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6 ProTips for Saving Cash on House Painting

No one wants to pay more than they have to.  On anything.  It’s more than principle.  It’s just plain logic.  When you can save a buck – or a few hundred – that’s the way to go.  But the thing is, the cheapest service will often show in the quality.  And, when it comes to your home, you don’t want to sacrifice quality.  So, here are ways that you can save in man hours and labor costs on your painting job without having to skimp on quality too.

1. Do the research and get some bids.

Any commercial painter worth their salt will be willing to give you an estimate before you actually hire them.  So look around.  Let them know what the job involves, and see what their competitive price is.  Look into recommendations and check into the work they’ve done before.  One simple way to save cash is to make sure that the job is done right the first time.  Make sure that the contractor you choose is licensed and insured, so that if anything does come up, it can be addressed with minimal (hopefully no) additional costs.  Make sure to get estimates on man hours (preparation included), what specific products will be used, how many coats of paint are required, and the cost they will incur for additional coats if necessary.

2. Get it in writing.

Contracts might lock you in to a particular arrangement.  But it locks them in too.  It makes sure that you know from the outset what both of you – the servicer and the recipient – are agreeing to and what you are both setting yourselves up for.  Make sure that the scope of work is specified in the contract.  The full scope of the work, including all preparations, labor costs, possible additional requirements, number of coats, everything.  This protects both of you and makes sure that the work and price are on the level.  Experienced residential painters will appreciate this step.

3. How much of the prep work can you manage on your own?

The more labor hours you can save the contractor, the less you’ll have to pay for the finished product.  So, if you can do some of the labor yourself, go for it.  Some of the prep work involved with painting is primer, sanding, and caulking the necessary areas.  You can also save by footing for some of the equipment yourself, like brushes, rollers, tarps, ladders, and scaffolding.  Be careful, though.  If you overspray on window frames or other sensitive areas, you may require some fixes that are more costly than their worth.  Once way to avoid this is to work with brushes around trim areas, if you work with them at all.  Things you can do easily are:

  • > Scraping, patching, and sanding (if you know what you’re doing)
  • > Removing doorknobs, switch plates, and outlet covers
  • > Getting the furniture out of the way and clearing the painting area
  • > Trimming hedges and shrubs for outside clearance

4. Don’t save it ‘til the last minute – or beyond!

The longer you leave an old paint job, the more likely it is to require preparation prior to painting.  Paint, especially exterior paint, can peel or crack, requiring sanding, removal, and other forms of preparation before the next good coat can be applied.  Cracking, peeling, and flaking paint can require additional man hours and unnecessary costs.  So keep up with maintenance without delay, and the costs will be as low as they can be.

5. Don’t cut corners, but cut the fat.

Look into what actually needs to be done with your paint job.  Eliminate the excess.  If it’s not all that important – or if it isn’t necessary – then consider leaving it for the next time.  You might consider leaving the closet interiors as they are.  Or the ceilings.  Basically, if it isn’t what needs to be done, don’t tack it on to the project and add man hours and material costs.  Cut paint and labor when you can.  If you have any questions about how to do this, skilled professional painters will give you all the pointers you need.  They will want to get the job done with the highest efficiency and greatest value so that they build strong customer relations.

6. Consider your colours wisely

New colours will require more coats of paint.  This is just basic logic.  If you work with the same colour as before, you might only need one coat, especially if the surface is doing ok.  Mellow colours are also a better bet, as vibrant or deep colours will tend to fade more quickly and require more coats to really show up.  So think twice before using bright yellows or deep reds.  They can be beautiful, when applied correctly.  But they’re also likely to need a bit more attention – and a few extra coats.  If you want to go this route, make sure to use high quality paints with the highest colour retention and best vibrancy.  This will let you use fewer coats for the same effect.  Remember that bold and vibrant colours will last longer on the interior than the exterior. 

These are just of the few of the best tips.  If you’d like to know more about how to get the best value out of your paint job, feel free to contact us.  At J&E Kogan, we are dedicated to providing you the best service and the best results.

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