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Stellar has and will always go to great lengths to be fair and provide good, solid, and as accurate estimates as is possible. I do not believe we take a back seat to many in this city in that regard. A hard bid is based on time standards built on Avg’s – the avg. level of protection needed to an area, the avg. cut in needed to areas, the avg. heights dealt with, the avg. speed of a Crew, etc. Pricing is most often based on what the Avg. rate the Market is currently bearing. This is done based on research over the course of 100’s of jobs and watching the Market Place. Hard bids are intended to be more accurate than Time and Materials Bids as a whole because the Estimator can typically review and can see what needs to be painted and assess certain Variables such as the cut in and protection, height Challenges, etc. as mentioned above. You take the Sq. Footage of an Area or the Linear ft.  & multiple it by the Time Standard and that gives you the Projected Hours that all Good Bids need to start with in order to provide a Final ESTIMATE. The calculation is not a RANGE OF TIME, it is an exact # of which you might round up a little, down a little, or use “as is”.  Intelligently established from the start, it will be the # to which the Crew will be tasked with and your Bid will be calculated.

Some Estimators are “Guestimators” where it would be very difficult for them to break things out as many good or great estimators can. They are historically more wrong than right and many don’t care as they will pay the worker bees whatever suits them for a particular job. This is very often a Contractor taking more than what is rightfully theirs and while that’s a great way to make money, it’s also a great way to go out of business. Some Franchises use estimating programs but they tend to have issues with accuracy as certain Variables are not properly atoned for or kept up to date as #’s are just robotically kicked out and the often inexperienced estimator relies on it as a crutch of sorts and gives the Estimate right or wrong. Good Training and up to date Software and Standards do help prevent this but there is no substitute for experience. An Estimator must also be able to recognize certain elements, special prep, or variables that will affect the final end result and the final estimate. Without those recognition skills, the bidding Software is rendered a allot less effective & will have very questionable accuracy.  If a Crew is not given a fair amount of time to complete the Project than there is going to be a slip in the Workmanship and on-site unhappiness amongst that Crew.

The goal of the Crew as with any service industry is to complete the task in the allotted target hours or less. Some Crews will accomplish this and for those that go over hours then good contractors must pay them the same as well with no added charge to the client obviously & vise versa. Thus the Term “Hard Bid” and the comfort level people have with knowing what they will pay upfront. It is most unwise to do large scale projects by T & M unless it is Wallpaper Removal, Some Stain Work, or Larger Scale Drywall Repairs where ascertaining time is near impossible. Keeping tabs on hours, breaks, lunches, and how fast people are working or not are all reasons why T &M just typically does not work for larger scoped Paint Projects. It can get messy, thus again why people prefer “Hard Bids” for their Painting Projects.  Good Contractors have worked hard thru the years to have a fair system and stamp their years of experience in this industry on it and pass on to other Estimators in a good company who will have great success in their own right. The goal is always to be more right than wrong or thus not exist very long as a sustainable business. More Right & Fair- have sustainable long term relationships with your Painters and provide a consistently good or great product, more wrong and unfair- lose your Painters and Struggle with Up and Down Final Results!  Crews are rated and judged in this Industry for hitting these targets consistently. But as I have said prior, all estimates are projections and things can present themselves that will affect the productivity of a job one way or the other. Sometimes Furniture is not moved or pictures not taken down for example. There is no way one can project the exact hour or Min. that a Job will complete. Time and Materials is used for an add-on’s like a Stair Rail, which might be difficult to recall vividly after one has left the project site for some time and therefore the fairest thing to do in that regard is to apply it to Time and Materials where no one is hurt by guest mating to low or hurt by guest mating to high, either way, It would be guest mating. Again, in the end, you only pay for exactly what it takes to do the task. Good Contractor’s Stand by their Bids as fair and always more right than wrong.

Read More…………………… (Are you Really Making the Right Choice?)

Are You Really Making the Right Choice?

If you feel comfortable that a Contractor has given you an intelligent accounting for his or her numbers then you should be very, very leery of Bids that are substantially less, even though they are alluring.  Do not focus on what you think it should cost as a novice as many of us have been doing this for years to tell you that in a good way. That is why you asked us to come! Be Careful, even when you find Contractors from what you believe to be the same reliable source. We pay money to be on almost all of these consumer-driven sites.  The motive is everything in this business. Trying to sell every job by underpaying your people and underbidding the Industry is no way to have real sustainability and respect for what it really takes for the “Worker Bees” to accomplish what is often a difficult task in a good way. It should absolutely be known to consumers that some groups of Painters work with Contractors that present themselves in a professional way, with great websites, great testimonials, etc. but feel like they can go nowhere else, their trapped, where else will we go? And accept whatever is thrown their way in regards to pay. This is the very reason good work results in many of these cases exist for certain & even long time periods & good testimonials have come forth, but these workers are most often being taken advantage of. These types of Contractors are of the worse breed and they have all sorts of reasons & stories as to why they are “cheaper” than everyone else. Most of it is nonsense. It just really comes down to Motive- I want to sell every job no matter who pays the price later.  Trust me, they cannot & will not survive such behavior long term. Bottom Line, even though you might be impressed with such presentations, DOES THE BID MAKE REAL SENSE FOR WHAT YOU ARE ASKING TO BE DONE COMPARED TO OTHERS? WHY IS THAT CONTRACTOR 1/2 or 1/3rd the difference of so many others? This is a big-time red flag. Do you really believe a quality Contractor can survive to be twice to 1/3rd as wrong all the time?

The Industry unfortunately revolves around a lot of fear and self-proclaimed grandstanding “Rated highest this or that……”  Work with Contractors who are not fearful & portray who they are in a real way. Try to source out the Clear Leaders in the Market that base their business on practical and market-driven business models that are driven in the spirit of fairness to all people involved in the Process of completing a Paint Project Successfully on your behalf.  If you do so, you will find a long term relationship with a contractor who will deliver what you seek.

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