Interior painting is one of the cheapest and easiest ways to change the look of your home. Outside, it’s not that cheap or easy – think thousands versus hundreds. You also have other things to consider: Will you spray or roll? What happens if someone gets hurt or damages the house? And how do you get reliable bids?
“When getting your estimate on exterior painting, be sure to ask the painter what type of process they are going to use,” Angie’s List founder Angie Hicks says. “If they plan to spray the home, it’s going to use more paint. If they are going to roll it, it will likely take longer. This will allow you to compare apples to apples when comparing estimates.”
Angie says not to bother with a company that wants to give you an estimate over the phone. Get at least three reputable companies that’ll come to your home, who’ll provide a thorough estimate and tell you who’s actually doing the work. Angie says to ask about that to ensure you’re not the one liable for the crew.
“A lot of times, that crew doesn’t have workman’s comp insurance, doesn’t carry liability insurance, which leaves the homeowner unprotected in the event that something may happen,” says Todd Cartmel, of The Painting Edge.
Another question to ask is how they’ll get the paint on the house. Cartmel prefers brushing and rolling over standard spraying, but knows lots of consumers prefer the faster spraying process.
“As long as the spray application is back-brushed and back-rolled and the paint is applied at the correct thickness, it’s really no different than the brush and roll application only,” Cartmel says.
Regardless of the application method, professional painters say paint quality is key, and that a premium product is well worth the cost. Applied correctly, you may not have to paint again for 12 years.
If you live in an older home, there’s a safety issue to be aware of.
“If your home was built before 1978, it is possible that your home has lead paint and there are federal regulations about proper procedures to use when painting your home,” Angie says. “When you are hiring a painter and they don’t bring up these regulations, you should get another painter.”
According to the Angie’s List Bluebook pricing guide, expect to pay between $2,700 to $4,100, for a 1,500 square foot, single-story home with two-car garage. You might save some money by purchasing the paint yourself. Some painters charge a fee for buying it, but others will let you use their painter’s discount if you prefer to get it yourself.