We all want to be able to Google a topic and find our exact, specific answer in seconds. That might work beautifully when you’re looking for the closest, highest-rated pizza place, but it becomes a lot more difficult when you need specific pricing about home improvement.
Exterior painting is no exception.
While we wish we could serve you up a quote right here while you read, that just isn’t quite possible (and might not be entirely accurate either). Exterior painting involves a huge number of variables. What we can do, however, is offer you a few key tips and considerations, as well as an inside look at the way pricing and estimating works.
What Should You Consider Before Painting Your Home’s Exterior?
Just for the sake of thorough planning, we recommend stepping back from your project and considering your larger goals before painting. This creates the most efficient use of your time and budget. Here are a couple of questions to ask yourself:
- Will you be replacing windows anytime soon?
- Will you be adding a new front door portico, landscaping, driveway, or an addition?
- Will you be replacing your roof?
The roof is an especially important element to consider since it really needs to be coordinated with your home’s new exterior paint color. Typically, it’s what is referred to as a “fixed color,” but if a replacement is in your future you have the rare opportunity to consider both roof and paint color at the same time.
How Is the Cost of Exterior Painting Determined?
When we boil down the more complicated elements of the estimation process, we find the essential ingredients: time + labor + materials + profit. After all, we need to keep our lights on and provide real opportunities for our wonderful team.
In its most basic form, estimating involves assessing the home’s components and calculating the time needed to prepare and paint the house. Once the estimator has an estimated number of hours, he simply multiplies that times their standard hourly rate to come up with the price.
While there are a host of factors that influence these numbers, the largest influencer is the time needed for prep work. Most painting contractors use the same or similar rates for “Painting” items. For example, an exterior window frame might take 45 minutes to set up, prep, and paint two coats. The difference, however, in the estimate is how much time are we factoring in for preparation (scraping, sanding, filling, caulking, etc). Sometimes when one estimate is higher than another, it’s because an estimator calculated more prep time (or TLC, as we sometimes call it) than the other contractor did. There is always a story behind the numbers, and we can’t stress enough how important it is to make sure you understand your particular story.
What Is Included in Your Exterior Painting Estimate?
Typically, your estimate should include labor, materials, and incidentals. All contracts are specifically written and customized for each client and may have exclusions or items that go above and beyond the standard. This can include a warranty, dumpster cost, toilet cost, cost for extensive prep or window glazing, etc.
As we touched on above, it’s imperative that you understand your estimate completely so that there are no surprises. If your painting company is unclear or evasive, it’s time to move on. At A.G. Williams Painting Company, we believe that communication, both written and verbal, should be crystal clear.
How Much Does an Average Exterior Paint Job Cost?
Unfortunately, there just is really no such thing as an average! Every project is unique with specific considerations of its own.
Just as an example, one client may not worry about the scarring on their house (the old layers of paint showing through) as long as it’s sanded to a firm edge and a sound surface to paint. Other clients may want everything completely smooth. These sorts of factors, home conditions, and client expectations can make projects range from $3,000 to $100,000.
How Can You Save Money During Your Home Painting Project?
While we do have a few tips for saving money during the exterior painting process, it is important to remember that cutting corners or choosing the cheapest bid is never the best option long-term. Low costs may be attractive initially, but they can become very expensive down the road because of premature coating failure, neglect of decayed or damaged wood, the need for extensive touch-ups and repair, and the list goes on.
With that said, here are a few suggestions to keep in mind:
- Invest in a maintenance plan – Here at A.G. Williams Painting Company, we offer an Annual Maintenance Program that can drastically extend the life and beauty of your paint. This includes inspection, touch-ups, washing, mildew removal, and more.
- Don’t purchase the cheapest products – Bargain paint may be appealing, but an initial investment in quality will pay you back over the years to come. Just as an example, using an elastomeric coating on a stucco home may cost more initially, but it could greatly extend the life of the paint job.
- Can you exclude the window sash from your estimate? – If they are covered by a window screen and in good condition, this can be a cost-saving option. Windows take a long time to paint and when they have glazing repairs the process takes even longer. If you plan on replacing your windows, this is definitely an item that can be excluded from estimates and save you money.
Can We Answer Your Other Exterior Painting Questions?
The A.G. Williams Painting team is here and ready to help. As we mentioned, we believe in clear communication and doing the work in a way that truly lasts. Be sure to contact us today!