Friday, March 7, 2014

Exterior House Painting Costs in Scranton, PA

By Bentler Painting (Vince Bentler) and Kelly Hopkins

If you live in the Scranton, PA area and plan to get the outside of your house painted this year, you probably will have several estimates to choose from, and most likely price quotes that are quite different from each other.  

Bentler Painting of Dunmore, PA is here to help you make some sense out of house painting estimates and how to choose a painting contractor.

First, there is no "average" price that can be set to paint a home; however, there are many websites on the internet giving homeowners "average" house painting costs.  My advice is to disregard these figures you may come across when searching exterior house painting cost.

Let's consider the size of the job.  Is your home a small, one-story ranch or a 3500 sq. foot, 3-4 story Victorian?  Also, how is your house sided?  Is it wooden or have aluminum, stucco, vinyl, concrete?  Is the siding in disrepair, or still in fair condition?  The money you spend on materials and labor will vary significantly because of this.

Now, let's focus on two words I mentioned in the above paragraph "labor" and "materials."

First, "labor" - Proper surface preparations are the key to a long-lasting finish.  This is the most important step in house painting.  If a painter just slaps a coat of paint on the siding of your house without properly cleaning, scraping, filling, caulking, and priming, you will be lucky to get two to three years tops from your paint job before it is peeling or fading. 

The skill level of the painter is also very important, so hiring an experienced painter is always a wise choice.  

Also, is the person who comes to look at your painting project, meets with you, and gives you the estimate the person who will be actually painting your home?  The person who "sells" you the job isn't always the person who "paints" it, so finding out who exactly will be completing the work is important.

Checking the credentials of the painting contractor is a must!  Ask them for a list of references and call these folks up - ask them questions such as "Were you happy with the overall quality of the work?", "Did the contractor communicate well with you during the project?", "Were they courteous, show up when you expected, and respectful of you and your property?", "Did the job wind up costing what you agreed?, If not, why?"

Ask for a copy of their state registration and proof of insurance.  These steps aren't always 100% fool-proof, but a painting contractor who is at least a "legal" business is most often a step in the right direction in making your choice. 

Did you get a contract?  Ask for a contract and get it in writing.  Read it over closely and ask questions.  What about a warranty?  Good exterior painting contractors always warrant their work.

Pricing - There are painters out there giving homeowners very low bids for jobs.  Please be aware of this.  If it sounds too good to be true, it most likely is.  Don't give in to these painters promising quality work at low prices.  It just doesn't happen that way and you will be disappointed.  

For a house painting price to be low, the quality has to suffer somewhere.  It could be by using cheap materials, paying cheap labor to inexperienced painters, or by cutting corners in surface preparations.

Second, "materials" - There are different levels of quality in the brands of paint a contractor can choose from to paint the exterior of your home.  Cheap, low-quality paint can run as low as $10-15 a gallon, where premium, high-quality paint can run as much as $75 a gallon.  This can affect why some bids are higher than others.  Again, I recommend going with the painters who use the better quality, mid-to-high-level priced paint.  

Ask the painting contractor what brand he or she will be using and do little research on the brand if you are not familiar with it.

Cheap paint is less durable and will peel, crack, and blister in a short amount of time.  Combining cheap paint with little-to-none surface preparation, is a recipe for a bad paint job which you will regret in the long-run.

I bet it is starting to make sense now for you why some exterior house painters cost more than others.  It comes down to the overall level of quality your house will receive during the entire process of surface preparation and painting.  You will get a beautiful, long-lasting finish from painting contractors who are experienced, perform thorough surface preparations, and use quality paints, primers, stains, and tools.

So, how important to you is the overall "level of quality" your home receives for exterior painting?  Answering that question will lead you in the right direction in choosing a painting contractor.