As homeowners consider their home improvement options, painting often rises to the top of the pile. For one, a fresh coat of paint can make a space look brighter.
Paint is also popular because it’s a cosmetic alteration. Since you make no structural changes or changes to major home systems, you won’t need permits from your local town or city.
While some homeowner feels an absolute commitment to a DIY approach, many homeowners will hire painters for the job instead. If you’ve never hired home painters before, though, you may wonder what kind of prices you can expect. Keep reading for a quick look at how painters charge and what they charge.
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Types of Pricing
Residential painters usually adopt one of three main approaches to pricing. The common approach is by the paintable square foot. That means they exclude things like the square footage on any windows in a room from the final bill.
Another common approach is an hourly rate. Most homeowners dislike this approach because it’s so much less precise than the square footage approach.
A less common approach is a by the project price. You’re more likely to see this with something like an exterior painting job.
Factors that Affect the Pricing
A number of factors can make a painting job cost more or less. One of the big factors is the difficulty. Many home painters will charge less for something like a flat ceiling because it’s so easy.
Putting up a fresh coat of paint on a wall will typically cost less than repainting with a different color, as color changes typically require multiple coats.
If they must paint in a room with a lot of built-in cabinets and molding, the price can go up because it requires so much additional prep work in advance of the painting.
Exterior painting routinely costs more than interior painting, in part because exterior grade paint cost more than interior paint.
Location can push up the overall price in urban centers with a high cost of living. A company serving southeastern Wisconsin, such as A-Choice Painting, will likely cost less than a painter located in Los Angeles or New York City.
While there are no true averages when it comes to hiring a painter, there are some general averages. For most jobs, you can expect the cost to run from around $2 to $6 per square foot. Hourly rates start around $20 and peak out around $50, although high-cost areas may see rates in excess of $100 an hour.
Understanding Costs When You Hire Painters
Before you hire painters, you should always get an estimate for the job from at least three or four painting companies or residential painters. Those estimates should tell you what kind of baseline costs are normal for your area.
The estimates should also give you a breakdown of costs. In most cases, labor will make up around 80 percent to 85 percent of the bill.
Looking for more tips related to home improvement? Check out our Home Improvement section for more posts.