The Price is Right!

Everybody wants to know, “How much will it cost?”
That’s a really good question. Most people think it’s a combination of alchemy, artistry,and just playing guesstimation that provides a correct and fair price for painting, but it’s much more involved than that.
The way we determine prices is very comprehensive :

  1. We measure the areas that are to be painted after a thorough discussion with the homeowner or business owner.
  2. We determine the condition of the surfaces in terms of roughness or smoothness, how clean or dirty they are, and how porous they are.
  3. We then decide the appropriate preparation, priming, and coating materials and techniques to be used on the surfaces.
  4. We also consider the setup time preparation time and surface protection time concerning the area surrounding areas to be painted.  For instance, on exterior projects we frequently need to trim or tie back bushes as well as cover walkways, patios, or windows with plastic and masking paper as well as drop cloths. When performing interior work dust containment is a factor as well as protection of flooring, carpeting, countertops, fixtures, etc. Most of our clients remark that we seem to spend the majority of our time not just setting up, but especially prepping surfaces. The painting goes very quickly once the correct setup and surface preparation is completed.

There’s a saying out there that goes, “Proper Preparation Prevents Poor Performance!” We are huge believers in that saying!

  1. We also measure all surfaces with a laser measure or a measuring wheel for accuracy.
  2. This data is put into a paint estimating software program that generates a clear, understandable, thorough,and fair estimate.
  3. We also use very high quality paints for both  interior  and exterior projects, because they look better, cover better, are easier to clean, and hold up much better over time than the cheaper “Builder Grade” or “Apartment Paint” products that most other paint contractors use.

It’s fair to say that the biggest price disparity is accounted for in the level of surface preparation and the quality of paint that is used as well as the experience of the estimator and painters on that project. Most contractors will cut corners when it comes to preparation, setup, and quality of paint.  When we estimate exteriors we always include pressure washing after an application of a dirt lifter and mold mildew killer, followed by scraping loose or flaking paint and even power sanding or grinding. The bare areas then receive one coat of a bonding primer and then application of  TWO finish coats of paint.  Caulking gaps where necessary and spackling nailheads is also included in our ALL of our estimates.  By contrast, most contractors will rinse the exterior with a garden hose and spray One Coat of cheap paint on it.  Sure, the price is really low, but the job won’t look good or last very long.  Cheaper paints don’t provide good coverage or uniformity of sheen vs two coats  of high quality paint, especially with eggshell sheen paints. Furthermore, the Eggshell sheen paints are washable, and now there are washable FLAT paints available.

  1.   The estimate should include the brand and quality of paint that is being used on all surfaces, the projected duration of the project, as well as the payment schedule.   You should ask about warranties as well.  When other paint contractors provide an estimate chances are you’ll get that “Deer in the headlights” expression.   By comparison,our estimates include a 7 year warranty.  Many contractors provide an estimate and do not include the brand and quality of the paint, surface preparation, how many coats of paint , and worst of all, they frequently do not include materials in the estimate at all!  When it comes time to do the job the question drops, “By the way, of course you know that you’re paying for the materials, and the materials are not included in our estimate.”  Talk about an uncomfortable moment; Ouch!

The Estimate should include at least Three references with contact information. Call those references and ask about their experience with the paint contractor. You owe it to yourself to get the facts, so don’t be shy about asking for written as well as video testimonials from satisfied clients.   That information should be readily available on the contractor’s website.

They do HAVE a website, don’t they?

What?  No Website with this information?  UH-OH!   Time to call in a True Experienced Professional.

Get the Facts!

For more information feel free to email or call Bernstein Decorative Finishes at 618-529-8128 for a free consultation and estimate.