While a good paint job on a house could last 10-20 years, if you don’t know when the last time your house was painted, you might want to get it taken care of. When you buy a home, there are lots of little elements to change to try to make it your own, from installing new appliances to knocking down walls. If you want to keep it simple, you might want to know how much do painters charge for a home like yours.
Here are 7 things to consider when boiling down the costs of refreshing the facade of your home.
1. Make As Many Measurements as You Can
Knowing how much paint you need will determine how much painting your home will cost. This will also influence how much time it will take and how many people will need to work on it.
If you know how big the exterior of your home is, you can start to determine how much it will cost to paint it. If you can provide these numbers to a professional painter, they’ll be able to give you a more accurate estimate than if they were guessing based on nothing.
If you don’t have the measurements on hand, see if they’re in the paperwork you have from when you bought your home. A ruler or a tape measure could help you get some rough numbers. If you can at least give a rough idea of how much coverage you need, you can start to make a budget.
2. Make Subtractions
If you have areas that you don’t need a professional painter to take care of or will be renovating on your own like a porch or garage, subtract that from the total. Windows and doors won’t need to be painted, so be sure you account for that when you’re coming up with your number.
If you want to calculate your number fast, you can use some general measurements to help. Take about 20 square feet from your total for every door you have and around 15 square feet to account for any window. While these aren’t exact numbers and every home is different, these can give you some general numbers to start playing with.
3. Calculate Paint Needs
When you’re talking to a professional painter, you should have some idea of how much the supplies cost. They could rip you off if they think you don’t know how much the paint should cost. Ignorance could set you up to pay two or three times what the actual cost of materials is.
Since a gallon of paint should cover around 250 square feet, if the area you’re covering is 500 square feet, you can make some fairly general calculations. Since you need at least two coats, you should figure 4 gallons to cover the area.
Paint costs can vary wildly between brands, features, and quality. Your average, the standard paint will cost $40 per gallon but you’ll find higher quality paints will cost a great deal more. Paint costs can start to add up fast so be sure that you make all of your decisions in advance.
Making last minute decisions while in the paint could become costly. If you changed from having a standard color to choosing a custom color, you could end up paying more. If you were once sure about your features and now are considering a paint with lots of bells and whistles, you’re going to have to account for more.
Once you have a vague figure for how much it’s going to cost to cover the pint, you could buy it yourself to control the price. LEaving paint choices up to your painters might lead your painter to cut corners. While you might trust them to work hard, it’s reasonable to assume that they might go for a cheaper paint option when they’re in the store.
Because the cost of this project is largely reliant on how long the paint job will last for, picking up paint on your own is never a bad idea.
4. Calculating Material Costs
When you’re trying to add up how much your painting service is going to charge you, you should figure out how much they could be paying for other materials. Aside from paint, they’ll need other tools and equipment to get the job done.
Once you have a company on the phone, you could even ask them what supplies they anticipate using. While they might not want to let you choose what tools they use, knowing how much they’re charging you for their tools and equipment, you’ll know labor costs.
They will be using lots of plastic sheets to protect your lawn and home’s exterior. They’ll be using masking tape to cover up any areas they don’t want to paint and painter’s tape to demarcate one tone from another.
There will be dozens of brushes and rollers that your painting specialists will go through, as well as a load of primer. They could end up even using caulking or special ladders depending on the size of your home.
5. Factoring In Basic Labor
When you’re hiring workers, you need to know that they should be paid a fair wage. When you hire good professional workers, they’ll often charge you at least $35 an hour, if not closer to $50. While you might be able to get some people to do the work for just around minimum wage, you’re not going to get quality for that price.
Just having two painters to cover one coat on your house could take a few days. You might end up paying around $600 a day just for two painters.
While you don’t always need a full day’s worth of work done, you should be prepared to pay a day rate. This charge will come regardless of whether they spend 2 hours or 8 hours on site.
While you might imagine your paint job is a fairly easy job, there’s a reason you’re hiring professionals. Not everyone is good at the attention to detail required for being a good painter. You’re paying for professionalism, so keep yourself from bristling at the cost because, in the end, it will pay off.
6. Consider All The Obstacles
Anything that could lengthen your painting time will end up costing you. If you leave your painters to move all of your lawn furniture out of the way or to clear out space around your home, you could be wasting money. Having them do any other work than painting is going to slow down the process.
If you’re painting with different colors or can’t decide which you like more, you’ll be paying for the labor twice if you backpedal on a color. Reserve some extra money in your budget for mistakes or extended labor costs.
If you need huge ladders or scaffolding, you’re going to get charged for the setup and the dismantling of everything. If you have them paint overnight, you might end up paying overtime costs or a premium for after hours work. IF there are repairs to be done or patching to take care of, this could be an issue as well.
If you want to check out what kinds of services you can expect as a homeowner, you can view here.
7. Check Their Insurance Situation
While most professional painters know what they’re doing and are careful about vehicles, landscaping or other exterior elements, accidents can happen. Your painter should be insured for any damage done to your property or for any injuries that occur.
Accidents that affect your property like doing damage to your car or a beloved tree on your lawn could end up costing hundreds or even thousands. If paint spills or a ladder falls in the right place, it could do devastating damage to plants or to property. You need to ask that the painter you hire is prepared to cover incidents like this.
When painters are climbing all over scaffolding or ladders, they could be up at dangerous heights reaching for that last corner of paint. If they slip and fall on your property, it could fall under your own insurance. Ask that the painting company you hire has their own insurance or that each painter has the policy to cover them.
This way you don’t have to worry about the safety of the people on your property or the property that could be in the way of painters or equipment.
Still Wondering “How Much Do Painters Charge?”
If you’re still asking yourself how much do painters charge, it’s time to call in for a professional estimate. Now that you have some idea of how much square footage there is to cover and what other costs could be, you can start making decisions about pricing. They can give you some options and you should be able to negotiate the costs.
If you’re fixing up this home to put it out on the market, check out our guide for becoming a real estate agent, even just for one property.