Body Work and Paint Quote

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Post by 73sssb on Tue Apr 03, 2018 6:51 pm

Just received a rough estimate of $10k-$12k for bodywork and paint for my 1973 Chevelle. It's my understanding that this will include...

Stripping all paint off of the car
Cutting and welding in new floor pan
Repairing rust around front and rear window
Resetting the windows
Cushion for other problem areas
Paint engine bay
Lifetime warranty paint (primer, metallic paint color, clear coats)

This price is with me giving him a rolling shell. All interior is already removed as well as engine, transmission, etc.

What do you all think?

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Post by REVINKEVIN on Tue Apr 03, 2018 7:16 pm

Those people have been watching to many TV shows. Can you do any of the work yourself? If not you might be in the $10,000 range. I made my '86 Silverado all out and it does cost. Make sure they give you a time frame for the work. You will find with paint shops that if they do insurance work your project is waaaayyyy on the back burner. It might take them at least a year to complete. If they tell you $10,000 for all that work and get it back to you in 6 months that would be a good deal. Make a contract with them with dead lines and progress payments. Trust me, pay as they complete something. If not they will have $5,000 of your cash and 6 months later nothing will be done. Look around their shop and ask how long some of those cars have been there. Some have been there for years. 3 different people when bankrupt in the same shop my truck was in. 1 guy committed suicide. My truck was in the paint shop 3 years. Paint and material was stolen from me and they would hide when I came around. I have actually seen them quit working on my truck while I was there to start on an insurance job that just rolled in. I am building my Laguna in my garage with a ghetto fabulous spray can touch up job. Most painters can't decide if they like meth or crack better. Just my .02 cents.
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Post by Joe73 on Tue Apr 03, 2018 8:02 pm

I'm with Kevin as to the keeping the shop on a time frame. I've seen lots of guys having their cars laid up in a shop with nothing going on.

As for 10-12K for all the work you listed, I'd be interested in EXACTLY what brand paints, epoxies and clear he will be using. And if in fact he actually uses what he says and doesnt cheap out.

For that price, using good materials, I'd say that is pretty cheap. But it does matter what your going for and what you would be satisfied with. I nice quality paint job, materials alone, will be in the ballpark of 2k. Just for materials. My local dustless blaster does the entire outside of a vehicle for $850. I had him do my car. After it was blasted, the cost of the water based and mineral based wax and grease removers plus the epoxy to coat it all was about $300. That was just to get the car coated and limit any flash rusting.

Who knows if the guy will strip the engine bay or preferably blast the engine bay or will he just DA it down and shoot some color.

Alot of variables that you dont or wont know if they actually happened. But the labor involved in a quality paint job is very high.
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Post by fasrnur on Tue Apr 03, 2018 8:57 pm

Both Kevin and Jo make good points. I once worked in a body shop that did only restorations and custom work. I once saw a customer get quoted $8,000 for a paint job only. When the car was completed, the bill came in closer to $29,000.
Mind you, there was a lot more rust than first thought, but those are issues to consider as well. Labor is the number one cost of any paint job, or at least a quality paint job. I myself would not take my car to any paint shop because I can do the work myself and will do so on my car. If they do not do insurance work they will be more app to work on your car more often and you just might get a better job because it seems as though those kinds of shops are usually run by car guys that love cars.
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Post by buggy5872 on Wed Apr 04, 2018 2:18 pm

You should take it to a shop that does lots of restorations.  Like others have said it will not be a priority in most shops.  When I do a car fro someone else it is time and material.  I make them give me $3,500 up front and when it is gone they have to pony up more or it sits.  I give them a rough guesstimate at the beginning and keep in close communication so when the unexpected shows up they know it will cost more.  $10-$12K is cheap for what they are going to do.  it will probably be closer to $20K.  Make sure they give you a contract and show all time and expenses.  The last one I did about the amount of work you are having done took about a year but I only do it on the side.  Just my 2 cents from personal experience.
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Post by Roadcaptain S3 on Wed Apr 04, 2018 5:03 pm

I've been shopping around. Most of these guys want insurance work and the price they give seems to be the "I'll give you this number and hope you go away" price.
They can inflate the price, and insurance companies will pay. Same as the medical system.
Like others have said. The best price will come from guys that do restoration work or the guy working out of his own shop in his back yard either as a business or on the side.
I took a 96 Impala SS around to some shops a few years back. It needed a fender, otherwise it was just a straight up back-to-stock paint job. I got estimates of anywhere from 8-12 thousand. Finally found a guy that did it in his garage for 2500 and it was fantastic.
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Post by 73sssb on Thu Apr 05, 2018 1:52 pm

I'm definitely going to shop around after reading all of these responses.

I'm fine with stripping and possibly painting the car myself. I just do not have any metal working experience and I know the l rust around the windows is difficult to repair. I'd hate to do it myself and have the windows leak when I'm done.

It's understandable - but it's hard to justify body work and paint exceeding the value of the car.

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Post by impalamonte on Fri Apr 06, 2018 8:41 am

I have painted two cars and knew my skills were lacking enough that I needed a professional.

Getting my car painted was somewhat a horror story. I had a very capable individual to do the job. Had know him for years through a friend I had know for 15 years! Left the car . I was checking on it about every two weeks. One week I went over and the shop was cleared out with a guy sweeping and my car’s shell in the corner. Story goes he got into some trouble with some “people” he “borrowed” money from …he couldn’t repay so they stole everything in the shop including some customer’s cars. Fortunately, my shell looked worthless ( which it was ) and left it. I immediately had a roll back dispatched to the location and had it dropped at my house ! It took another year and half to gather the courage to venture back out. Did finally link up with a painter that loves cars as much as we do ! A rare find among people that do that for a living.
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Post by thatfnthing on Fri Apr 06, 2018 11:20 am

impalamonte wrote: I have painted two cars and knew my skills were lacking enough that I needed  a professional.

Getting my car painted was somewhat a horror story. I had a very capable individual to do the job. Had know him for years through a friend I had know for 15 years!  Left the car . I was checking on it about every two weeks. One week I went over and the shop was cleared out with a guy sweeping and my car’s shell in the corner. Story goes he got into some trouble with some “people” he “borrowed” money from …he couldn’t repay so they stole everything in the shop including some customer’s cars. Fortunately, my shell looked worthless ( which it was ) and left it. I immediately had a roll back dispatched to the location and had it dropped at my house !  It took another year and half to gather the courage to venture back out. Did finally link up with a painter that loves cars as much as we do !  A rare find among people that do that for a living.

Holy crap!  That's amazing, and not in a good way.  I guess that's the one case where it could actually be considered 'lucky' that our cars are not considered that valuable.  Glad you got it back!  Hope you weren't out too much cash, though...

I agree with the 'rare find' statement.  However, I discovered that even restoration 'professionals' can be biased just like the jerks in the clubs that are too good to admit a G3.  So it's not good enough to just find someone who does restorations, you have to find that elusive needle in a haystack -- the guy who actually respects YOUR car.  Otherwise you get ripped off and wind up with a forum handle like mine.
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Post by impalamonte on Fri Apr 06, 2018 11:33 am

I knew I had found the right guy when in the back of his shop he was in the middle of body off frame restoring his own (2) 59 Ford retractable(s).

THATS THE GUY YOU WANT PAINTING YOUR CAR !!
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Post by thatfnthing on Fri Apr 06, 2018 11:57 am

Yes, if that guy can actually get past 1959, or -- heaven forbid -- to 1973.

I have yet to meet that guy. Maybe I need to bring it to Indy. Smile
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Post by Hs1973 on Sat Apr 07, 2018 8:44 am

Being that im in the business myself, i can tell you that most places that do insurance work dont even know how to do a classic car restoration. Most of the old cars need Way more work to the body to get a satisfying result and a Nice paintjob that will last.

So be careful before commiting to a shop. Look at some of the cars they have done before if possible, google them and look at the shop itself, if there s Many old cars there, they most certenly know how to do a classic. If there main thing is insurance work you risk that it will take forever and not get done right. Also dont pay up front EVER. Money is motivation so if you pay when a ask is done to your satifaction you have alot more control. If you pay up front you risk hat it never gets done. Se if you can find someone that can prøve that they know what they are doing and ask for pictures as they go, and only pay as a task is done like you have agreed is should be done. There is sadly to Many hat are all talk and that will take the money and run or leave you with a poorly done job if any at all. Remember you cant see whats under the paint and most cheaters are experts in hiding rust and bad news under Bondo.
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Post by Sinister on Sat Apr 07, 2018 10:13 am

$10 k for a paint job?
I can buy a whole car with great paint and new engine for that highway robbery price!
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