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How Phoenix painters price their work.

An abstract example of how a Phoenix painting contractor may be estimating the cost of a painting project.

There are a lot of different questions people ask when they are evaluating painting contractors, who give them bids to paint a house. But the question that is asked all the time is “how much?”. When economy is in a bad shape not many people do home improvements. Same quantity of contractors competing for fewer jobs, and that is why painters charge less for the same job they were charging, when the economy was in a better shape. While shopping for the best painting price there are a few things to keep in mind. In spite of a general tendency for a painting bid to be lower, all of the painting costs stayed the same. The price went down at the expense of the contractors making smaller profit per job.
This is an example of how a contractor would calculate a painting bid:
Take a 1500 sf house. To paint an exterior, the amount of paint needed for 2 coats on average is 15 gallons. Most of the contractors buy their paint at Dunn Edwards store.
Cost of paint would be about $330 depending on discount contractor has and paint quality.
Masking paper, tape and plastic $50.
Labor cost varies the most. But let's say there are 2 painters.
It would take about 25 hours between two people to paint this house (just quality prep work and painting, no major repairs). If a painter in this slow economy is lucky to make $13 an hour (comparing to many who have no work at all) than 25 hours x 2 people x $13 an hour = $650
Paint $330, materials $50, labor $650
Total cost to a contractor is $1030.
This is just an abstract and simplified example to give a homeowner a general idea, that does not include the cost of running a business such as: cost of advertising, gas, vehicle maintenance, etc. Each painting company operates differently.
If the bid is too low it may be too good to be true. If it is too high it may be overpriced. That is why the price by itself should not be the decision making factor in hiring a painting company. It is good to ask questions during the estimate like: what kind of paint contractor using and how much does he buy it for? How many painters will be working on the house and what kind of experience they have? A contractor who is using quality paint and hiring quality people would not mind sharing it with a customer.

Phoenix painting contractors: licensed and unlicensed.

Advantages and disadvantages using a licensed Phoenix painting contractor.

If a painter is unlicensed it does not mean he will do a poor job in painting your home. Hiring a painter without a license recommended to you by a friend or neighbor may work out very well. Especially if he is not asking for any money up front. Painter without a license doesn't have to deal with getting bond, license, insurance, buying overpriced books to study for the tests necessary to get a license(this license does not have anything to do with the skills of a painter). And that is why a painting bid of someone without a license is usually less than of a licensed painting contractor. In Arizona one can operate under handyman exemption, where a person does not have to get a license if the cost of the project is under $1000.
If a home owner doesn't have anybody that can recommend a good painter and the choice is made among advertisements found in yellow pages or online, paying a little extra for a licensed painting contractor has it's benefits.
A licensed contractor can't just take a down payment for a painting project, change his phone number and never show up to do the job, because his license is on the line. Not that this scenario is absolutely impossible, but with a licensed contractor it is very unlikely to happen. If one took the time to get his license most likely he will have all the equipment necessary for the job. Power washer with high enough pressure to clean the exterior of the house properly. Sprayer to spray paint the surface that can't be painted with a roller. If any unexpected problems come up during painting process, resolve the problem instead of just walking away, leaving painting job unfinished.
If a painting contractor with a license to damage your house, you can get the money out of registrar of contractors recovery fund to pay for the damages. It covers a contractor up to $30,000 per incident. A lot of painting contractors also carry a liability insurance that can come handy if the damage is so great that it exceeds the thirty thousand dollars.
Regardless of who you hire asking the basic questions can keep the home owner away from an unprofessional painter.
The questions are good to ask are the following:
How long have you been in the business? How many similar painting projects have you done? What kind of prep work will be done prior to painting? How long it will take you to complete this project?
There is no right or wrong answer to any of this questions. Just listening to the answers one can usually get a good idea of how professional a painting contractor is.

Why do some Phoenix painters ask for a down payment?

Asking for some money up front is a common practice in a construction business, and some painting companies require a down payment at the time of signing a painting contract.

There is no industry standard on down payment. Some painting contractors don't charge anything up front. You pay only one time when the job is completely done. Some contractors ask for down payment to cover the cost of paint and materials.
While many customers can appreciate a contractor who doesn't ask for any money up front, it may not be a very good deal for a painting contractor. Nobody is immune to losing their job. And if a customer, after being laid off or simply not receiving money they expected, is facing a choice of going through with the painting contract or putting food on their table, painting a house may suddenly become of a less priority. And the contractor is stuck with custom tinted, non refundable paint.

What is the difference between Phoenix painting contractors who have liability insurance and the ones who don't?

Phoenix painters that carry insurance have their business better protected than the ones that don't.

Insurance in Arizona is not a requirement for painting contractors. However it is beneficial for a contractor to have one. If accident happens and a painting contractor needs to pay for the damages the insurance would cover the cost. The monthly premium would go up, but the contractor can continue doing his business as usual. If a painting contractor is licensed but not insured the homeowner can get money out of registrar of contractors recovery fund to pay for the damage to his house, but the contractor will be unable to conduct business until he pays back registrar of contractors in full.

Variables what will affect the cost of an exterior house painting project.

Square footage is not the only factor that will have an effect on the cost of exterior house painting.

Many factors will determine the cost of exterior painting:

  • One or two story house.
    Climbing up and down the ladder takes a lot of time during prep work.
  • Type of surface.
    Stucco takes the most amount of paint while brick probably the least.
  • Access to the house.
    Some houses have a lot of bushes and trees around, and it takes two people during painting, one pull the bushes away from the house, another to spray paint.
  • Repairs.
    If a house have not been painted in a while most likely it will have some cracks to be fixed and small holes to be filled. Older houses tend to have drywall that is pealing off on the ceiling of the entrance or back patio.
  • Colors.
    Usually people like the trim color to be different from the body of the house, or even more often, multiple colors is a requirement of HOA.
    Color can be changed only for the outside part of the trim and that is the easiest way to do it. If inside of the trim is same color as body, it can be spray painted without spending extra time. If home owner wants the color change starting from inside of the trim it would take extra time to mask the whole body of the house after it has been painted and dried in order not to get any paint to the surface that has just been painted.
  • Masking in general.
    Everything that is not being painted needs to be covered.

    The best way to get a price is to have a painting contractor give you in home estimate when you describe exactly how you want the house to be painted and get an estimate in writing.
    Estimates over the phone only lead to misunderstanding and disappointment.

Factors that will affect the cost of an interior house painting project.

Interior painting has many variables that will have effect on a price.

  • Whether the house is furnished on not.
    In unfurnished house it is easy to cover the floors with plastic, sealing it tightly at the corners of the room. The furniture will prevent doing that and you have to move the tarp around all the time to prevent spills and drips getting on the floor. And the furniture needs to be moved to the middle of the room first.
  • Number of colors used.
    If the whole interior of the house is one color and it is unfurnished it is easy to spray paint it. If the wall color is different from the ceiling the most time consuming part of the painting process will be cutting the lines between the ceiling and the wall, and spray painting(which is the fastest) will not work here. It will have to be painted by brush and a roller.
    If all walls in the house one color they can be painted by dipping the roller in 5 gallon bucket. If each room has a different color a tray will have to be used. Constantly poring paint from the bucket into a tray is time consuming, not to mention it is impossible to buy the precise amount of paint needed and there will be a little paint of each color left afterwards. So the amount of money needed to spend on paint will be slightly higher.
  • The type of doors the house has.
    Flat doors can painted with a small roller and it is fairly fast. Panel doors need to be painted by brush(or sprayed) and it takes more time.
  • If the baseboards are different color from the walls it will take more time to cut lines, comparing to walls and baseboards being the same color.
  • Type of sheen is being used.
    Flat finish is the easiest to work with as it covers better whether it is a previous color or just a dirty wall. Satin finish is not too hard to work with either. Eggshell, semi-gloss or gloss paint can be tricky as it will leave brush or roller marks if you don't do it correctly or just fast enough.
  • If the house is dirty all dust needs to be wiped down before painting. In especially dirty house it can turn into a small cleaning project.

    Those just the basic factors. Each interior painting job is different and the cost will vary on a case by case basis.

How long does the painting job usually last?

It will depend upon not only the quality of paint, but also the painters that are doing the work.

On exteriors it all depends on how well the preparation work is done and the type of paint is used. As far as the paint goes 100% acrylic paints are considered to be very long lasting and durable. With proper application the house may not need a paint job for another 10 years. That is of course if the house prior to be painted is power washed, loose paint is scraped, cracks are filled and holes are fixed.
On interiors there is not much can go wrong as far as paint pealing off. Once on the drywall paint can last almost indefinitely. Premium paints do not have to be used on the inside of the house.


exterior house painting pix 1 exterior house painting pix 2 exterior house painting pix 3 exterior house painting pix 4

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