Professional Painting Knowledge Base

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How to know if you are getting a good painting estimate

Posted by Kevin Hughes | Jun 2, 2016 3:32:00 PM

How_to_Know.jpgWhen estimating the cost of painting projects, Florida professional painters take into account several factors, including the square footage of the area to be painted, condition of the walls along with the amount of work and materials necessary to prepare surfaces, supplies and materials required to protect existing structures, the amount of paint needed to paint the area, delivery of materials and equipment, worker transportation to and from the site, and job cleanup at project completion. Since all these factors can greatly affect a painting estimate, knowing how professional painters arrive at their rates can help you better assess the estimates you’re getting.

But before we dive into the topic, let’s find out the difference between an estimate and a quote. Concisely, an estimate represents the best guess as to how much a paint job may cost, whereas a quote is a fixed price offer. This means that a contractor can charge you more or less than the painting estimate provided. As a rule of thumb, a painting contractor should charge a final price close to the initial estimate.

Doing the Math

How do you know you’re getting a fair painting estimate? According to professional painters, painting an average Florida home can cost anywhere between $1,500 and $3,500. However, the best way to find out if a painting contractor has offered you a good estimate is to determine how much your project will cost. Since professionals price their work on a per square-foot basis, calculating the cost of materials and labor for your painting project is relatively easy.

Let's say you intend to paint an area of 2,000 square feet. In this case, you need about 5.5 gallons of primer and 5.5 gallons of paint for each coat. Our Florida expert painters recommend that you add an extra 20 percent to the square footage for textured or rough wall surfaces, such as stucco or brick walls. Also, using a tinted primer close to the paint color you’ve chosen for your walls may allow you to get a unified finish without applying two coats of paint.

If you consider the price per gallon, which ranges between $25 and $50 for interior primers, $30 and $70 for interior paint, $30 and $60 for exterior primers, and $35 and $80 for exterior paint, a rough cost estimate for the primer and paint necessary to cover 2,000 square feet ranges from $300 to $650 for interior and from $350 to $750 for exterior surfaces.

Given that an average worker can prepare approximately 50 square feet of wall surface and paint about 150 feet per hour, preparing and painting 2,000 square feet will take around 54 hours. If you multiply 54 hours by $40, which is the average cost per hour for house painting or staining in Florida, it will cost you $2,160 to paint 2,000 square feet of wall surface. Now, if you factor in the cost of the primer and paint, a fair painting estimate should range somewhere between $2,500 and $3,000, with one coat of primer and paint. For more detailed information about estimating the cost of a painting project, you can check our previous post, “Estimate Exterior Commercial Painting.”

A painting estimate can also vary based on other aspects, such as whether or not the project involves different types of surfaces (e.g. stucco, brick, wood, metal, etc.), molding with simple or intricate details, and additional elements like doors, window frames, sashes, shutters, roof overhang, porches, gutters and downspouts.

In addition, a painting estimate will include lead paint testing for houses built before 1978. According to EPA, the owner of such a building must hire appropriately licensed and certified painters, who follow lead-safe work practices that prevent lead contamination.

One more thing to keep in mind is that the lowest estimate is rarely the best deal. That's because the quality of materials and workmanship is generally inferior. A competent, responsible contractor will never sacrifice quality for cost savings.

That’s about it. For any questions about other aspects related to getting a fair painting estimate, you can get in touch with our specialists at Performance Painting Contractors by calling our Jacksonville office at (904)-641-4800, Tampa office at (813)-308-0388, or emailing info@performance-painting.com. If you’re looking for a premier painting contractor ready to take on a painting project in Jacksonville, Tampa or surrounding areas, fill out our free online form to get an instant painting estimate for your project.

Topics: Miscellaneous

Written by Kevin Hughes

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