Painting the exterior of your home is one of the most beneficial projects you can do. Your elevated curb appeal will be enjoyed by your family, neighbors and real estate agent, if you ever choose to sell.
As you can imagine, exterior painting is a very weather dependent project, so you’ll want to plan ahead. Especially in temperamental weather climates, professional painters will begin to book summer exterior paint jobs around spring time.
If you’ve not started getting estimates yet:
If you’ve submitted a project request on Porch already, expect to hear from a few contractors over the next 24-48 hours. When they call, these are the questions you should be asking:
- What is your company name, location and phone number?
This information allows you to vet the professional once you’re off the phone. This can be done by viewing their profile page on Porch (this will be listed on your project page) and by searching for reviews on other sites such as BBB.
- Are you and your subcontractors bonded and insured?
In the many states, painters aren’t required to be licensed. However, it is important that they are bonded and insured. This ensures that you are protected if the contractor doesn’t finish the job, doesn’t pay their subcontractors or hurts themselves on your property. Read more about Insurance and Bonding. http://porch.com/advice/insurance-bonding/
- When would you be able to start a project like mine?
This question will determine the availability of the professional. If you have a specific schedule you need to stick to but the professional won’t be available for a few months, it may be worth considering other options before requesting an estimate. On the other hand, if you need to arrange financial aid before the project starts but the professional has a large job planned for the time that you’d like to start, you will need to know this.
- Would you be able to provide references for previous clients?
This is especially important with painting projects. Seeing the professional’s work is an extremely good way to determine if they do good work. If a professional cannot provide any references for clients, it’s not a good sign. Tip: Ask for a referral from at least a few months ago, this way you’ll be able to evaluate how well the work holds up over time.
These are questions relevant to all exterior painting projects but you may have additional questions that are important to you. Asking questions gives the painter a better perspective of your priorities and will enable you to determine who is right for your project.
Partial Touch Up
To ensure that the finished look is even, make sure you use a similar paint that you already have. Applying latex paint over an oil based paint will cause cracking. The best way to seamlessly repair, is to remove the paint that’s damaged down to the siding and then, prime and paint.
Full Exterior Paint
This gives you the option to change the paint type that your home is currently painted with. A lot of homes are painted with an oil based paint but that isn’t always the best choice (see the ‘Choosing Your Paint’ section of this article for more details).
Costs and Budgeting
It’s easy to get lost in the excitement of choosing a paint color and forget about the cost. Here are some tips for Keeping Your Painting Project on Budget.
Bare in mind that the cost will differ based on the season, location and the scope of project (quality of materials, any repairs, painting of trim, window frames and garage doors).
The rough cost of painting 2,000sqft of exterior is around $2,000-$6,000. This includes materials, labor and prep. (This figure is provided by HomeWyse).
A way to save money on your exterior painting project is to clean the siding yourself. Take a look at the process in this article.
Choosing your paint
The extensive selection of paints in the paint aisle can be daunting. If only your decisions started and ended with color samples. But no, there are finishes, primers and warranties to think about as well.
First, choose your paint type. Think about the material and the condition of your siding to determine which paint type is going to be right. Take a look at this article for The Best Paint For Your Exterior.
Don’t forget the primer! Unless you’re just touching up areas of previously painted siding, primer is necessary to a polished result that lasts.
Tip: Make sure you get the number of coats of paint agreed with the painter detailed in your contract.
Something that you might have noticed when choosing paint is the warranty. Many paints offer a lifetime warranty, but what does that really mean? Consumer Reports answers the question.
We advise requesting estimates from at least 3 contractors. Not only will this give you an idea of the cost, it will allow you to get to know the contractor and their ideas for your exterior painting project. This is crucial to selecting the right contractor for you. Take a look at this pro advice about What To Expect From Your Exterior Project.
Here are a few questions you should make sure you ask your painter during the first meeting:
- What is the payment schedule and process?
- What warranty do you offer for your workmanship and materials?
- How long have you worked with your subcontractors or crew?
- Do you specialize in exterior painting?
- How long do you predict my project will take?
- What is your process if the weather is bad?
- Is prep/cleaning included in your estimate?
- Can you provide any customer references?
Once you’ve accepted a bid from your painter, you’re well on your way to starting the project. Before any money is exchanged, make sure you have a written contract.
The most important things to look for in your exterior painting contract are:
- A payment schedule
- Details of materials used and their cost and warranty
- Details and warranty of workmanship
Remember: If you have a change of scope of the contract, it’s extremely important to draw up a ‘Change Order’ form. Even if you verbally agree to 2 coats of paint, if the contract states otherwise and the contractor fails to follow through, it will be difficult to rectify.
Preparing for your project to start
Now you’ve scheduled a time for your exterior painting project to start, make sure you prepare your home. The following preparations will ensure that your home is safe for your family and the contractors and that none of your property is damaged.
- Remove any obstacles, like toys and plant pots, from your yard
- Trim any foliage that may be obstructing the work area
- Warn any family members about the work taking place
When the project is complete
Once your project is complete, consider asking your contractor for recommendations on how to maintain your newly painted siding. Here are a couple of questions that you can ask the contractor after your project is complete:
- How do you recommend cleaning my siding and how often?
- Where can I review your work?
If you’ve followed these steps to find a great contractor then you’re well on your way to a stress-free paint job. At Porch, we understand that accidents happen. If any damage is caused to your property as a result of the professional we can help you make this right. Read about the terms of our Guarantee.
If you have any questions throughout your exterior painting project, the Porch Home Assistant Team will be happy to help. They can be reached via email at email@example.com.
Related article: What Does The Color Of Your Front Door Say About You?