Five reasons why this painter doesn’t do a “day rate”?
Updated: Jul 16
Sometimes customers ask me - what's your day rate?
Turns out, we don't have one.
And here are five reasons why:
1) We aren't one person.
We have a team of subcontractors. We also have an office (of just one person, but still) and so, the daily wage of one of our workers (which varies according to skill and experience) is irrelevant to the estimates we provide.
2) Day rates work out bad for the client...
... as it encourages contractors to work slower to earn more money.
Of course I would never judge any painter on a day rate. But I know our timings are usually pretty accurate.
3) What are you paying for?
A day rate implies that you are only paying us for our time, not the skills that we've studied and honed over many years. If you are looking for someone low skilled and cheap - we are not the right company for you. Do it once, but do it well. I always say that we save our clients money in the long run. And like with any service, you get what you pay for.
Tax, accountants etc. We have to work all this into our quote. Yes the local self employed handyman will be cheaper at first, but there is a reason for this (and it is not that he is trying to do you a favour). Please be especially vigilant when it comes to insurance. Many traders out there are working with no or not the correct insurance. In the unlikely event of an accident, you might be liable.
5) We know how to plan our work.
In a way which it is cost effective, efficient and high in quality. Sometimes clients think that they will be able to organise our time for us, but this is often just a laborious attempt by individuals who struggle with delegating. A client contractor relationship is built on trust. We ask our clients to trust us that we know how to manage our team and resources. This doesn't mean we never make mistakes, but those are mistakes that we have learned on over the years.
Finally, I will give you an extra reason: Tradesman-ship and artisan methods are not necessarily improved by speed. When it comes to painting, the biggest challenge is not to rush. It's a marathon, not a sprint. Tell that to a day rate painter.