Pricing by the sqft. - Measuring houses

Hi everyone, hope all is well and everyone is busy!

I am looking for insight on measuring houses. I price by the sqft of the house. Not living sqft. Im just curious how everyone else is measuring.

Example: Say I have a 1.5 story with cathedral ceilings on one end of the house and a bedroom loft on the other end. I measure up the foot print and its 44’x26’. How do you calculate the sqft for the price? Ive been doing the footprint x 1.5 for a 1.5 story or x2 for a full 2 story house. My sqft calculation wont match the homeowners as their sqft is based on livible area. Mine is based on cleanable area and counts the cathedral area which theirs does not. So on the example my sqft would be 1716sqft x by my sqft cleaning price which is determined by many factors (terraine, obstacles, how dirty the house is, ect).

I dont do flat rate pricing as I do bundle packages and usually end up doing windows, gutters, concrete and lots of other things. I find that homeowners dont notice alot of these items until you bring it to their attention.

So lets hear how you measure up :slight_smile:

1 Like

Around here sq ft pricing only works for me on cookie cutter vinyl homes. I price most by time. We have many houses that have multiple upstairs porches, balconies, etc that can really change how long they take.

I never measure vary rarely do I even go look at the house till I wash it. Ninty percent of all my house wash and roof cleaning prices are done over the phone while looking at the house on bings Birdseye view. I ask a few questions and give them a price.

Get in the habit of doing your estimates this way and you will save a lot of time and money. Remember free estimates are only free for the customer you still have a cost in providing them.

1 Like

That’s right. If you ask the right questions, you can get really close. And you have a certain margin that you created, just by saving the gas and time on an estimate… So “really close” is close enough.

1 Like

Specifically what questions do you ask?

Ask about the type of things you’d look for when you walk around the house. Substrate, # of stories, 1-10 how dirty is it, how many porches/what type (screen, deep, exposed rafters)/any 2nd story porches or balconies, attached garage. You know, the basics.

Then I give my spiel and then give them the price. Then they accept it, and I schedule them. The end.

how often do you show up and kick yourself for underpricing? not saying you do often or anything but im sure it happens

Are you actually going to try doing phone estimates? Is that the reason for the questions? Or are you just looking for a reason to keep doing things the way they’ve always been done?

I’ve done phone bids on a couple hundred houses, between window cleaning and soft washing. We haven’t gotten burned yet.

Has not happened. If you know what you are looking at online you can do just as good a job as in person.

Cool. I’ll pull up some random addresses and see what I can come up w for a price. Practice a little first

Good idea

I price over the phone as well. If you price high margins, kinda hard to get burned. Even if customer tells me house is 2000 sqft and two stories, and we get there and it is two stories on a walk out basement making it 2.5 - 3 stories, we are still Okay if I priced the job at $387. Extra 10-15 minutes on the job won’t break me.
Where I see folks trying to price in person or by exact measures, is usually because they are low margin priced and an error in size could eat the profit. Just increase value proposition, sell at higher rates and have margin to spare. Make out huge on little ranch house and eat a little on huge house due to a misquote on size.

2 Likes

Exactly.

In my case it’s because I am extremely high compared to my competition in the area and it is worth it for me to go meet with the homeowner for a four figure job.
When I start hammering the vinyl siding communities I will do phone pricing or ResponsiBid.

We do majority of our residential bids in person in between jobs. Our margins are higher than average, so it doesn’t bother me to take a little extra time to see exactly what I am getting into.

1 Like

Without counting wood restoration jobs and commercial work we do at least 90% pricing by phone and email. Sometimes we never even speak to the customer and we still book the work but that’s rare since Kathy calls everyone who wants to book.
The 4 figure house jobs I’ll find a way to go by and do estimate at the house…but that’s only after looking on a few net sites to see what I’m dealing with…
Time=money…and Time is hard to spare when where going pedal to the metal as we do this time of the year.

I got so tired of driving out to do every quote so I just give them a flat 299 for vinyl. If they say they got a small ranch then Ill take like 70 off. Plus side save time and gas, and they get the price right then and most book right on the phone.

Some jobs I make more, some less but it all averages out. People don’t want to wait for a quote they want it handled now.

1 Like

I personally like estimating. Because we provide many different services other than windows, softwashing, ect I have alot of success upselling and bundling my services. Also, if neighbors see me at one house estimating they will ask me to price theirs and I can do both on same day :slight_smile: So Im measuring …and most are pricing by the hour?

1 Like

this is a great thread

+1… never had extra thanks for going the extra mile (literally) to meet on site. Though meeting results in a higher close rate it is money out of your pocket and time away from your family.

Sent from my Galaxy S3 Android

1 Like