Proper Bidding


New member
When bidding jobs, do you guys present a per sq.ft. charge as the entire appearance of the bid? Or are you more likely to break down each independent charge, be it labor, materials, etc. and then give the averaged per sq.ft. as a charge?

This is my first business using sq.ft. bidding. I am a web developer by trade, and to me those bids always seemed much clearer.

Thanks for any advice that can be offered.


New member
usually just a bid for sq ft. Depending on what it is your bidding. Most people dont want a complete break down.

Guy Blackmon

Roundtable Host 2009
Most people dont want a complete break down.

Absolutely! Customers want the price. Residential Customers that ask for a break down give me a "Funny Feeling". Commercial Customers sometimes need a break down to justify the work to their bosses. Only break down I give is flat work sq. ft. other than that I've never been asked.

I give a "Detailed Description" of the work we will be doing and a price....That's It.

Scott Stone

New member
The hazard of a complete breakdown is that a potential customer knows there is bargaining room in your price, and how much. As much as what we do is a trade, most potential customers do not think we are worth a $50 per hour labor rate, let alone more.
I would just give them a flat price, and spell out exactly what you are going to do.


New member
Always give them a detailed scope of work, but leave them with a lump sum cost at the end. When it comes to price breakdown that is better left off the quote. Only if it is a specific bid, goverment or commercial, will they ask for a price breakdown becuase they like to see what your costs and their costs are. Generally if there is extra equipment needed (lifts, scaffolding, etc.), then I will give them a price for that equipment because that is not a general job cost, it is site specific to that particular job. Hope this helps clarify things for you.

Vince Wood

New member
I give customers a flat price along with a detailed description of the work to be done also. This way it includes all labor, chems, ect. I agree with Scott, if people see that you are charging $50 or $75 per hour they might fall over and have a heart attack.

AZ PowerWash Pros

New member
I think it depends on the job. Sometimes I bid by sq ft, sometimes I bid a flat rate, sometime hourly rate. I never put in our costs... Like everyone else said always detail the scope of work. I do half of my proposals in Quick Books and the other half I created a template I use in Microsoft Office. Either way get them to sign! Always get a signature... I learned the hard way.