What is Line Striping?
Painting lines on parking lots, roadways and other commercial properties requiring signs and markings on asphalt or concrete is called line striping. The lines are necessary to show directions and handicap zones, reserve parking areas, and to mark zones in grocery stores or warehouses. It's a pretty straightforward trade that doesn't require complex skills.
Every line striping job requires paint. You can either use alkyd, an oil-based paint, or latex, a water-based paint. Alkyd is more costly than latex. Smaller paint jobs may only require paint and some basic tools while larger line striping work will require more supplies and equipment. Apart from having the right street line painting machines, being organized and prepared also helps you complete the work quickly and properly.
Types of Line Striping
The simplest and most profitable line striping job is tracing or refreshing current lines. It's by far the quickest and the easiest parking lot striping work. Another type is creating a new pattern or layout which is similar to tracing, without the existing pattern.
Angled Parking will require a protractor as you will be painting on a 45-degree, 60-degree or 75-degree angle. Stenciling is producing a pattern by painting over the stencil, leaving only the design when the stencil is removed. Common stencils include arrows, numbers, and parking lot letter stencils.
When measuring a parking lot for striping, use a 300 ft measuring tape. Carefully measure out your lot and divide each stall into 18 ft in length and 9ft wide spaces. Keep in mind to leave 24 ft between the back of every stall for the drive lane. A few tools you may need include a heavy toolbox, tape measure, protractor, seal coat, rope and chalk string line.
Painting parking lots isn't a complex endeavor. It will be a cinch so long as you are prepared and you have the right parking lot striper machine and materials. Line striping is also a good business opportunity. In fact, budding entrepreneurs are looking into starting a line painting business as their gateway to offering asphalt maintenance services.
Starting a Striping Business
Line striping can be profitable. Armed with a good business plan, you should be able to reap its financial benefits. A commitment to providing professional and quality service to clients will help you succeed. Also, it's essential that you buy the right equipment for different types of striping jobs.
A few things you need to do is decide whether you would operate as a sole proprietor, general partnership, corporation or a limited liability company. Next is to select an appropriate business name and decide who your target market will be. Do you intend to target small business owners or bigger companies? You may need heavy equipment if you plan to take on larger jobs.
The startup cost is $2,000 up, depending on the type of line striping service you plan to offer. Your main clients are project managers, commercial property owners or contractors. Small jobs are for small parking lots and roadways or any surface areas that are not too large. Small to medium-sized would cover local grocery store owners and small office buildings or retail stores. They have approximately 25-75 stalls and 1 gallon is for 35 stalls, so you will need up to two gallons of paint for this type of job. For medium to large-sized jobs, you will be targeting commercial parking lots, community sports centers and medium-sized commercial buildings. Because these types receive heavy traffic, it's essential that you are accurate with the markings for a smooth traffic flow.
How much would this service cost?
The price for line striping a parking lot depends on the cost of materials and the amount of time spent on the job. You can price $0.15 and $0.30 per 1'x4" for parking lines. Stenciling or other markings such as fire route or handicapped signs are for a flat fee of $25. Curbing is doubled as more paint is used. You can charge between $0.40 and $0.50 cents a linear foot.
How to Price a Linestriping Job Profitably
- What tools & equipment you should start with
- How to determine difficulty level of the job
- How to estimate prep work
- The best traffic paint to use
Growing your Business
Consistency is one of the keys to business success. Your goal should always be to deliver quality service each time. Better yet, go the extra mile for your clients. Make sure that you find out what their line striping needs are and do it correctly. As a business owner, learn how to effectively market your business to the right audience. But first, you will need to create awareness of the services you are offering. How to do this? Consider putting up a website and utilizing social media. You can also do email marketing or cold calling. Good marketing strategies can help you skyrocket sales and build credibility. Crafting a good business plan detailing a market analysis, services and marketing would immensely help.
Your main objective must be to always provide exceptional service to clients. This will help you establish a name in the industry. You will also get a lot of repeat customers when you always deliver. After establishing a business and having regular clients, consider starting a maintenance program for them. You can get back to your clients when it's time to renew their service to keep their lines looking fresh and clean.
Do you need help deciding which machine to acquire? Get in touch with us at 1-866-399-5562.
If you want an in-depth course that takes you step-by-step through starting and running a line striping business, take a look at the Ultimate Line Striping Course from Billy Davidson.