By: Jasen Santiago
As professional contractors in the tile and grout industry we have many goals that we are trying to achieve; Customer satisfaction, beautiful results, and efficient procedures just to name a few. But our main goal remains the same; profitability. In order to be most profitable we must understand how to bid our projects. And most importantly, we must understand that not all projects should be bid the same way.
Hopefully at this point, most of us have all experienced the benefits of color sealing grout. The proficiency to make grout look completely uniform, the capability to completely change the grout color all together and the ability to make sure our customer’s grout has been sealed with a quality sealer that will keep their investment protected for many years to come. But for new contractors doing this work on a regular basis, you’re likely to find that the color sealing job you did on Monday is nothing like the color sealing job you completed on Wednesday. We’ve all heard the good advice of not quoting a price over the phone without seeing the job. This especially holds true when charging for estimates in the color sealing industry.
There are many things to consider when determining the price of your next color sealing job. How many cleaning steps will be required? What size of tiles will you be dealing with? What is the finish of the said tiles? Everything from the most obvious obstacles all the way to the smallest details should be considered when walking into the house for the initial inspection. By having the ability to recognize any challenges before you start the project, you will not only make the job more profitable, but it will also give you an opportunity to educate your clients on their floor leaving a very knowledgeable and professional impression after you have left.
Here is a list of things to look for during your next color sealing estimate:
• The size of the tiles- Smaller tiles have more grout lines. More grout lines mean more products used and more labor required.
• The finish of the tiles- Dull tiles typically are more textured than shiny ones. Heavily textured tiles requires more clean-up and a lengthier buffing process
• The amount of furniture- If your policy is to move furniture, this must be taken into consideration. Moving furniture properly can take up to 2 hours or more. This is time that you need to be getting paid for.
• The conditions of the floor- Tile and grout that have heavy build-up can require a two step cleaning process adding significant time to your project.
• The lay out of the home- Smaller areas such as bathrooms or hallways take much longer than wide open areas (especially if protecting the walls.) In other words, five 100 square foot areas will take at least twice as long as one 500 square foot area. Also, moving equipment upstairs can add challenges and time to your scope of work.
• The type of customer you’re dealing with- We’ve all experienced the “trouble customer” and know how they can affect the job. Get a feel for your client during the bidding process. If you feel there could be a challenge, charge according.