3 Things to Consider When Hiring a Painter

Why is it so expensive to paint a house?” You ask your partner. “There is a big range in bids. I liked the most expensive guy (of course) but the cheaper guy’s price is hard to ignore.” Is the top bidder too expensive, or are they cutting corners? It’s hard to know! 

My wife says that it can feel like going to the car mechanic when you don’t know what painting a house should cost. You might know what work needs to be done, but you have no idea how much it should cost. Pretty good analogy.

So you want to paint your house. You want to pay fairly for the job, but not get ripped off. We know that feeling. How can you do it so that the price is fair? What should house painting cost in Vancouver, British Columbia, or wherever you live?

If you are getting more than one estimate for your project, then it is likely that the prices vary. Do not just look at the number at the bottom of the page and decide without looking carefully.

Here are 3 things you should know when getting painting estimates:

 1. Start with your expectations.

Do you want a good quality? Tell your estimator at your consultation. Otherwise, they might give you a cheap bid and do a fast paint job that is not good. That won’t make you happy and will waste your money too. 

Think about your goals for painting your home. Do you want to make it perfect again, or just change the color? You can also fix previous bad paint jobs. The price of each project is different so think about what you want.

For a few hundred dollars more, I can probably get the job done right. But what is it that really bothers me about my old paint job? Is it the chips in the walls? Or maybe I just don’t like the color anymore. Whatever your priorities are for your home project, write them down before you go to talk with painters and give this list to whomever you hire as a reference point.

The quality of work greatly varies from painter to painter, and its not always obvious.

Different quality expectations come with different prices. When you are talking to your estimator, tell them what your expectations are. Once they know, then they can give you a better estimate for the price of a house to paint. More often than not, it’s the level of quality that determines how much it costs to paint a house.

This issue may be easily resolved, especially if you are working with a competent and experienced estimator or contractor, by explaining to him what quality level you expect. If your expectation is “reasonable quality” but the painter can only deliver “minimal quality” for the price you’re willing to pay, then it’s going to be hard for him (or his crew) to do their best work.

2. Compare apples to apples.

So, you have two different painting bids. One is for two coats of paint and the other estimate includes one coat. The difference in price may have to do with repairs made to the surface texture or just indicating the quality of the paint. You might want to get annual touch-ups on your walls (which we include) They make your house look nicer. I’ve seen some estimates that are too low, probably because they add “upgrades” like a second coat or quality paint on the house.

It’s important to get a quote from someone who knows what they’re doing, and more importantly, someone whose work you’ve seen or heard good things about. The only way you’ll know if the person is any good is by asking around—don’t assume that just because their company has been in business for 20+ years that they are an expert at painting homes; ask the people you trust like your neighbors and friends. The better house painters will often recommend others to their clients when they’re too busy to take on another job, but some won’t even do that. You can also check with the Better Business Bureau as well as Yelp! If there are many negative reviews concerning poor quality of work, then reconsider taking them on as your expert painters.

3. Ask questions about where the painting company stands on these topics:

  • How long has the company been in business?
  • Do they have any certifications?
  • What is their expertise?

If you hire at a cheap price, you will give up something for that. That will affect you. Here are some possibilities of what you’ll give up:

  • Reliable customer service
  • Insurance and protection when things go wrong
  • Safety training
  • Warranties, and the longevity to honor them
  • A company culture that ensures its painters a living wage and good benefits.
  • Careful screening of who’ll be working in your home, around your kids and valuables.

It is important to also take overhead into account. I know this may be a not-so-fun word for consumers to hear, but it means the company is basically minimizing your risk as the customer. It reduces your stress. It helps you to feel confident about hiring them as they pay for materials that ensure a very good paint job the first time, which reduces the need for future paint jobs. Good companies also pay to have your property protected or covered, so that the cost of having to repaint is reduced over time.

It is great to revamp your home. It is best if you work with someone who likes what they do and cares about your house. You should not make price the only thing that matters, or even the most important one. I am sure you are not buying the cheapest car, sheets, sofa, or even meat for a sandwich. But why hire the cheapest painter? A good paint job should last a decade or more, so make the best decision for your home and family, and not the cheapest one. Hopefully, you now know some of the reasons why it is so expensive to paint a house and what to look out for on painting estimates. Now you can make decisions about painters and paint prices wisely.

Give us a call today at 604-505-2745 or fill out this form for a free estimate. Let our reliable experts at Ethereal Painters take care of all your painting needs.