Whether you’re looking to liven up your new home or spruce up an old property to boost its value, a new paint job can be just the thing. But before you decide to hire someone to slap a fresh coat of paint on your house, you need to know what it’s going to cost.

Contractors consider several factors when determining the cost of painting a house. Here are 4 things they’ll look at before giving you an estimate.

A large house is naturally more expensive to paint

1. Size

This one is rather obvious. To put it simply, a house with more square footage is going to cost more to paint, and a smaller house will run you less.

That said, there are a few more things to think about when considering the size of your home. For example, you might only be interested in painting the walls and ceilings. Start adding in trim, baseboards, window sills, and doors, and the amount of labor required for the job goes up

The same applies to kitchen cabinets. The more cabinets you have, the more labor that will be required to prep and paint them. Cabinets with intricate detail work or glass-front doors require even more detail work to get the job done right.

High-ceiling entryways above stairs and cathedral ceilings are more difficult to paint than homes without these features. Large multi-story homes with unique landscapes can make an exterior painting job more of a challenge.

2. Material

Another thing to consider is what material the exterior of your house consists of. This will play another big part in determining the overall cost of the job.

The primary reason for this is that not every surface is created equal when it comes to paint. If you have a particularly porous material like brick or stone, it’s going to require more prep work, primer and paint to get the proper amount of coverage, which naturally will increase the price.

Some materials also require more expensive, specialized paints. For example, painters aren’t going to use the same paint for metal as they are for wood and stucco, and different coatings have different prices as well as application methods.

Again, there’s no tried and true formula for finding out how precisely this will affect the overall cost, but it’s certainly a factor to keep in mind.

3. Paint

Not only does the amount of paint needed make a difference, but the brand also plays into the cost. Like anything, there are many options available to you when it comes to selecting paint brands.

We use and prefer Sherwin Williams paints for many of our jobs, but also use and recommend Behr, Bejamin Moore, PPG, Kelly Moore, and others. Each brand has a variety of products in a range of prices, and many of the competing products are very similar.

If you’re concerned with cost, talk to the contractor about using cheaper brands of paint. Generally, they’ll be willing to work with you on budget considerations. But keep in mind, you get what you pay for, and going with the budget brand might show.

In our experience, there is little cost savings when using cheaper paints. These products are typically thinner, don’t go on as smoothly, and don’t cover quite as well. Because of this, they often require either a primer coat or an extra coat of paint. The majority of paints we use and recommend are paint combined with primer, which rarely requires more than a single coat. While more expensive, the labor savings make these paints a much better value.

In addition to the paint, other materials will be required to complete the job. These include plastic to cover floors and furniture, painter’s tape, masking paper, solvents, and more. Some large jobs might need several hundred dollars just in plastic and tape!

4. Labor

Last but not least, hiring a contractor comes with labor costs. The biggest part of the overall cost of the job will be how many man hours it takes it to get it done, and what type of work is being done.

Tasks such as painting, texturing, carpentry, and detail work all require different skills and have different costs involved. Also, how much prep work will be required? Some houses could just use a good powerwashing, while others might have some rotten wood that needs to be replaced, or perhaps scraping and sanding that has to be done before painting.

For many jobs, the amount of prep that is needed might be more work than the actual painting itself. Every house is different, and all require a different amount of work to get them in top condition.

All of the points already discussed on this list will play into that. From square footage to materials, every house is unique and contractors will make this determination on a case by case basis.

Those are the Factors That Determine the Cost of Painting a House

When it comes to the cost of painting a house, there’s not much more to consider than that. Ultimately, there aren’t too many complicating factors you’ll need to worry about.

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