process.

 

  1. Airless spray painting for large spaces, or areas such as vertical/horizontal siding.

 

  1. Airless spray painting for large amount of preinstalled moldings.

 

  1. Conventional spray equipment to apply oil stain to preinstalled moldings.

 

  1. Easy-release masking tape to prevent pull-off of existing finish.

 

  1. Pressurized roller system when painting a lot of walls in one color.

 

  1. Industrial-grade paint stripper when removing wood finish.

 

  1. Largest size roller cover you can manage for the specific work to be done.

 

  1. Plastic sheeting to cover furniture when painting overhead.

 

All application methods, materials, tools, and equipment serve to save time. The use of a spray finishing system far exceeds the level of productivity of brush and roller work.

 

Budgeting is all about saving money. And everyone wants to do that.

 

When quality is your prime concern, however, make sure to save enough money for what is most important.

 

A TOP TIP: Always shop around for products, materials, supplies, tools, and equipment. Including rentals! Prices can vary between different supply houses – same company.

 

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Thanks, everyone, for staying on-course — and for visiting “Painting with Bob.”

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

Paint Shop I: Organizing and Storing, Part 2: Creating a Place

Creating a place for everything in your paint shop is a challenge. Especially, if your wall and floor spaces are limited.

Other factors enter into the process: number of people that use paint shop, location of shop in proximity to main department, and other departments; volume of traffic; who’s in charge of paint shop operations (YOU?); who manages entire area.

If you are responsible for paint shop operations, take charge. Create a plan that will work for you – and those around you. And, GRID your inventory into spaces that help you do your job like the professional that you are!

 

2. Create A Place for Everything: Gridding your space into sections by category, and use.

 

A. Interior products/materials:

 

(1) Paints. Sort in order of priority, or frequency of use. Store according to areas/uses.

a. General/base products: Standard colors, general use

b. Designated areas: Guest rooms/suites, offices, front offices, lobby, front desk, corridors, public restrooms, game rooms, food courts, restaurants, computer room, health club, theatre, conference center, etc.

 

(2)  Stains/varnishes/ special finishes.  Store in safety cabinet, designed for flammable or combustible products.

a. General/base products: Standard colors, general use

b. Designated areas: Rooms/suites, offices, lobby, front desk, corridors, restaurants, theatre, conference center, etc.

 

(3) Wallcoverings, borders, murals. Store according to areas used in – and in dry area.

a. General use

b. Designated: Rooms/suites, offices, lobby, front desk, corridors, restaurants, clubs, food court, health club, spa, public restrooms, conference center, etc.

* For each, specify location, room numbers, building numbers/names, etc.

c. Tools: Roller (9-in., 3/8-in. cover); level, broad knives, seam rollers, smoothing brush, plastic smoothing tool; Paper Tiger, paper scraper, 10-in-1 tool; shower cap; dust masks, vinyl gloves.

 

(4) Prep products/supplies. Group similar items together.

a. Sandpapers, caulking tubes/guns, fillers, sanding blocks.

b. Scrapers, putty knives, steel wool, Patch sticks.

c. Solvents, thinners, removers, paint strippers.

d. Cleaning chemicals: TSP (alkaline, grease, de-glosses); denatured alcohol (cleans metal); Calgon, Downy; white vinegar (mild acid rinse);  Goof-off 2;

e. Masking paper, tapes, plastic sheeting, masking film.

 

(5) Cleaning/Clean-up Supplies. Conserve space.  TIP: Store  smaller items inside larger ones.

a. Sponges, bags of rags, buckets.

b. Trash bags – different sizes, strengths

 

(6) Protective gear/Safety items. Store gear together, in same section.

 

TIP: Keep related items together.

 

B. Exterior products/materials/supplies/tools/equipment:  Include special sections like the above in “A.”

 

(1) Paints

 a. General use:

 b. Designated: Pools, gazebos, courts, playgrounds, parks, seating, fencing, front entrance, parking, canopy, asphalt, etc.

 c. Compliance/Safety/Zoning

 

(2) Special coatings – for metal, concrete, asphalt, plastic, tile, etc.

 

(3) Exterior stains, polyurethanes, urethanes

 

(4) Prep and cleaning supplies

 

(5) Tools and equipment

 

(6) Protective gear and safety items

 

PAINT WORKSHOP STORY: My father was a superb journey painter and decorator. One of the best in the trade. And, one of the busiest! When he died suddenly in 1993, he left a major mess in his private workshop on the family’s country property. Chaos is a polite word for the disorganized piles, stacks, buckets, etc. of everything everywhere.

The job of making sense of it all – unearthing the inventory, sorting it, discarding what couldn’t be used, inventorying, labeling, organizing, then assigning a price/value to every item – fell on the grieving shoulders, hands and hearts of my mother and myself. (It didn’t help the grieving process.)

JOURNEY PAINTER’s SHOP TIP: Get your paint shop in shape. And, keep it that way. Whether it amounts to a few shelves, a mid-sized room with an adjacent workroom, or a free-standing building/shed. You’ll be glad that you did. So will everyone around you when they need to step into your shoes. Even for a day, or only an hour.

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Staying organized is much easier than you might think. Once you get used to it! Thanks for visiting “Painting with Bob.”

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