Pricing Painting to Steelwork for Commercial Painting Contractors




Posted by The Painters’ QS in UK Painting Rates

Painters often struggle pricing painting to steelwork especially if they rely on 'guesstimating' on days as their only method of pricing.

The reason for this is there's often lots of  different steel components and at high level, so even if the painter can visit the site to view the works, their 'eye' is often deceived as to the amount of time required to complete the works.

The only accurate way to accurately price painting to steelwork is to measure the works and apply the relevant £/m2 and £/Lm rates.

How to measure steelwork?

The usual rules of measurement apply:  If the overall girth of the steel component exceeds 300mm, the steel component should be measured in m2 and a £/m2 rate applied.  If the overall girth is less than 300mm, the steel is measured in linear metres and a £/Lm rate is applied.

Most steel is girth ex.300mm, so you have to find the overall m2 quantity of all the steel components combined and apply the calculated £/m2 rate from Quick Paint Rate.

E.g.  If a typical ‘I’ beam has a flange of 150mm (flange is the top and bottom of the letter ‘I’) and a web of 250mm (web is the ‘stem’ of the letter ‘I’), roughly, the overall girth all round is:

(4 x 150mm) + (2 x 250mm) = 1100mm (1.1Lm)

So if you had 100Lm of this type of beam to paint, the total m2 would be:  1.1Lm (overall girth) x 100Lm (total length of this type of beam) = 110m2

You would then multiply this total m2 quantity by the relevant £/m2 rate calculated from Quick Paint Rate.

You can only use the linear metre (Lm) rate IF the overall girth of the steel component is LESS THAN 300MM.  So here, you would just measure the total lenght of the steel component with a girth less than 300mm and apply the £/Lm rate from Quick Paint Rate.

Regarding spraying steelwork:

No spraying rate in Quick Paint Rate currently.  One of the problems with spraying rates is that you never know how much masking/protection is required and it can vary considerably.  Trying to factor this in so that it covers every eventuality is very difficult.

Most painters I speak to prefer to rate up on brush/roller and then if they can spray, they argue that this should be to their benefit not the Main Contractor/Client.

Hope all this helps.

Happy Estimating

Commercial Painting Estimator


Written by P&D Online

The Painters’ QS