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How to Hire Craig. List Painters

After painting houses myself for 13+ years, I know what painters will tell you and won’t tell you. Unfortunately, some painters cut corners and do sloppy work.

Most of my job was looking at mistakes other painters made (and cleaning them up).

You want to make sure you hire the right company for your project. Part of that is asking the right questions. Below are 5 questions you should ask and consider when hiring craig. list painters.

Are you licensed and insured?

Liability Insurance

The insurance is more important than the licensing. If a contractor is not licensed, only they can get into trouble.

But if a contractor is uninsured, you can get into serious trouble. A painter can get hurt, fall off a ladder, or do serious damage to your home.

You want to make sure they have liability insurance to cover any of this.

With my own painting company I had $1 million in liability insurance. If anything bad happened (or any serious damage) both myself and my customers were covered.

Windows get broken, roofs get oversprayed and need to be replaced. Liability insurance covers this (mostly).

Do you have local references?

References

Do your own research first. Just google them. Look at their reviews, see if they have any bad ratings. Even more revealing, see how they respond to negative reviews.

I saw a bad review for a painting company from a concerned homeowner. It seemed completely justified and supported by photos of negligent work.

How did the painter respond to this review?: “This lady is a liar and a psychopath.”

You don’t want to work with a painter that responds to a legitimate complaint in this manner.

Ask for local references. These are past customers that they worked with.

Making a couple quick phone calls can tell you a lot about the painter.

Also, if the references are local, you can drive by the homes yourself and see the level of work.

How do you prep the house?

Prepping the house

This is a big one. Any good craig. list painter will tell you ‘It’s all about the prep!’

Good preparation is also time-consuming and labor-intensive. So expect good prep to cost more.

But it’s the difference between a job lasting 12 years or 2 years.

It’s worth it to pay more for good house prep. So, what is good prep?

  1. Pressure washing the entire house and letting it dry for a day or two.
  2. Scraping off peeling or loose paint that was not removed from the pressure wash.
  3. Sanding down any rough edges so the new paint sits flush.
  4. Priming ALL bare wood. Sometimes painters have an option to prime the entire house before painting. This is worth it but more expensive.
  5. Caulking or re-caulking any failed seems or joints.
  6. Masking all windows, brick, cement, vegetation, lights etc.

You really want good prep. Some painters spend 2 hours on prep, some spend 2 days. Choose craig. list painters that spend 2 days.

What paint and materials do you use?

Materials

Some paint costs $15 a gallon. Some paint costs $80 a gallon. Shouldn’t you know which brand your painter is using?

We actually surveyed 12,000 painting contractors to see which exterior house paint they liked the best. Here’s what they chose.

Make sure you’re not getting a cheap paint put on your house. Labor is the most expensive part of a paint job, not the paint. So go high-end on the paint and materials.

This includes using quality caulking. Some caulk costs $1 a tube. Others cost $4 a tube. Get the durable stuff.

What guarantee do you have?

Warranty

First off, this question only matters if the company plans on being in business for a while. If a painting company just opened and they’re offering a 15 year guarantee, how do you know they’ll be around in 15 years?

Generally you want to work with an established, reputable company (which you should have discovered already with question 2).

I’ve seen a 2 year guarantee, 5 year, 10 year etc. I’ve even seen a LIFETIME guarantee.

The guarantee/warranty is only as good as the company. A guarantee should also cover both paint AND labor. Basically it should say: “If any part of your paint job fails within “X” time, we’ll fix it for FREE.

Some painters try to get sneaky and charge you for fixing things that should be in the warranty. Make sure materials AND labor are included in a guarantee.

Most painters will not pass this check-list. But that’s the point. You want the BEST craig. list painters painting your house. A house is a huge investment and it should be protected.

It’s hard finding good, craig. list painters. Make sure you follow this checklist. I hope this helps you!

How Much Do Craig. List Painters Cost?

Experienced craig. list painters know how many different situations come up when painting a house. I’ve painted houses for 13 years and I still come across obstacles that are difficult to estimate/bid.

It’s nearly impossible to include every potential factor when estimating a paint job, but In short, almost every painting bid will fall in this range:

Exterior Painting

Size of House
Stories
Total Cost
1500 sq ft.
1
$2000-$3000
2500 sq ft.
2
$3000-$4500
4000 sq ft.
3
$4500-$7000
Size of House
1500 sq ft.
2500 sq ft.
4000 sq ft.
Stories
1
2
3
Total Cost
$2000-$3000
$3000-$4500
$4500-$7000

Interior Painting

Size of House
Stories
Total Cost
1500 sq ft.
1
$2500-$3500
2500 sq ft.
2
$4000-$5500
4000 sq ft.
3
$6000-$8000
Size of House
1500 sq ft.
2500 sq ft.
4000 sq ft.
Stories
1
2
3
Total Cost
$2500-$3500
$4000-$5500
$6000-$8000

Important Note: Some people are surprised that interior painting is more expensive. But consider that:

  • Interiors have more surface area than exteriors.
  • You have to be extremely careful to protect the carpet and furniture which adds more time and materials to the job.
  • There are more doors, baseboards and closets that need painting than exterior work.
  • Interiors usually have to be done by hand or roller which is more labor intensive than spraying.

What Makes Up The Cost of Painting a House?

Almost all expenses for house painting fall into these categories (Based on a $3,000 Paint Job):
Expense Category
Average Cost
% of Paint Job
Labor
$1650
55%
Paint
$300
10%
Materials
$150
5%
Marketing
$150
5%
Painter’s Markup
$750
25%
Total:
$3000
100%
Labor
Average Cost: $1650
% of Paint Job: 55%
Paint
Average Cost: $300
% of Paint Job: 10%
Materials
Average Cost: $150
% of Paint Job: 5%
Marketing
Average Cost: $150
% of Paint Job: 5%
Painter’s Markup
Average Cost: $750
% of Paint Job: 25%
Total
Average Cost: $3000
% of Paint Job: 100%

Your Price Will Be Higher If:

  • Your house is older and requires more prep-work
  • You have obstacles around your house (trees, ivy, decorations)
  • You need wood replaced
  • You have uneven ground (difficult ladder placements)
  • Your color changes are drastic (light to dark, dark to light etc.)
  • You want 2 or 3 coats
  • You use a high-end paint

Your Price Will Be Lower If:

  • You have a newer house with little prep-work required
  • There is easy access to all sides of the home
  • There is no wood-rot or broken trim pieces
  • You have even ground surrounding the house
  • You choose spraying versus hand-rolling
  • You’re keeping the same colors, or choosing similar colors
  • You use a more economical paint

How much did I actually charge?

Here are actual prices for paint jobs my company did. FYI My pricing is usually the middle bid – not too high, not too low.

Example House 1 Actual Cost: $2,600
Cost Factors:
  • Easy access to house
  • Customer wanted same colors
  • No wood replacement
  • Outward trim style (easier than other trim styles)
  • Minimal Prep-Work
Example House 2 Actual Cost: $3,800
Cost Factors:
  • Smaller house but it was porous brick which took way more paint
  • Difficult access – many trees and ivy covering the exterior
  • Older home – required more prep than usual
  • Had to replace shutters
Example House 3 Actual Cost: $3,200
Cost Factors:
  • 3 stories at certain peaks of the house
  • Customer chose very different colors
  • About 3,000 square feet total
  • Even ground around house
  • Medium Prep-work
Example House 4 Actual Cost: $3,700
Cost Factors:
  • 3 stories at certain peaks of the house
  • Customer wanted 4 total colors
  • Railings in front required heavy prep-work
  • Easy access to rest of home
Example House 5 Actual Cost: $1,800
Cost Factors:
  • Smaller home – half of which was brick
  • Easy, open access all around home
  • Same colors
  • Minimal Prep-Work
Example House 6 Actual Cost: $4,600
Cost Factors:
  • Larger home – 3,500 sq ft.
  • 3 stories – Needed a 40 ft. ladder for some parts
  • Heavy prep on south-west sides
  • Difficult access to peaks – backyard fence was close to the house
Example House 7 Actual Cost: $5,400
Cost Factors:
  • Larger home – 4,400 sq ft.
  • Same Colors
  • 3 stories
  • Difficult access on 2 sides (heavy sloping to back yard)
  • Customer wanted an accent color
Example House 8 Actual Cost: $4,200
Cost Factors:
  • Larger home – 3,600 sq ft.
  • Light to dark color change
  • Many trees blocking the siding
  • Lots of roof line to mask off

There are many factors when considering the cost of craig. list painters, but the most important are:

  • How much prep-work is needed?
  • How big is the house?
  • Whether you’re spraying or rolling
  • What quality of materials are being used?

You should always get 3 bids for good comparison in price and quality.

Need Craig. List Painters?

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