We try to be as explicit as possible in the description of the work to be done without becoming pedantic or redundant. We do not break out individual costs unless it they are a major element of the job, like “installing new toilets & lavatory bases throughout the house.” On the other hand, we seldom charge or pile on costs for simple requests, which may arise during the course of the job.
The reason for this is that costs are not linear, they are base loaded. This means that it takes a certain expense simply to assemble the crew and show up for work with all the tools and equipment necessary to do the job. Let’s say the whole job consists of painting five rooms for $1,000.00
Many customers assume that it costs $200 to paint each room. Not so. The cost of painting the first room will be $400.00. The second room will cost $250.00, the third, $150.00, the forth and fifth, $100 each. Sometimes people with limited funds ask us to paint all but one or two rooms because, “They can’t afford any more”. They don’t realize, or I can’t get them to understand that those one or two rooms will only cost a few dollars, perhaps just the cost of the paint – compared to the rest of the job.
This is also why we can often do customers ‘favors’ at no charge; we’re already there on the job and incur no material expense performing additional simple tasks.
In the above example, if we were to quote all five rooms individually, they would have to be priced at $400.00 each, as if we were going to paint one room a week for five weeks.
This is also why we turn down individual small jobs. A self employed handyman can approach the work far more economically than we can. On the other hand, a handy man couldn’t, in good conscience, take on large scale work as we do.
Our niche in the market place seems to be for painting work between $1,500.00 and remodel work up to about $25,000. Just as we seldom accept work for much under $1,500.00, we also never bite off more than we can chew. A man must know his limits.