In need of a face lift, or should I say could your home do with a refresh? Glad I clarified that! Everyone will tell you that the easiest way to reboot your home is to add a lick of paint, indoors or out. And they would be right. But should you DIY or get a pro in and how much will it cost?
To DIY or not…
While many of us are happy to DIY, the reality is time and expertise are two commodities in short supply. You also might think that there is not much to painting, how hard can it be? Truth be told a lot of the work happens before any brushes, rollers or cans of paint make an appearance. Any experienced painter will tell you that surface preparation (cleaning, sanding and filling in holes and gaps) is as important as using quality paints, equipment and the right technique. So think twice before you head to the hardware store.
How much will my painting job cost?
So assuming you decided to get a pro in, the first question on most people’s minds is how much is this going to cost me?
You should really be looking for a painter to visit your home and give you a written quote for the entire job. Painters will typically quote a flat fee which includes materials and labour. They are also able to quote for smaller jobs, for example a single room. Some painters may even give you a ‘per square metre’ or hourly rate. Expect to pay anywhere between $18 to $20 per square metre depending on where you live. In terms of an hourly rate, painters charge in the region of $40 per hour, but this can vary significantly.
These rates are all well and good, but beware of being lured by ‘too good to be true’ figures. The bottom line on cost is that you should consider a range of factors when hiring a painter, not just price. That means screening them to get an idea if they are right for your job.
Ask your painter the right questions
Hiring the right painter for your job isn’t hard if you know what questions to ask:
- How long have you been in business?
- What does your quote include?
- Do you have insurance cover?
- Are you licensed (if this is required where you live)?
- Can you provide me with references/client recommendations?
- What paints do you use?
- How many people will work on my job?
- How long will you take?
Painting your interiors
Points to consider when painting your interiors include the type of paint. Gloss, low sheen or matt each have a unique finish, so decide what look you are after. There are also easy clean paints, marketed as ‘mark resistant’ by manufacturers, which you should be aware of. Timber elements such as doors, windows, their frames and skirting boards will typically require a gloss or semi-gloss enamel paint or wood stain. These are available in oil or water-based versions, with the latter offering the benefit of drying quicker and having less odour. Painters also often double up as decorators, so are able to take care of any special finishes or effects, such as wallpapering, that you require.
Painting your exterior
In terms of your exteriors, these surfaces may require more remedial work such as patching and filling in. This is particularly true of any timber elements. Also bear in mind that a multi-storey home is likely going to require scaffolding. Painters will factor the cost of all this into your quote.
Don’t forget to get a range of quotes, say three or four, to be in a position to judge what you are willing to pay. Remember, don’t always be swayed by the lowest price…
– Craig Gibson is the online editor of hipages.com.au, Australia’s largest network of trade professionals and the perfect place to find a painter in your local area.
we have just renovated our home and we are really bad at painting. It took me 8 hours to paint a tiny bathroom & my cutting in is just horrible. I would love to paint the rest of the house a different colour but after the bathroom theres no way I’d do it myself.
Thanks for the comment, Melanie. V true, I had the same DIY experience. Woke up so stiff (thanks to those pesky awkward ceilings) that I also vowed never again!
Alex Jennings says
Hi, Craig. Paying someone $40 an hour seems expensive. Are there painters who can give a solid quote per room they paint? I’m not a very experienced painter, but if that’s the price it costs, I better start learning!
Alex Jennings |
Hi Alex, excuse the delay in responding. You should aim to get a quote in writing, which you could ask to be broken down by room and/or detail the labour & materials costings. Craig
We paid someone a very reasonable per day amount with an estimated number of days he thought it would take. Beware of this kind of quote though, as that the number of days is an estimate and you should alow for longer in your budget. The extra few days ends up being quite a few extra dollars & you don’t want to be left with a not quite finished house!
Deanna R. Jones says
I agree with what you said about finding the right painter to paint your house: “Hiring the right painter for your job isn’t hard if you know what questions to ask.” My mother’s been meaning to have her house painted for years, but she was never able to take to time to get it done. I really want to surprise her for Mother’s Day by taking her on vacation and have her come home to a freshly painted house. It’s very important for me to hire the right painter so that her house will look exactly how she wants it. I think that asking about the types of paints that a company uses and how many people they hire for the job are both very important questions to ask before hiring a painting company. It’s important that a team of painters use the best type of paint that will last a long time without getting chipped. I’m going to take my mother out of town for about two weeks, so it’s important to know that there will be enough painters on the job so that I can be sure that it will be done by the time we return home.
Nick Mallory says
I know that hiring a painter can seem expensive, but sometimes it can actually save you money if you’re not an expert painter yourself. A few years ago we hired a painter who was so fast that even at his hourly rate it cost about the same as if we had tried to bumble through ourselves, and that was just interior. Like you said, exteriors can get much more complicated, so hiring makes even more sense there.
Melody Brown says
I like the question asking about references. References are always a good way to make sure the company will do a good job. Thanks for posting.