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Painting rooms: How much should I charge?

Hi I'm Vee!Hi I'm Vee! Formerly VH; She/Her; Is an E X P E R I E N C ERegistered User regular
edited August 2007 in Help / Advice Forum
My parents want someone to paint a few of the rooms in the house, and I need some extra money, so I volunteered. The problem is that neither of us know the going rate for painting. Obviously I wouldn't get what a professional makes, but some kind of guideline would be helpful.

I don't have the measurements on the rooms, but is there a per-square-foot rate or something? Should we just go to a painter and get an estimate?

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    RuckusRuckus Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    My parents want someone to paint a few of the rooms in the house, and I need some extra money, so I volunteered. The problem is that neither of us know the going rate for painting. Obviously I wouldn't get what a professional makes, but some kind of guideline would be helpful.

    I don't have the measurements on the rooms, but is there a per-square-foot rate or something? Should we just go to a painter and get an estimate?

    Hourly rate and they pay for the paint maybe?

    like 10-15 bucks an hour?

    Ruckus on
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    EggyToastEggyToast Jersey CityRegistered User regular
    edited August 2007
    How big are these rooms? How much are they going to help? If it's just you, and you're going to move/cover stuff in the rooms all by yourself, it's like $100 a room for a small/medium room. If they're going to help, drop it down. There really isn't an hourly rate because you're an amateur and it's going to take you a lot longer to paint something anyway.

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    mastmanmastman Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    it's your parents...

    mastman on
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    EggyToastEggyToast Jersey CityRegistered User regular
    edited August 2007
    I think it's a given that the parents are looking to pay someone, and that they're also willing to pay their son. I don't get the impression that this is a "chore"; it's not like he's charging to wash their dishes after they cook it and he eats it.

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    meekermeeker Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    EggyToast wrote: »
    I it's not like he's charging to wash their dishes after they cook it and he eats it.

    No, instead it is like he charges them for painting rooms after they paid the mortgage and he lives there...

    Just paint it. Say "Mom, if you want to give me a few bucks for it, that would be great."

    meeker on
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    phamtqphamtq Portland, ORRegistered User regular
    edited August 2007
    The best thing to do (that worked for me) was to have something you want in mind (say an Xbox360). Then you basically exchange your services for the item. I find that people are more willing to hand you a product than give you cash which they don't know what you're going to spend it on.

    And I think that's the main reason it works. Your parents don't have to worry what you might spend it on. In their heads they might think you'll spend it on booze and drugs or worse..... condoms. :D

    phamtq on
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    Hi I'm Vee!Hi I'm Vee! Formerly VH; She/Her; Is an E X P E R I E N C E Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    meeker wrote: »
    EggyToast wrote: »
    I it's not like he's charging to wash their dishes after they cook it and he eats it.

    No, instead it is like he charges them for painting rooms after they paid the mortgage and he lives there...

    Just paint it. Say "Mom, if you want to give me a few bucks for it, that would be great."

    I'm pretty sure that's not actually the question I asked.

    My parents and I already came to a decision about how this was going to work. There was nothing weird involved; we make this kind of deal all the time.

    I'd appreciate it if you'd answer the question, or, if you can't do that, at least refrain from critiquing my relationship with my parents, which frankly is none of your business.

    To EggyToast: Thank you. I'm not sure what constitutes a "small" or "medium" room, though. If I was able to provide measurements, would that help? For example, I would be doing the garage, which is pretty sizeable (in addition to the fact that it's HOT in the 100+ degree heat in KY this summer). The basement is pretty sizeable as well.

    To phamtq: Normally that's what we do, but I'm actually a bit in debt right now, and I need it paid off, which is pretty much how this whole conversation started. Otherwise I'd just ask them to put some money towards a new computer. :P

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    DrezDrez Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    About 35 bucks an hour for a pro for a moderate job. If you're doing it yourself, I would recommend 20-25 dollars an hour; I think that's fair.

    My uncle owned a painting business and I worked with him once in a while.

    Is this straight painting? Any wallpaper removal? The size of the job doesn't really matter: the more hours you put in, the more you'll be paid and it shouldn't really scale in my opinion.

    What might work, though, is a flat per-day rate. My uncle would usually get 200 for himself per day, flat rate. For you, maybe 150 or so would be fair and adequate. As one of his assistants, I would get 85-100 depending on the job per day.

    So, either 20-25/hour or something in the 130-150 dollar range is fair, I think. That's my price estimation for a non-professional worker that has to do the job himself.

    If this involves wallpaper removal, tell your parents to hire someone else because that is one of the worst jobs ever. :P

    Also, the people telling you to "just do it" (for free) are stupid. This being help/advice, I'll advise those people to shut the hell up and not be so goddamn stupid in the future.

    Drez on
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    phamtqphamtq Portland, ORRegistered User regular
    edited August 2007
    To phamtq: Normally that's what we do, but I'm actually a bit in debt right now, and I need it paid off, which is pretty much how this whole conversation started. Otherwise I'd just ask them to put some money towards a new computer. :P

    I guess that depends on how much you owe. There might be a way to have them help you knock a good chunk down in exchange.

    phamtq on
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    SarcastroSarcastro Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    I'd say it depends on age, and Drez has the right idea, but I'd keep in mind that this is all 'under the table' so I would lop off a little more than third on the 20 bucks an hour.

    12-13$ per hour is pretty reasonable for a high school special. 16$ for an 'after school' special.

    If I was your folks, I'd flat rate it. 120$ for a medium size room (no wallpaper) is pretty good. If you bust your ass and do it in five, whoohoo - if you slack and it takes you two days, then that's what it takes. Deends on your established work ethic and the kind of business relationship you have with your folks.

    Sarcastro on
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    EggyToastEggyToast Jersey CityRegistered User regular
    edited August 2007
    A small room is like 12x12 or less. A garage and basement is a bit tricky, though. As in, they obviously take more time, but do they have to look as nice as a bedroom?

    I can paint a medium/small room (about 13x13) in about an hour, cutting included. My rooms in my house have a lot of corners so the cutting takes a good chunk of the time, which may not be the case in a basement or garage. So 2 coats by myself takes about 2.5 hours, so $35/hr would be right around $100. If there were shelves and shit in the way, moving all that stuff and covering it up takes more time, so probably a little more than $100. If they helped move things and cover shit up, maybe a little less.

    I know with family things it's easier to just peg an overall rate, rather than mess with hourly calculations. If the parents are helping move stuff around and pretty much just want you to paint, I'd probably say $300-$400. If they want you to move everything except the big stuff, at least $500, since that will probably include some organization and other cleaning anyway. They're likely to help, though, at least a little bit.

    The other thing you could do is simply have them pay off your debt, if it's in that general range. If it's not that much, have them pay off the debt and throw in an extra $100.

    EggyToast on
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    DrezDrez Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    Sarcastro wrote: »
    I'd say it depends on age, and Drez has the right idea, but I'd keep in mind that this is all 'under the table' so I would lop off a little more than third on the 20 bucks an hour.

    12-13$ per hour is pretty reasonable for a high school special. 16$ for an 'after school' special.

    If I was your folks, I'd flat rate it. 120$ for a medium size room (no wallpaper) is pretty good. If you bust your ass and do it in five, whoohoo - if you slack and it takes you two days, then that's what it takes. Deends on your established work ethic and the kind of business relationship you have with your folks.

    Actually, my 20-25 bucks-per-hour estimate IS lopping a third off the going professional rate. My uncle estimated he'd get 35-ish an hour (sometimes more, sometimes less, but that was the median).

    For someone shouldering the job themselves, and a family member, 1/3 off that is pretty fair: 20-25 isn't unreasonable. Painting can be a tough job. If there are any heights or stairs to work around, it's a pain. If there are a lot of closets or molding in the room, it's harder. So it really depends, I guess, especially if you plan on estimating toward a flat job rate.

    All that aside, if my parents asked me to paint for them and it was decided that they would pay and that I should come up with a fair amount, I would probably ask for $20 per hour or I would estimate a flat rate based on that per-hour amount. People are more comfortable with flat rates, too.


    Also, it goes without saying that they should pay for the paint.

    Drez on
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