Why Painting Rates Books Just Don't Work




Posted by The Painters’ QS in UK Painting Rates

The problem with rating books such as Spons, Wessex (and others) is that they do not take into account:

1. Your Daily Painter Charge (which will vary according to where you are located in the UK, the travel costs to the project and how keen you are to secure the project).

2. Your Material Purchase Prices:  Paint prices vary considerably from contractor to contractor according to the volume of paint your purchase over the year from your supplier.  Wa

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Painting Estimating Software




Posted by The Painters’ QS in UK Painting Rates

NEWS FLASH! Quick Paint Rate is soon to have a rate SAVE function added.

This means that painting contractors will be able SAVE all the painting/wallpapering rates they calculated in order to price a particular project.

The rates can be saved to the project name so that at a later date, if you need to review your rates, you can quickly find the rates and your rate build ups.

This will also be very useful, if you need to revise any of the rates because since pr

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The Rules of Measurement state that when working up to a height of 3.5m, QS's do not need to separate their measures, so you just use your standard £/m2 rate when pricing.

However, for decoration works above 3.5m, measures have to be separated.

In the old SMM7, above a working height of 3.5m, QS's were required to separate measures in 1.5m intervals.

For example, 3.5-5.0m; 5.0-6.5metc.

However, because NRM2 has tried to

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I had this question from a Quick Paint Rate user regarding calculating painting rates on an 'out of hours' basis or 'working away'.


What would you say the average extra over cost for working Out of Hours works are?

We do mainly shopfitting and contract works, therefore our costs generally remain the same i.e 7 days a week 10-12 hours per day, na

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For many painters, the normal method of pricing is to go and look at the project and guesstimate the number of days.

Problem is:  For many painting projects, this method of pricing is not feasible or very 'risky'.


1. At the time of tendering, the new building is not built so you have to price from drawings but don't know how.

2. The Contractor may have given you a bill of quantities but you have no knowledge of &pou

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Generally, for any small commercial painter or domestic painter looking to expand more into commercial painting, the truth is, the main barrier to you expanding your business is the fact that that Principal Contractors expect you to price tenders they send over (even if they are only pricing the project themselves) and for you to be able to price from drawings or bills of quantities.

And here lies the problem.

Most small commercial painters/domestic painters are only abl

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Quick Paint rate: Question & Answer




Posted by The Painters’ QS in UK Painting Rates

Question 1: 
I pay my painters for 8hr working day, so I changed the production hours to 8hrs.  Is that OK?

NO!  If you are working a standard 8hr day, with no restrictions, you will always loose 1hr. production due to mobile phones, chatting, smoking and toilet breaks.
Leave the production hours fi

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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

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OK, so if you're familiar with painting rates, you'll probably know your typical rates for emulsion to ceilings and walls, gloss to woodwork etc.

You may even have a 'guess' at adding a bit to your 'normal' rates to cover for rates when you are travelling at distance to a job and have to allow for extra travel time and fuel for the van?

But what do you do when you have to calculate £/m2 and £/Lm rates for unusual/specialist paints such as Keim products, two-pack pa

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We always get lots of questions from Quick Paint Rate users regarding rates painting to door frames, so I hope this helps:

If a door frame is to be painted BOTH sides (frame and archs) and has an overall girth n.e.300mm, you would use the £/Lm rate in Quick Paint Rate described as ‘Door Frame (to paint both sides of a door frame), n.e.300mm


If a door frame is to be painted ON ONE SIDE ONLY (frame and archs) and has an overall girth n.e

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Yesterday, I had a Quick Paint Rate user asking about costing painting to DOORSETS.  He had been given a bill of quantities, but the doors and door frames had been listed as:

1.    Single Doorset; painted, both sides:  20no.
2.    Leaf and Half Doorset; painted, both sides:  10no.
3.    Double Doorset; painted; both sides:  4no.

You do sometimes get this where the QS h

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Some of you may be pricing painting projects to a bill of quantities supplied by the Building Contractor.  Here windows are measured in m2.

The problem is, under the New Rules of Measurement, when measuring painting to windows, the quantity surveyor no longer has to tell you the average pane sizes of the glazing, so they will give this typical description:

'decoration to windows, both sides, IRRESPECTIVE OF PANE SIZE'

This differs from t

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We had this question from a Quick Paint Rate user:

We give a £/Lm rate for painting door frames, but now they've fitted intumescent fire strips into the frame lining that we have to cut in 3 times, would you have rate in mind?

Painting Estimator Reply:

You’re right: It takes a lot longer to cut in to the intumescent strip installed into the frame lining.


The materials part of the cost will be the same:

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I can't believe in recent weeks how many painting contractors  I have spoken to all over the UK  who have been offered to take over a new build housing development because the current painter is getting 'kicked off'.

Why's the painter getting kicked off?

Quality and keeping up with programme of course!!!!

The House Builder complains that they can't get decent painters, but is the painter no good or is it a simple case that in their

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Painting Rates When Working Away




Posted by The Painters’ QS in UK Painting Rates

It can always be difficult to decide what daily painter charge to base £/m2 and £/Lm painting rates on when pricing a project that involves ‘working away’.

Had this question from a painting contractor who uses Quick Paint Rate

Hope you find useful.

Painting Contractor Question:
‘Bit of a random one but what do you think I should be charging for labour
only for working away, also what do you think I should be paying my

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The problem here is how to allow for the high level of filling that’s required since it’s way above your ‘average’ amount of filling that you would allow for in a NEW timber surface.

So you need to use Quick Paint Rate in a slighly different way by calculating the rate NOT based on a new timber surface, but based on previously painted timber surface in very poor condition. By picking very poor condition, this will allow for a lot more preparatio

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