by Patrick Miller - Written by a real painter!!!

Estimating Methods "T&M"

Time and Materials

Using the Time and Materials method with The Paint Estimator.

T&M Method

T&M Estimating Methods

The way The Paint Estimator handles T&M methods is a little different than the other methods. T&M is basically for customers who you have had for a while and just calls you up and says they need you to do a job. They don’t ask for a price because they already know you are fair and they trust you. You just send them the invoice with the hours worked and materials purchased when you are finished. T&M can also be for those jobs where you just have no idea. Jobs like removing wallpaper where you have no idea on what kind of condition the walls are in after you have removed it. So this is just one more method that The Paint Estimator can do. I have had some customers in the past try to get me by asking me for a set price but to charge them T&M. This is not good as the customer gets the best of both worlds. They know they won't have to spend over a certain dollar amount but if you do the job faster they get even a better price. Say it takes you longer then expected and you go over their set price, well they win as they get the cheaper price. So either it's one or the other. You give them a set price and add a little room for the unexpected or just give them T&M and it is what it is.

So when it comes to The Paint Estimator program and you want to use Time & Materials, you just need to create the estimate as normal, however you don't really need to enter each area you are painting and figuring out how much materials you will need on the main estimating grid. Remember in most cases, you are not even going to submit a proposal. You might give the customer an approximate time frame.

When you start the job, just simply open the estimate, enter the job hours for each employee who has worked, enter the materials that were purchased and on the Job Projection Page, just check the box "This is a Time & Materials Job" You will see that in the Job Final Costs Box, the costs are updated to reflect the current costs "The cost you would submit to the customer for the final invoice." To see a summary, just click on the "View T&M Details" From here you can create a an invoice that will import all the information over to the invoice page.

That pretty much sums of the T&M method for this program. I don't do this method that often. Maybe 4-5 times a year and that's it. Not really a big fan of T&M as it can open the door for some issues during the job. Some customers might be watching the clock non stop, or question you if it really took that long and so on. But if you know the customer and have worked for them a long time, it can be good.

If you have any questions at all, please let me know at