Like other contractors, painters must often write formal bids to win jobs. A clear, detailed bid helps you prevent confusion about the work to be done, avoid billing disputes, and keep your customers happy. For the most professional-looking bids, consider purchasing preprinted bid forms that include your company logo.
- Skill level:
Use your business's letterhead or else print all your contact information at the top of the page. Write the name, billing address and service address of the client. If you are writing the bid for a business, include the contact name of the person requesting the bid.
Record the current date on your bid. You may also list an expiration date or add verbiage that says “bid is valid for 60 days.” This prevents clients from expecting the same price several months after the bid, by which time your product costs may have increased.
Provide details about the job. Include whether it is an interior or exterior paint job, and specify the surfaces you will paint (such as siding only or siding plus trim). List all the tasks you will perform, including small ones like caulking crown moulding, laying dust sheets, etc.
State how many coats of paint you are applying and specify the brand, type and colour. For example, you might write, “One coat 602 Speedy Blockout primer and two coats Dutch Boy Refresh semigloss in Missoula blue.” If you will be painting multiple areas, provide this information for each.
Identify who will provide supplies and materials. In most cases, the painting contractor will supply everything. Sometimes, however, the client will wish to purchase the paint. In this case, you might say: “(Insert your company name here) to provide all supplies and materials except paint. X number of gallons of paint to be purchased by customer and available for pickup at XYZ Paint Store by 8:00 a.m. on the first day of the job."
State whether you are insured. If your employees are bonded, include that information as well.
Set the price. If you are charging taxes, some states require you to break the tax amount out of your total. In this case, you would need a subtotal for your goods and services, a tax amount and a total amount.
Spell out your terms. Will you bill the client and give them 10 days or 30 days to pay? Or is payment due at the time of service? Do you require a down payment or advance?
Thank the customer for giving you the opportunity to quote the job and let them know you appreciate their business.
Tips and warnings
- When handwriting information, write clearly and neatly.
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