The ultimate pricing guide for trades and services

With so many moving parts, trade professionals have a lot on the go. If you’re a trade professional who runs a small business, your priority is to make sure that you provide excellent service while making a profit. 

Pricing and estimates are a huge part of that process. Don’t know where to start? Well, you’ve come to the right place. This guide shows you how to:

  • Price your jobs, so that you always bring profit to your business.
  • Create estimates that deliver the best service possible to your customers.

You’ll even get some free estimate templates to get you started on your new pricing journey in each industry-specific guide. 

Table of contents

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How to price your services

The way you price jobs depends on the type of services you provide. However, there are general rules of thumb when it comes to pricing, no matter what industry you’re in.

Here are a few quick tips on how to price your services:

  • Check out your competitors’ prices.
  • Research the going rate for your services in your area.
  • Figure out your material and labor costs.
  • Understand your overhead costs (equipment, insurance, administrative costs, etc.).

Your prices should reflect all of these factors to ensure that you remain competitive and always make a profit.

Why a pricing strategy is important

Pricing is one of the most important factors customers consider when choosing between you and your competitor.

Your prices define the value of your services and how you make your money, so like any other part of your business, pricing is worth strategizing.

Making up prices as you go is one of the most dangerous pricing strategies. A lack of consistency and confidence in your pricing causes your customers to question your professionalism and lose trust in you.

That’s why it’s important to have a process in place that allows you to take the time to determine the right price for the job. That’s where estimates come in.

The purpose of an estimate

Estimates serve a purpose for both you and your customer.

Estimates provide your customers a breakdown of your work and serve as an explanation of why you charge the prices you do.

For you, estimates have the following benefits:

  • Help you budget the job.
  • Enable you to find the most accurate price possible.
  • Give you an at-a-glance view of the materials you need.
  • Ensure consistency.
  • Demonstrate professionalism.

Why do you need to estimate

The key to successfully completing any trades job is preparation.

Every job costs you money, so you have to make sure that it’s an opportunity for you to make that money back, and then some.

Estimates help you reach that desirable profit margin by accounting for all the necessary factors when you price your jobs. Without an estimate, a lot can end up slipping through the cracks.

In addition, estimates are often your customer’s first impression of your business. Creating an estimate is a great way to showcase your professionalism and experience — increasing your customer’s trust that you can do the job right.

Let’s discuss the most important part of the process: actually writing the estimate.

How to write an estimate for your business

Writing an estimate is a key skill for any trade professional. Without accurate estimates, you lose sales or miss out on revenue.

Below, you’ll find resources on how to estimate the cost of different types of trades jobs.

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Construction estimates

Just like completing a construction job, creating a construction estimate can be overwhelming. A single job can have a seemingly endless number of tasks, but an estimate will guide rather than confuse you when done right.

Find out how to create a construction estimate that helps both you and your customers see the big picture.

General contractor estimates

If a construction project is a puzzle, no one can solve it better than a general contractor.

Find out how general contractors can combine several parts of a construction project into one easy-to-read estimate.

HVAC estimates

HVAC professionals are in a league of their own, and your estimates should be too.

Learn how to create an HVAC estimating spreadsheet that is customized to your services and wins you jobs. Better yet, take your services to the next level of professionalism with the estimate template this guide includes.

Electrician estimates

Every electrical project is different, so it’s important to price each one accurately. Check out this guide and free template to build accurate estimates with confidence.

Plumbing estimates

Plumbers are often needed in an emergency, meaning you need to be able to create estimates quickly but accurately.

In this guide, you’ll learn how to streamline plumbing estimation and get a free estimate template in the process!

Roofing estimates

Roofing can be a dangerous job, but an accurate estimate ensures your safety and helps you get the job done right.

Find out how to create the best roofing estimates with our free template and run your business smoother than ever before.

Drywall estimates

Drywall may hide everything behind the walls, but you don’t want the job to have any hidden costs.

Learn how to estimate drywall costs and get your free estimate template to ensure nothing slips through the cracks.

Painting estimates

Many people think that painting a house is a simple task, but professional painters know that this is far from the truth.

This guide shares:

  • The hidden factors associated with paint jobs.
  • How to account for them in your estimates.
  • A free painting estimate template.

Auto repair estimates

Whether it’s routine maintenance or the aftermath of a fender bender, car owners look to you to make sure that they’re always driving a safe vehicle.

Find out how to estimate the cost of auto repair no matter what the damage may be.

Handywork estimates

Handypeople prove that you can be skilled at all trades and refine your craft deeply.

Learn how to create an estimate that shows your customers why they can depend on you for all of their home maintenance needs.

Trucking estimates

Truck drivers are always on the go. But before you leave, you have to figure out how much your trip will cost you.

Find out the going rates for trucking and more in this guide.

Landscaping estimates

Landscaping is one of the toughest jobs to estimate, making it one of the most important jobs to estimate accurately.

Learn how to estimate landscaping jobs and get your free estimate template to never miss out on profit again.

Tree trimming estimates

Trees are living things, and they need a lot of care to ensure that they always look their best. Luckily, tree trimming professionals are experts on this matter.

Find out how to price your tree trimming services to always deliver the best care to your customers’ trees.

Lawn care estimates

Lawn care isn’t as simple as mowing a lawn. Your prices should reflect all of the elements that go into keeping your customers’ lawns lush, green, and thriving.

Find out which factors affect the cost of lawn care in this guide.

Pest control estimates

Anyone who’s had a pest infestation would describe it as an urgent situation.

Find out how to efficiently calculate the cost of pest control jobs so that your customers can live with peace of mind a lot sooner.

Snow removal estimates

If you run landscaping services in the summer, offering snow removal services in the winter sets you up for year-round revenue. But as the seasons change, so should your estimating process.

Learn how to create snow removal estimates with a free template and get the job done at a record-breaking pace.

Moving estimates

As a professional mover, you save your customers time, stress, and effort.

Presenting accurate estimates is the best way to show the value of your services. Get started with the free template and tips this guide includes!

House cleaning estimates

The costs associated with operating a cleaning business can often go unnoticed, which is bad for profits. Creating an estimate helps you calculate your profit and keep track of your expenses.

Learn how to create a house cleaning estimate with our free template and ensure that your business continues to grow.

Carpet cleaning estimates

Baking soda and vinegar may be enough to get a little red wine out of a carpet, but only professionals can get that deep clean that carpets need.

This guide shows you how to price your carpet cleaning services and offers a free estimate template so you can bring more profit to your business.

Carpet installation estimates

Installing carpet is more complicated than rolling out a rug. Learn the different factors that affect the price of carpet installation in this guide.

Junk removal estimates

Junk removal always involves a little guesswork, but that doesn’t mean an estimate won’t make this process easier and more accurate.

Learn how creating a junk removal estimate ensures that every job brings your profit. Even better, get a free estimate template to kickstart your sales process.

Trade service pricing FAQ

Here are some additional questions trade professionals have when it comes to pricing:

What pricing strategy is right for your service business?

To determine what pricing strategy is right for you, the first place to look to is your business.

The pricing strategy that you used depends on several factors, including:

  • Your target audience.
  • Your revenue goals.
  • The competition’s prices.
  • Current demand for your services.

These factors will guide you towards finding the right pricing strategy for your business. However, you choose to price your services, make sure that it drives both revenue and profit for your business.

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Why do you need to provide estimates?

An estimate is often the deciding factor for prospective customers on whether they will go with your services or your competitors.

For this reason, you not only need to make sure that you provide an estimate before each job but also ensure that your estimate is accurate.

Estimates show your customer that you’re serious about the job and that you are capable of executing it smoothly. The result of an accurate estimate is customer satisfaction and more revenue for your business.

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