Tips for Selecting a Painter
We recently had the exterior of our home repainted after 7 happy years of residence. Here are some of my Tips for Selecting a Painter.
As some of you may already know we built our home 7 years ago, and with any home maintenance is just a part of home ownership. There are things you should really do on a regular basis to keep your home in tip top condition, not only just for resale purposes but to show pride in yourself and present an outworld appearance of who you are, since your home is an extension of you. Exterior painting is one of them, so I am sharing my tips for selecting a painter. It is always shocking to me how many people out there have never really hired or contracted people to do work for them, like painting and such. So, whether you are a first-time home buyer or just never lived in one place long enough to need to do the proper repairs, count yourself lucky. However, these are the questions sent to me at, Ask The Designer that prompted this entire post. I will be the first to say that I have noticed after all the construction settled around my home that my pretty white trim was not so white anymore. In fact it had gotten very dingy and dirty and needed to be repainted badly. I decided I would obtain quotes for pressure washing, painting & repair of all the trim on my home. The first step was obtaining quotes from several painters and referrals from others that had recently had painting done. This is key because not all painters are fair or created equal. In fact, we received one specific quote that was twice the amount of all the other quotes, and had come recommend by several of our neighbors. However, after doing a little research we discovered that many of that painters jobs were not properly warranted as promised. This resulted in having major issues getting this painter/contractor to come back out to fix any unresolved problems. That being said, always do your research. Paying more does not always mean you are getting a better quality of service, as in this case. Just like while paying less does not always mean you are getting what you pay for, I tend to aim for a nice middle of the road with good references and I always go see the work in person.Don’t buy into the idea that you have to paint the entire house. Again the expensive vendor we did not go with quoted us the entire house for $11,500 and $4,400 trim only, which is all I really wanted done. We were able to find several other painters which quoted around $2,500-2,800 for the trim only. As an Interior Designer, it is always good to have a few great painters in your wheelhouse to choose from, since they do get booked up quickly. Apparently this other painter had no idea that I did that for a living, or that I had any idea about the market value for services, or that I had a blog that would expose this particular heinous practice. Some general contractors, will charge you double instead of just charging for their time as the GM, then sub out the work and hire the very same painter that you can hire yourself. Thus my ridiculous first quote, that was his cut for calling the very same painters, so my advice, educate yourself on what you are actually hiring. The house only needed the trim to be repainted not the entire house. Most homes if painted properly the first time should last 10-15 years. The hardboard portions of my house still look great, however the trim boards which were not coated as well from the builders painters using a sprayer, needed a good heavy second coat at the 7 year mark.
My painters actually did the majority of the painting by hand as I requested, and the paint was applied on to the board very thick this time. The paint was not thinned, which happens a lot with builder grade homes, especially when they use sprayers. A product like floetrol, a paint conditioner is sometimes used to make the paint thinner to pass through a sprayer, or in even cheaper methods like water.You can see major color difference below in the fresh paint and the 7 year old paint. This is even after the entire house had been pressure washed prior to painting. Yes the pressure washing was included in the painting price. I also had them add in a mold inhibitor to the paint, as well as it being a paint/primer combo this time so that it will truly hold up to the elements. These are all very important things you need to consider for exterior painting especially when using a lighter color with a home that has a northern exposure, which tend to grow mold. Also included in the price was the fixing of any damaged or rotten boards and recalking areas where the boring bees had made some holes in the house trim. Here in Georgia, we have issues with the Carpenter Bees boring into the sides of our homes, mostly on the wooden trim boards or stained boards since that is the wood they like most. So unfortunately the damage is usually on upper boards along the roof line, where you can not get to very easily. Painting the surface regularly helps to deter them a bit, since they prefer stained wood mostly.A couple of other things that were also included were our garage doors, which we had decided to remove and repaint the hardware ourselves but it was actually included in our service. I am just so used to doing this maintenance every year on our home to keep the house looking fresh, I honestly just did not even think about it being in their scope. It is similar to how I also repaint my mailbox as well, along with the outdoor patio furniture, it is just a spring maintenance I do as upkeep. Easy Painting Checklist:
- Licensed, Bonded & Insured
- See Previous Work on Existing Homes & Talk to the Owner about Experience
- A full list of Services to be included in job
- A Timeline of Work to be Done
- Warranty included
- Specified Paint with Additives
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I will keep these tips in mind for sure. We actually need to hire a painter soon!
Thank you for the tips, I’ll have to show this to my aunt who wants to repaint her house
Great tips! It’s always good to hire a contractor to do major stuff!
I was just thinking about painting my house this summer! Thanks for the tips!
Wonderful tips! thank you
It does make sense to hire a painting expert that has the proper experience when it comes to giving a home a brand new life. My uncle asked me for suggestions regarding his house remodeling project, and how he could improve its appearance. I’ll probably recommend that he consult one of these residential painters for their expertise.
Thanks for the reminder that it’s important to also verify the licenses when planning to hire a painting company. I’d like to look for one because I want to start working on making my home’s interior feel more cohesive with its design. As such, the colors of the walls of each room should flow properly.
Alice you are so right about checking to verify not only licenses but bonded and insured as well. Today there are so many “handy”man companies that will take you for ride. I know the latest scam it local handymen moving into neighborhoods, usually well to do neighborhoods then infiltrating the facebook pages or social media pages doing a bunch of work under the radar of HOA and county permits, then moving out to the next neighborhood. All the while flipping a house they are staying in, I have seen several in my very own neighborhood and keep a close eye on them as a designer.