Every once in a while, we will respond to a question of the day and guess what? Today is the first day! Our question today is:

Why do I need an estimate on my house painting project? Isn’t it straight forward if I give the dimensions over the phone?

estimating home repainting costGreat question! If all projects were cookie cutter and all home the same, it would be as straight forward as sending over dimensions.

Here are 5 reasons why you need an estimate specific for your home:

1. Scope of work:

What do you want painted and what do you want left out? Maybe you want 3 of the 4 bedrooms painted.  Maybe you just want some accents to the kitchen and den. Do you want 7 of the 10 inside doors painted? Do you want all trim painted, but no ceilings? Maybe you thought your ceilings didn’t need to be painted, but upon inspection, your painter tells you they will stand out like a sore thumb if everything is painted, but the ceilings and you were glad he thought of that!

2. Home Details:

Some homes have elaborate trim and some have standard trim. Some homes have tray ceilings and some have vaulted ceilings. Some rooms have tile back-splash that needs to be covered and taped off before painting, which takes longer to prepare. If you have more stand-out features to your home such as these, the difference will be in the time it takes to prepare and go around these and/or paint the more elaborate fixtures.

3. Brand of Paint:

Here we are specifically talking inside painting projects, as we only use Benjamin Moore on our exteriors, so we can offer the 9 year material and labor warranty. On the inside, you may have a brand of paint you just simply must use and we will honor that. What is interesting, is that each brand of paint has it’s own “production rate” or “application rate.” Some paint can cover, and cover well, a lot of area with one gallon of paint where as another brand takes more applications or goes on more like molasses than milk and takes a lot more time. Paint can range in application rate from that of water to syrup to molasses. Your professional painter will take that valuable information into account and give you an accurate estimate.

4. Color of paint:

What color are you starting with and what color are you going to? This will determine how many coats are needed for interior painting, again, depending on which brand of paint used. When going from a light color to a dark color, no separate primer is needed;  however, more coats may be necessary to get the nice dark color chosen. When starting with a dark color and going lighter, your professional painter will be knowledgeable about the number of coats needed to make sure none of the dark color shows through.

5. Expectations

Let’s say your painter quotes you a price over the phone. You may even say, “I know it is just an estimate, but what are we looking at ballpark figure.” Let’s say his quote is $800. That is now your expectation. How are you going to feel if it is $200 more or $400 more to cover his cost? Not good. You are expecting $800 so you were ready to pay that. Now it is $400 more. That’s a lot of money! What if he quotes you at $1200 just to be on the safe side and it may only cost $800? You may dismiss his estimate because he error-ed on the side of too much than needing more money at the end. Either way is not a good situation for either person to be in, so always have the painting company out to your home for a specific, personal, just for you estimate!

We are really blessed to have Steve with 16 years of painting and estimating experience. He is able to go to your home, measure and look over the painting projected desired, and give an accurate estimate by knowing how long it will take.

Remember, as with any reputable, stable company, we know and use our labor rate. Once Steve does the look over and estimates how long the project will take (keep in mind preparation is a large majority of the work), he multiplies that by our labor rate of $41. This means, that for our business to run, covering the cost of overhead (paying insurance, workman’s compensation, general liability, city, state, and county licenses, and the workers’ wages), this is what we must charge per hour to stay in business.

HINT: Free hint-when hiring a painter, ask them what their labor rate is. If they don’t know, they won’t be in business long. If they are charging less than their labor rate, they cannot last long by simple logic-more money going out (in overhead) than coming in (payment for services) equals out of business.

To sum it up, booking a free estimate is very beneficial to you and very necessary for your painting company. With all the variations on scope of work to be done, details in the home frame, brand and color of paint, leave it to the professional to give you a great estimate specific for your home! Best of all, it is FREE! 🙂

I’d love to hear your thoughts! Please comment below or send me an email! Also, if you have a question you’d like answered, let me know! [email protected]