So you’ve decided to give your home a facelift by getting some fresh paint up on the walls. Depending on the size of the job, you may find it worthwhile and cost-effective to hire professionals. There are a few things to keep in mind when budgeting for your upcoming project… 

Location – There’s a big difference between painting the exterior of your home versus the interior. In general, pricing of exterior paint jobs can be based on the interior square footage of the house. Working outdoors, you should be prepared to run into issues with the weather and other hazards such as roof lines. These things have the potential to increase dollars spent very quickly. Additionally, be prepared for add-ons, as the painters might find necessary repairs that have gone unnoticed before.

Prep work – Before a surface can be painted, it must be prepared. The surface should be cleaned of any debris, dirt, mold, etc. A kitchen wall, for example, will need to be scrubbed clean of grease in order for the paint to adhere properly. The surface should also be smooth unless you have added texture to the wall. You can achieve this by sanding the surface down, but be sure to repair any holes or damaged areas beforehand. A primer may be necessary for your project, but that doesn’t always mean multiple coats! Instead, consider using paint that has a 2-in-1 paint and primer mix. Check your garage and ask your neighbors to find out exactly what tools and products you’ll need to add to your list of things to buy. 

Materials – While most painters provide their own materials, you may want to ask for an itemized cost if they will be purchasing special equipment for your home’s job. If nothing extra is needed, you can probably expect to see materials to make up 10-15% of the job’s cost. You might be able to save a little bit of money if you bought the supplies yourself, but be sure to check with your contractor before doing so.

Touch-ups and clean up – Don’t assume this will be included in the basic cost of the job! It depends on the contractor, so always ask before the project begins. A post-job inspection (by you and also possibly a job foreman) is paramount before payment is made. If you are not satisfied with the work, you should have recourse to get it right. Read the fine print and talk with the contractor (or get it in writing) that they will clean up any messes and do touch-up work for no additional cost. 

The bottom line is that every project is different and every paint professional is different. Do your research and ask questions before your project starts so that you run into minimal financial surprises along the way.