How to Estimate Plaster Walls | by DYB Coach Ron Ramsden

How to Estimate Plaster Walls | by DYB Coach Ron Ramsden


Estimating plaster walls. This is actually a new area that we have just
built out, this is a carriage house, next to the
main house. Homeowner that we have
worked for many times asked us to come in and finish this area for them. So, I want to walkthrough an estimate on this
area, especially the plaster wall, some things to look out for. The homeowner said, it is all ready to go,
so he said, it has already been wiped down, everything
looks great, and first thing I did is, I came in, wiped my hands against everything
and look, we have dust on everything. So, that means that we have to factor in,
if we are writing an estimate, to wipe down these walls, maybe a nice, moist,
skimp rag, but just make sure we get all of these contaminations off, because
it is going to affect our finish paint. These walls feel like glass, but they do have
some residue over them. So, we want to let the homeowner know what
we are doing, we don’t want to surprise them, these are great things to
point out in the walkthrough of the estimate or if they are not there, note it
on the estimate that there is heavy dust on the wall, we are going to have to take
time and wipe it down, however, you do that. Secondly, we want to make sure the pH in these
walls are good enough to prime, and the pH is with plaster. Generally, if it is sitting over 21 days in
normal condition, you are in good shape. We will do a pH test, it is a really quick
test you can pick up, that takes us minutes to do,
but will also save you down the road from primer or paint failure when the moisture
is trying to escape out of the plaster and ruin your finish. So, as we walk around, this is typically estimating,
just like you have been estimating painting a wall, we are going to
length times width, we are going to figure out our square footage and average
gallon of latex primer and here we are using a Benjamin Moore Latex Primer. It goes about 323 and 50 square feet,
which is average, you might even get a little more out of it depending on if it is
smooth texture or if it is a rougher texture, if you have some kind of texture like
that, you might get a little left. So, as I move this around, you are going to
see the place, just a normal new construction. So, we are going to add up our number of paint,
we are going to figure out, we are going to test our production
rates in this project and what is really good about this because it is completely
empty, I can put one of the newer guys here, have him roll out and measure after
he is done. I always measure after
we finish, then prior to, just in case they get interrupted while they are painting,
they can stop right then, and we can measure from the beginning until that end
point. Often, just give them a room and say, hey,
prime this out, and if they get interrupted during that time, it kind of skews
the numbers, it doesn’t give us true numbers. So, we will be in here tomorrow, we will be
priming this whole thing out, and a couple other tips, we are talking to
homeowners in this point, if you are going to be priming the ceilings and setting
up in this place, we are actually going to have to set up some staging, or we are
going to paint the ceilings. If we are
painting the ceilings, let’s do it at the same time, let’s prime these out, let them
dry, and give the ceilings one or two coats however you finish your ceilings. Staging is already up, let the homeowner know
this is the perfect time to do it, it would probably save them a couple dollars
in labour fees of setting up and taking down and moving around staging at this point,
and nothing is on the floor anyways and nothing is in the way. Secondly, you are going to notice behind me,
there is no trim on anything. None of the windows have trim, electricals
are in, switch plates are not on, this is a great time if the homeowner has their wall
colour, we would like to apply the first coat of wall colour prior, so we will
prime all the walls, prime all the ceilings, we will then paint the ceilings and give a
first coat on the walls. Let the trim guys
come in and install all the trims, we can caulk and fill the holes, do the prep and
painting and that, and then apply the last coat of paint. Much quicker, much
cleaner and it saves us time because there is nobody here. Also, one thing we like to do on anything
we are doing like this, we put a writer on our estimate, that we are not responsible
for other trades damage to the finished product. And then if you have ever gone in and looked
at a new construction, an addition, or a remodel, everything
looks good, and then you get there and there is a hole in the wall, or
something you have finished now has scuff marks in it, or a crack, a bang, or
something like that, why should the painter be the one responsible? So, put a writer in there, and say, I am not
responsible, you will charge time and material and state your hourly rates
so no one is surprised when you hand them a bill at the end. The homeowner will know that you care and
also, it brings you up that you are not going to actually
work for free. I hope some of these tips helped you? I am Ron Ramsden, in a new
construction. These are plaster walls remember, check, that’s
a lot of extra labour right there. Ron Ramsden, DYB Coach, helping you perfect
your estimates. If you need
to reach me, find me at [email protected] I would love to chat with you. Send me a
message on Facebook, we can find some time. Thanks so much and happy estimating.


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