What is a Painting Estimate?
When you’re in the painting business, you need a way to tell clients how much a project will cost before getting started. This is where estimates come in. An estimate is an approximate price for a painting job that includes materials, labor, and other costs based on the needs of the client.
An estimate is verbal, whereas a quote is a finalized and agreed upon proposal between you and your client.
It can be overwhelming to have to write out an estimate on your own for every job, and that’s why you should consider using a template. A painting estimate template can help to make sure that you don’t miss any costs or fees, which makes your painting estimates and quotes more accurate.
In this article, we’ll talk about how a painting estimate template can help you, how to write an estimate yourself, and when to send one to a client.
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How to write a quote for a painting job
Writing a painting quote for your clients should include the following steps:
- Visit the job site in person
- Estimate the time requirements for the job
- Calculate your labor costs
- Add any additional costs, like materials, fees, or overhead
Learn more about how to write a painting estimate as an expert shares his advice and expertise.
When Should You Send a Painting Estimate to a Client?
When you decide to send an estimate to a client can have a big impact on whether they choose to do business with you. If you send an estimate before you even visit the job site, it may be inaccurate or come off as presumptuous. But, if you send one too late, the client may already have decided to go with someone else.
The best times to send an estimate are:
- During the end of the estimate meeting
- Immediately after you meet with the client to review the job
- Within 24 hours of meeting with the client
Software can help you keep you on the ball so you provide a quote quickly, and don’t forget to send it to your client
The sooner you provide a quote, and the more detailed it is, the more likely your client will view you as a professional who wants their business.
Sending out an estimate too late in the game, like a week after the meeting allows them to shop around and can give the impression that you’re disorganized. This small detail could make you miss out on their business.
Pro tip: Sending a follow-up email a few days after a quote can help to get you more painting contracts.
How to Use a Painting Estimate Template
Generally, a painting estimate template will include fields for labor, materials, job details (like which rooms need to be painted and their sizes), taxes, and any additional costs.
They can lend a hand after a job is finished as well since they can be used to inform the painting invoice you send to your client.
Here’s how to use the free template included in this article:
1. Download the PDF version of the template to your computer or tablet and save it as a new file.
2. Open a new copy of the saved file for each new job.
3. Fill in each of the fields in the template (service/product, description, quantity, unit cost, and total).
What Fields are Included in this Free Template?
The service or product information in your template should be filled in with the basic name of the service you provided. For example, residential painting.
The description should give more details about the service you are charging the client for, like “home office, two coats of paint.”
Quantity refers to the number of like services or products you will be charging the client for. You would only charge for more than one quantity of the same service.
For example, if you painted two spare bedrooms that were the same size and used the same amount of paint, you could put “2” as your quantity for that list item.
Unit cost refers to the cost of each individual unit, which could be an item or amount of time.
For example, you can bill labor costs per unit (hour) and put the total in this field. Or, if you are charging the client for each tube of caulking on a job, you could put the cost per unit here as well.
The total is the entire amount that the client owes to you for the job you completed. This includes labor and material costs, fees, overhead, discounts, and taxes.
4. Calculate the total bill, including labor, materials, taxes, fees, and any discounts.
5. Save it as a new file with a unique file name. For example, save each estimate with the client’s name and the estimate number for easy retrieval (Painting Quote 00714.RichardLowell.PDF).
6. Save a copy on your computer for your records,
7. Share the estimate with your client by sending them a PDF version of the estimate via email.
It’s important to remember to include all of the costs, taxes, and fees in your estimate so that the client isn’t taken by surprise when they receive the invoice.
It will also help you to make sure that you are getting the correct amount for the job and not losing out because you forgot to include the cost of materials or other fees.
Accelerating Your Painting Estimates
Painting estimates take time, which is something that many small business owners don’t have a lot of. By using a painting estimate template or quoting software, you can cut down on time spent writing out and mailing invoices.
Whether you are just starting your painting business or you’ve been in the industry for years, it’s important to show your clients that you are a professional. Accurate, consistent, and easy-to-understand estimates can assist with branding, reputation, and even getting more contracts.
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