A bidding mistake can have disastrous consequences for a painting business. Underestimating the time and materials for a job is the quickest way to make a painting business unprofitable. Bidding on a parking lot striping job is often tricky and intimidating because of the size of the job. However, breaking the job down into smaller units, knowing the local market and the costs of materials helps to make the job easier. The ability to estimate and bid on a parking lot striping job with accuracy comes with experience.

Walk around the parking lot with the person in charge to clarify the details of the job. Break the bidding job down into smaller units such as four inch strips, nose-to-nose strips where parking spaces meet, parking lot bumpers, curbing strips, and various odds and ends such as arrows.

Determine the prices to charge for your services. The standard prices for parking lot painting jobs are 20 cents per linear foot, 60 cents per linear foot for curbing, and \$50 to \$60 per hour plus the costs of materials. Standard prices may fluctuate depending on the market that you are in.

Calculate the costs for painting the four inch strips. The four inch strips constitute the bulk of the work. Count the number of car spaces and multiply by \$4. This is a short cut for estimating 20 cents per four inch linear lines. Counting car spaces is much quicker and the price is the same. The nose-to-nose lines connecting the car spaces are calculated separately. Add the number of nose-to-nose lines and multiply by 20 cents. Add in the cost of the materials.

Calculate the amount of linear footage for the curbing. Multiply the linear footage by 60 cents to determine the price and add in the price of the materials.

Factor in the prices for additional markings. For example, \$10 for a parking bumper and \$15 to \$25 for an arrow or logo. Add in the price of the materials. If it cost \$2 of paint for a parking bumper, the cost is \$12.

Submit a bidding estimate detailing all the costs to the person in charge. The estimate clarifies all the work to be done and the cost for each item. For example, 120 spaces - \$480, six arrows - \$80, and so forth. Put the total costs of the job at the bottom of the estimate.