Painting and Coating Cost Estimating Tips

A major portion of the work in painting involves surface preparation. Be sure to include cleaning, sanding, filling, and masking costs in the estimate.

Protection of adjacent surfaces is not included in painting costs. When considering the method of paint application, an important factor is the amount of protection and masking required. This must be estimated separately and may be the determining factor in choosing the method of application.

General Note on Finishes

Interior finish creates the identity of the building. It makes a statement about the nature of the business within—whether utilitarian, adventurous, or staid and dignified. Therefore, selection of materials should be made with an eye toward purpose and function of occupancy.

If, during the course of a project, the owner decides to cut back on costs, this is not a good area in which to do it. When a project is finished and the owner and prospective tenants walk through, they will not be able to see a complicated foundation, nor the marvelously engineered subsystems. What they will see are the finishes. If the project is “cheapened” at this point, it will show and dull the luster of an otherwise shining project.

Room Finish Schedule - A complete set of plans should contain a room finish schedule. If one is not available, it would be well worth the time and effort to put one together. A room finish schedule should contain the room number, room name (for clarity), floor materials, base materials, wainscot materials, wainscot height, wall materials (for each wall), ceiling materials, and special instructions. It is handy and easier to work out a room finish schedule on a grid system.

Surplus Finishes - Review the specifications to determine if there are any requirements to provide certain amounts of extra floor tile, ceiling pads, paint, wallcoverings, etc., for the owner’s maintenance department. In some cases, the owner may require a substantial amount of materials, especially if it is a special order or long lead time item.

Sustainability & LEED Certification - The type of materials used will have an impact on LEED certification. Current trends encourage use of natural materials, particularly those sourced locally. Materials with high recycled content are also desirable. The selection of interior finishes will also have an impact on energy conservation, light reflectance, and thermal retention.

Read more estimating tips for finishes.

Cost Estimating Resources from RSMeans

2011 Building Construction Cost Data Book
Thousands of unit costs for building components, arranged in the new CSI MasterFormat® 2010 classification system
» Learn more
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03 00 00 - Concrete
04 00 00 - Masonry
05 00 00 - Metals
08 00 00 - Openings
09 00 00 - Finishes
10 00 00 - Specialties
11 00 00 - Equipment
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