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PCA’s Industry Standards On Estimating

The nine base rules to kick-start accurate estimates.

The PCA Industry Standards discuss a range of issues that commonly become the subject of misunderstandings, or even in extreme cases, contract disputes. In this guest article from PaintScout, on the measurement of a surface area for estimating painting and decorating work (Industry Standard P10) is broken down into nine quick steps.

The Industry Standards coupled with a good estimation software like PaintScout, allow business owners to save time and provide their clients with accurate and professional estimates for every job.

Rules for Specific Measurement:

1. Never consider an object less than one linear foot. Make sure you measure items as one square foot per linear foot.

It’s not worth your time to measure down to the inch; this rule saves you time and money. Just remember, always consider items less than one linear foot as one square foot per linear foot—easy!

2. Always measure cylinder items with a circumference of less than one foot, as one foot.

Rule two is very similar to the previous rule because again, you don’t need to measure down to the inch. In cases like these, save your team time when measuring cylinder-shaped items and always consider items less than one foot, as one foot (unless you have the exact measurement, of course!).

3. Items that have similar features group them together with a correct labor production rate.
The grouping factors are:
· Same surface
· Same finish
· Same application method and;
· Same accessibility

We want to make sure that estimators can save themselves time and keep things simple—if an item is essentially the same as something else, you should group the items together!

4. When you have items with different features, list them individually on the quantity takeoff.

This rule is important because if items have different features or requirements, it may have different pricing, time, or other requirements.

5. When you’re measuring an object like a window frame that has direction changes, consider it as one item—count the item as one.

When you measure an object like a window frame, it makes the most sense to consider it as one item. It will save you time and effort for measuring. (It’s easier to group an object like that on the estimate—you could have a pre-saved line item).

6. Odd-shaped items? No problem. When you measure a non-uniform item, make sure you include the surface’s added length because of its odd shape.

If you followed PaintScout’s series, we mentioned that it’s important to think of the item as stretched out instead of its original state. This is because it’ll be much longer when it’s stretched out, meaning you may need additional supplies that you didn’t account for. Measuring surfaces this way will give you an accurate measurement!

7. Measure all items as solids.

Think of a chain-link fence; why would you measure each individual wire, when you can count it as a solid? So, think of all items as a solid when measuring it! But, always remember that the pipes attached are incidental, and any other framework needs to be estimated separately.

8. If you have a small opening on a continuous surface, consider it part of the surface. But, if you have a space larger than 100 square feet, remove it from the measurement.

For more information on PaintScout’s estimating software and PCA Member discounts contact Nastassia Reicher at 587-703-6093 or Nastassia@paintscout.com.

#1 Painting Estimation Software