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Understanding the Costs: Budgeting for a Professional Paint Job

Proper budgeting and time estimates are the only way to ensure that no financial surprises are awaiting you at the end of your project. While most painting professionals are worth their rates, you still pay for services and deserve to get exactly what you pay for. Without adhering to a budget and trusting your contractor’s estimate, you can end up with an unfortunate tally.

The average cost to have your home or business painted professionally can vary widely based on location, services, and materials. How can you best assess your project’s scope, labor costs, materials, and more? ProServ can offer a proposal that’s within any client’s budget without sacrificing quality or vision. 

Read on to get an idea of how to budget for a professional paint job.

Assessing the Scope of Your Painting Project

The best way to ensure your project stays on budget is to outline a clear scope of work with your contractor so that you can receive an accurate quotation. After you’ve selected your contractor, it’s paramount that you completely agree upon a contract. The contract that’s drawn up should specify all painting products, the scope and timeframe of the work, a painting schedule, and more. It should clearly define the terms of what is to be painted, the entire preparation process, where items are located, and all application requirements. 

If you’re uncertain about anything in the contract, ask your contractor. Specifics are crucial when it comes to staying within your budget—you don’t want the professionals to paint an item incorrectly or forget a room accidentally.

Labor Costs: Understanding Professional Painter Rates

Interior and exterior painting can range dramatically in price, and interior painting typically costs more due to its greater skill, detail, and time requirements per square foot.

As of 2023, the average professional painter charges somewhere between $330 to $605 per day, factoring in professional experience, skill level, and more. Interior painting prices are higher, averaging $360 to $685 per day. Exterior painters might charge less, as low as $300 to $525 daily. Since interior painting costs more than exterior painting, this is a factor you should be aware of when deciding on your budget. Costs might also rise depending on specialized paint finishes and services, and even more for hazardous paint jobs where the workers have to deal with asbestos.

Additional Expenses to Consider

Prep Work

Several factors can influence the cost of a project, and prep work is a big one. Consider whether or not you’ll be doing any prep work yourself before the professionals arrive, which can be light home maintenance, moving furniture, etc. Professional prep work can include sanding, scraping, and pressure washing, which require specific tools. The total cost of prep work depends on what work needs to be done and the skill required—you might be able to do a little bit of it yourself, and mildly offset the costs.

Supply & Material Costs

The cost of supply and materials varies greatly depending on the project and is truly one of the greatest factors in your overall budget. Supply and material costs depend on the size of the painting job, and can include the cost of paint, rollers, brushes, and other professional supplies. Not to mention that the gallons of paint you buy can vary based on quality, and whether you use the paint on a small bedroom or a large living room.

Paint cost can range anywhere from $15/gallon to $100/gallon based on paint type and quality. Specialty paints like urethane, epoxy, and polyurethane can drive up the cost, not to mention specialized finishes. 

  • When budgeting supply and material costs, it’s important to consider:
  • How many paint colors does the job require?
  • Are you using multiple colors for walls and trim?
  • Will pricing be adjusted if it’s painted on concrete, drywall, or metal?
  • Do the workers need to paint on textured surfaces?
  • Is special equipment required?

It’s important to ask your contractor these questions when you are drafting a contract and asking for an estimate, as some of these “surprises” can impact the total cost.

Overhead Costs

While overhead costs account for roughly 10% of a project’s budget, it can be a factor overlooked by both contractor and customer. Overhead costs are typically spread out across all jobs by professional painting companies, and reflect the contractor’s total cost of doing business. Overhead costs can include salaries, auto expenses, supplies, and travel expenses. Be upfront with your contractor and ask them if their overhead costs substantially affect the estimate, as hiring a local painting company can drastically reduce these costs and won’t negatively impact your budget.

Budgeting for a Professional Paint Job

Choose A Professional Painter

Choosing the right professional painter is the first important step when budgeting for a painting project, but finding the right contractor and company can be a daunting task. Doing your homework is essential, as you need to locate someone who is qualified, reliable, and experienced. We recommend you research local painters, paying special attention to customer reviews. You can ask for referrals from friends, family, and local businesses, or talk with local painters that have worked on similar projects.

After you’ve identified the right professional that meets your criteria, read all associated documentation before signing any documents. You must ensure that all agreements reflect your full understanding of the timeframe and job requirements, which will prevent future disputes and streamline the process.

ProServ Painters are consistently recommended as the best option in the Massachusetts area because we are diligent, professional, and qualified. You can schedule a free estimate today and see why so many people have praised ProServ time and again. We build an excellent rapport because we care about you and your property. Give us a call today and see why we are the most celebrated painting professionals in the area.

Determine Your Needs

Adequately budgeting your paint project means establishing your needs early on and being fully transparent with your contractor. It’s important to understand what kind of paint will be used, as well as all surface applications. Wood, drywall, and textured surfaces affect the cost, but the actual amount can vary widely, and shouldn’t leave that information behind. As a customer, if you understand those details ahead of time, you can more accurately estimate the project costs and stay within your budget.

Get an Estimate

Finally, get your estimate from your chosen professional painter. It’s important to shop around during the process and find a professional that meets your needs, which means asking for several estimates from different contractors. Be sure you ask pertinent questions about anything that isn’t clear—you should be confident in knowing what you are paying for, and that means understanding every item on the estimate.

Before hiring anyone, it’s important to understand what goes into the project so that you can accurately reflect that in your budget. By taking these crucial extra steps, you can create an accurate budget and timeline that ensures you get the results you want while sticking within your financial means. When you do your due diligence you might be shocked at how close the overall cost adheres to your estimate and budget!

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do I Calculate the Amount of Paint Needed?

The best way to calculate the amount of paint you need yourself is to measure the length of all walls and rooms to be painted and add them together. Measure the height of each room and multiply these two measurements. Also, remember to measure the windows and doors in each room and remove them from your measurements.

Can You Negotiate Prices with Professional Painters?

It is called an estimate because it’s just that, and most professional painters will calculate the cost of a job with very thin margins. There might be some space for negotiating, but it’s important to remain friendly and professional whenever you negotiate the price. Get multiple quotes and references so that you can gain a better understanding of the average cost. Sometimes professionals will accept payment or timeline flexibility to offset costs.

Negotiating is a skill, and you don’t want to do or say anything that will offend the contractor and muddle your professional relationship. Try and haggle down the price on the quote as you want, but it’s better to be transparent and tell them upfront what your budget is and to work together to stay within that projection.

Is It Cheaper to Paint Myself or Hire a Professional?

How much does a professional paint job cost? It’s understandably tempting to tackle a home improvement project yourself, especially if you consider yourself a keen DIYer. But consider the reality of your home: the steeply pitched roof, the total amount of space, and the number of hours that will require you to take time off work or sacrifice weekends to finish the job. Painting can be fun and meditative, but don’t forget that there is prep, special equipment, and danger involved. Saving money is important, and you might be able to reduce the total costs by doing some things yourself, but it’s difficult to compare any DIY project to what the professionals can accomplish.

Professional painter coating roller with blue paint

Call Our Team for a Free, No-Obligation Price Quote

Serving homeowners with excellence is our privilege. Our team of house painters are excited to help you rediscover the power of color and professional paint in transforming your home’s appearance! We’ll work around your schedule and ensure that you stay informed.

For more information or to receive your free estimate call ProServ Painters at (804) 214-7811 today!

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