Last Updated Mar 7, 2017 · Written by Rob Schneider
Your house needs painting, but you don't have the time or inclination to do your own painting. You want to hire a professional painter to do the job. You also want to save money. How can you save money when hiring a painter? We can share a few secrets with you.
Painters are competitive, but also practical. They know from years of experience how long a job is going to take to complete. They base their quotes on their experience, but if you know what they base their quotes on, you can negotiate with them and save money.
Painters are competitive, so you want to start by getting quotes from at least three painters. Start by reading How Much Do Painters Cost? The article gives valuable tips about choosing painters and outlines the rates painters charge. You may be surprised by the spread. A simple job will cost far less than a more complex job.
Choose painters who are specialists in the type of painting you need done. Do you need:
An exterior painter?
An interior painter?
A roof painter?
Getting quotes from specialists is important because each type of painting requires special knowledge and special equipment. An interior painter or exterior painter will have the right equipment and the knowledge to finish their job quickly and efficiently. A general painter may get the job done, but they may be slower and you may have to pay the extra expense of scaffolding for an exterior job.
Getting quotes is the first step, but you don't want to base your decision on an hourly rate or an initial quote:
In some states, painters must have a licence
Your painter should carry insurance
A painter should have years of experience
They should be able to supply you with references
An initial online quote may not be accurate. To ensure your online quotes are as accurate as possible, provide as many details about the job as you can:
How many square metres of area need to be painted?
How complex is the job?
Are there access issues?
Do you have high ceilings or is your house a two-storey house?
How many colours do you need?
Two rooms of the same size can have different costs. One might be a simple job while another has many details. Detailed painting takes more time and will cost more. More colours usually means a higher quote. For example, you might want to have a feature wall painted in a different colour. Painters will consider the feature wall to be a separate job that requires more time and attention.
Choose two or three painters and invite them to come and inspect your painting job. If you've given them enough details, their second quote will be close to their initial quote. You don't need to settle for the quote they give you, though.
Painters will give you quotes, but their quotes will be based on square metre rates which will vary depending on the complexity of the job. Painters may also make some initial assumptions about a job and factor them into their quotes. You may be able to save money by offering to do some jobs yourself.
Typically, a quote may include moving furniture for an interior job. You can offer to move the furniture and they will give you a lower quote. Aside from moving the furniture, also offer to remove blinds or curtains and anything else that will get in their way. If the painter can get to work immediately, they don't need to charge you for moving furniture and other items.
For an interior or exterior job, you can also offer to clean the walls before they arrive. This can be a big job and painters will charge for cleaning. You can wash down interior walls before they come and hose or pressure clean exterior walls. This will save them work and you money.
Another way you may be able to save money is to offer to buy the paint and have it on hand when they arrive. Some painters are willing to do this, but others may want to buy their own paint supplies. Ask them if this is an option. Painters do get paint at a discount, but they also charge for the time it takes them to buy your paints. You may be able to save money if a painter allows you to purchase paint. Make sure you buy the quantities they need. It will cost more if they run out of paint and have to wait for you to buy more.
You should now have several quotes to compare. Before you choose the lowest quote, make sure you are getting "apples for apples" quotes. Your quotes should be detailed enough for you to make accurate comparisons.
Experience counts when you choose a painter. A new painter may give you a lower quote, but do they have enough experience to do a good job? Ask every painter for references. If they are the "new kid on the block," they should still have a few former clients who were satisfied with their work.
Don't hire a painter who does not carry insurance. Their insurance is for your protection as well as theirs. If an uninsured painter has an accident or damages your house, you may end up paying for the accident or damage.
Painting licences are required in New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia. If a licence is required in your state, only hire a licensed painter. If you don't, you won't have legal recourse and your home insurance won't pay for any damage that occurs. A licensed painter also has the experience needed to do a good job.
If you're willing to move furniture and do the prep work, you can save money when hiring a painter. Beyond that, it's better to leave the job in their capable hands. You'll save money and have a beautiful paint job that will last a long time. You will forget the initial cost and be glad you hired a professional painter.
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