Anyone stopped by the gas station recently?
When you are estimating jobs, don't forget travel costs. One reader sent this note some time ago – it's even more true now.
"I just did an estimate for an addition. I plugged the address into my Tom Tom GPS and it's 19 miles each way. I figure I will have to make about 54 trips back and forth that's equivalent to about 140 gallons of gasoline at $3.89 a gallon or $544.60 rounded up to $550. I got the job and I am glad I calculated it into my estimate."
$550 is 1% of a $55,000 job. That's a percent off your profit just to cover fuel expenses, if the job is $55,000 – on a smaller job it could be all of your profit.
Be very careful when doing your estimates about thinking that your markup will cover the cost of fuel in today's economy. With the cost of fuel rising so rapidly, you'd be smart to add fuel costs to your estimate directly.