If you have ever had a home painted, you may have noticed the huge difference in price between contractors. As a painting contractor myself, I honestly empathize with my customers. When every paint salesman seems to be saying the same things (we use only top quality paint, the key is in the prep work, etc, etc) it sure can be hard to make sense of the price differences. Especially when the highest-priced contractor is sometimes DOUBLE the price of the lowest estimate!
If you request multiple estimates you should expect to receive quotes around $5000 to $7000 for exterior painting of a medium-sized contemporary wood-sided home with moderate prep in Colorado Springs. However, larger homes or historic homes may easily run you $10,000 or more for quality materials and procedures. But the actual price range for quotes you receive can be significant. A young startup contractor may be willing to tackle the project for significantly less money for a chance to prove him or herself. Or an experienced painter may want to charge significantly more. Especially if he or she seems intimidated by the complexity of your project for whatever reason.
Determine your painting strategy
So what is a homeowner to do? As a consumer, it’s important for you to understand what factors cause these price differences so that you can select the appropriate painter for the job at hand. This really comes down to first evaluating what your preferred strategy is for home maintenance. And only then considers price only within that specific context. Let me explain further.
My best advice to help homeowners set a realistic painting budget is to research potential contractors that align with your painting strategy. Many potential painting contractor candidates can be eliminated without an in-person appointment by simply reading online reviews and searching for hints as to which type of market they serve. So ask yourself honestly, which of these best describes your approach to painting?
1) “Paint is simply basic home maintenance. Like spring cleaning, it must be done whether we like it or not. And it will need to be done again in a few years. So let’s get this over quickly for as little money as possible.”
2) “Our home is an investment and we would like a contractor who will build value into our home through craftsmanship. We believe well-built products and services outlast cheaper alternatives, and therefore pay for themselves in the end”.
All painters will be more than happy to explain why they believe they do superior work. They will explain the techniques and products that go into the job. But quite simply, some painters are accustomed to serving a very discerning clientele. This type of customer holds their painter accountable to very high expectations in terms of both craftsmanship and overall customer service experience. While other painters may typically service those customers who simply need to get it done and have much lower expectations. Both can, and often do provide a 5-star experience for their ideal customer type. But a quick and basic painter may leave a discerning customer wishing for more. While a high-performing painter will just simply be too expensive for the customer who has a frequent and recurring need for a worker who can get in and out quickly while meeting basic quality standards.
Determine which type of contractor is appropriate for your needs
So how much should it cost to paint a house? As you can see it really depends on what you are looking to get out of this paint job. For example, are you listing your home for sale and just need to freshen it up to get it sold? Then long-term quality is likely not a concern. Is this a rental, and therefore you will get no personal satisfaction out of the money spent? If so, then it’s hard to tell the kids there will be no Disney World vacation this year because you are painting the rental property instead. Is this your forever home, and you prefer to not have to paint again for a very long time? Or perhaps you realize inflation means that the next paint job will be even more expensive, and you would love to not have to worry about painting again anytime soon. Maybe you will sell the house in the next 5 to 10 years and you want this to be the last time you have to paint this specific home. If any of these describe you, then maybe a higher-priced paint job is in the budget.
Ready for a consultation?
So which contractor is the right fit for your project? Both have their place. They are serving a different need and a different market. If you are seeking competitive quotes and trying to compare “apples-to-apples”, make sure you aren’t unreasonably comparing two contractors who have built their business and their reputation around serving very different clients.
If you are seeking a high-performing paint job and an exceptional customer experience at a higher price point, and you are local to Colorado Springs, we would love to hear from you!
Wishing you all the best with your painting project!