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Cost Cutting Tips for Exterior House Painting

Cost Cutting Tips for Exterior House Painting

A fresh coat of paint can make your home aesthetically pleasing and lovely. A good exterior paint job can also go a long way in boosting the curb appeal, and the overall value of your property. However, some people worry about the cost of exterior house painting and tend to defer this project over and over again. But with a few useful tips, you’ll be able to trim your exterior painting budget without compromising the overall job quality of your project.

Here are some tips to help you keep the cost of your exterior paint job to the minimum.


  1.    Get competing bids

Before you hire a painting contractor for your job, source for multiple estimates. You can find recommended painters from family, friends, neighbors or search online for professional home painters near you. Look for experienced, licensed and insured painters who had the required skills to work on your specific type of painting project.

Have a specification written out in detail as to the level of preparation and number of finish coats, products to be used  PLUS how they will be applied

  • Pressure washing and bleaching to remove mildew and algae
  • Does the contractor have an EPA RRP certificate allowing them to work on a home built prior to 1980 (most do not!)
  • Scraping only, or would you like the surfaces sanded to a feathered edge and filled/sanded again. What type of fillers will be used?
  • What level of caulking detail would you like? will all open seams be caulked? What quality of caulk will be used? There are $1 a tube caulks and there are $7 a tube caulks…there is a huge difference in flexibility, adhesion, and durability.
  • How is patching to be done? What products will be used? Will the substrate be primed before filling?
  • Ask for the best products….do not settle just for a brand. Even brands with excellent name recognition make cheap product lines. Insist on specific higher-end products from those brands.
  • Will surfaces be back-rolled /brushed? Airless spraying is common and very efficient in getting the product onto surfaces. On textured surfaces, spraying lays the paint on the surfaces BUT, back-rolling/brushing after spraying pushes/works the paint into the surface, ensuring full, even coverage, better adhesion, and a consistent full coat that is much more durable.
  • Do you want a full prime and two coats or is less needed due to surfaces already in good condition.
  • Will the contractor take care of small carpentry repairs and will the replaced wood be primed on all sides prior to installation
  • Does the contractor subcontract the work; use day laborers or do they have their own full time, trained craftspeople?

Ask the painter to give an estimate of how many hours they will spend on preparation and on painting –especially if you will be paying them per hour. Also, ask about the type of painting products that will be used, and how many coats of paint will be applied. The idea is not to get the cheapest painter or the cheapest paint but to find painting services and products that will offer the best value for your money.

  1.    Do some of the work yourself

If you’re hiring a painting contractor, you can consider doing some of the labor yourself. For instance, you can ask your painter if you can reduce the cost of labor by doing tasks like trimming shrubs, clearing a perimeter and moving furniture for the painters to work. If you have a bit of the skill, you can also help with prep work like sanding, patching, and scraping.

  1.    Don’t wait too long to repaint

We often work for clients who understand that certain exposures on their homes are under more stress and so we paint those portions of the home on a more frequent schedule rather than waiting till the whole house needs painting. This “maintenance” approach results in a lower cost overall over the years while their home stays looking sharp.

Unlike interior painting, exterior painting can be tricky to maintain considering your exterior is constantly exposed to weather elements. It’s recommended that you repaint your home’s exterior before visible signs of wear and tear appear. Do not wait until your home shows signs of flaking and peeling paint.

If a painter spends about 40 hours preparing the surfaces before they can paint, this will result in a lot of extra costs. But if it only takes 8 hours to prepare the surface, you can save a considerable amount. Additional, repainting your home regularly will reduce the number of coats to be used.

  1.    Always Opt for Quality Paint

I cannot emphasize this enough. A lot of homeowners think they can save money by buying cheap paint. In reality, the opposite is true. Quality paint will need fewer coats for appropriate coverage, and this, in turn, will mean you will use less paint in your paint job. Additionally, good quality paint tends to be more durable, which means it has better adhesion and fade resistance plus it won’t chip or peel off easily. This also means you will go for a long time without requiring touch-ups and repainting. Do not be fooled by a brand name; remeber all brands, even high-end ones do make cheaper products to service cheap painters….insist on the high-quality product within that brand!

  1.    Don’t Use Too Many Colors

It’s understandable to use a different color for trim work, door painting, and window painting, but you should probably avoid going wild with the number of colors. Using one primary color and one secondary color can be excellent –you don’t have to use the entire color wheel to make your home beautiful. The fewer colors you will use, the more you will be able to save. You will save on the cost of material and labor a well because painters will not have to spend additional time shifting from one color to another. An area where you can save big time is having the siding and eave the same material and color….color transitions where siding meets the underside of the roof (eave) is an area wher you can save. Do the color transition on the fascia (outward facing wood the roof edge).

  1.    Refresh, Don’t Replace

Often folks will have us gently clean their home every few years. A gentle cleaning removes dirt, grime and the inevitable mildew that can grow surfaces.

If your home’s paint has faded or dulled over time, it’s easier, faster and cheaper to simply repaint it using the same color rather than shifting to a new one. Moving from a dark to a lighter color, for instance, will require a primer and more coats to make sure the old color doesn’t show under your new paint job. And that means additional costs. So if you’re happy with your current color scheme, consider retaining it and simply refreshing it with a new paint job.

  1.    Primer Saves Paint

Talking of the primer, you should always consider using the primer, which is cheaper than using numerous coats of paint. If you’re working on exterior painting projects that involves stained surfaces, you won’t be saving money by avoiding the primer.

Primers are designed to seal the surface; they provide great adhesion and a good base for top coats. You will see quite a few “PAINT and PRIMER in ONE” products….do not be fooled….a primer is specifically designed for the purposes outlined above. The “all in one” products are NOT good primers.

If you’re planning for an exterior house painting project, following the above tips will save you money and time, and help you to avoid unnecessary hassles of using cheap quality painting services and products. As a bonus tip, we recommend hiring a professional repainting specialist for a quality, durable paint job that will not need touch ups and repainting too soon.