Subcontracting a Water Tower


I recently recieved a call from a local painting & sandblasting company to look into cleaning a 150’ shperical water tower for them, they usually clean them themselves but they are busy & stretched thin on employees. The job needs to be done by a certain date & he (owner of sandblasting & painting company) is supplying the lift & any other equipment needed, even his machine if i want (his has more gpm & psi for that 150’ push straight up), so basically im just providing the labor for the most part, if they are going to repaint then we will pressure wash it (& NO not with that infamous red tip lol) but if its just a touch up job then we will softwash it (he finds out today which one they will do)so as many others have asked with help or suggestions on pricing i am doing the same! Ive been reading & searching all weekend & have a guestimate but was just wanting more input, so i open to advice & thanks prior for any responses. Thanks in advance but just to save a few questions & what not… im not looking for advice on the process, insurance, osha etc… which i know play a part in price lol, thanks for reading my lil book!


how long do you think it will take you to do?


He told me that it takes his guys anywhere from 1 loooong day up to 2 “average” work days.


how many guys to do it?


3 total, 1 on the ground & 2 in manlift.


I’m going to look at a water tower tomorrow. Keep us in the loop. I’m gonna ask them for regulations and a sit down with the water department people to figure out what I absolutely cannot do.


Will do! While i was googling & digging info up on water towers i stumbled across the city council meetings that took place few months ago, & in it i seen how much they aproved to pay his company to do the job (clean & paint) so i gave him an offer & still waiting to hear back…


Which was how much? x)


A good 5 digit number lol


You won’t get it at 5 digits! You’ll be lucky at 4 digits with it being his lift and equipment. Just a reality statement.


Let me elaborate on that statement. He obviously has guys trained that know how to do this. I understand that they are stretched thin but money talks. If he offered 3 guys double overtime or around $60 on hour each they would take the work. And the owner knows this. So 3 guys @60 with 2 10 hour days is $3,600

See my point?


If this guy is that booked you have a pretty good chance of him sending more work your way in the future. If you could use the extra work I would be cautious not to overbid because he definitely won’t call you for any other jobs.

Before I saw the numbers that Chris posted I was thinking that you should charge your hourly wage for two days and then maybe add 10%-20%. If you’re at $150 an hour for 20 hours that puts you at $3000. Add 20% and that gives you $3600. If you need the work don’t add the 10%-20%.


@SchertzServicesLLC i was replying to @DoubleH question about how much they were contracted with the city for the entire job which by the way will be a full paint job after the cleaning.


It doesn’t appear that that looking at the timeline of the conversation. :man_shrugging:t2:


Ok… i just re-read the last few posts & realized that i mis-understood @DoubleH question so let me clearify… i gave him a $3500 “quote”. Sorry for my confusion!


Power of the “9’s” dude… power of the “9’s”.

Shudda gone $3509.

If you get the job, please make sure you get some pics and document the job… be cool to see how exactly its done.


My bad @SchertzServicesLLC lol


Lol… power of the 9’s huh!!! Or maybe shoulda went with $3499…


You won’t find a round number on my estimates. Power of 9’s is real. But you gotta use it right. Add a couple hundred extra on it and then the 9’s and most folks won’t even see the first couple digits.

Pricing psychology is real. Google it. :slight_smile:

If my first thought was $3400 I’d bid at $3599. But I’m also a weirdo.


I will def look it up! & i’ve been called worse lol