Comparing Estimates

Now that you have done your due diligence and have asked for and received the three estimates for your paint project.  What you will find is that not all painters are equal in cost, quality and eventually value.  A low cost painter can make the finished project look good for a short period of time.  However it will be obvious within a few months that you did not get the quality work or durable materials you thought you were paying for.  Here are a few things that will help you in comparing these estimates.

When Comparing Estimates the Exterior Preparation Process is CriticalSurface Preparation

The single most important part of a quality paint job is how the surface is prepared to take paint.  Most homes require more time preparing the surface than actual painting time.  A careful, methodical and systematic approach will maximize the performance benefits of high quality materials.  A few things to look for in a surface preparation are:  pressure washing to clean dust, remove paint; caulking and large gap fill techniques; scraping, sanding and priming of weathered areas.  What you are looking for is attention to detail in the preparation is essential to the final application of paint.


All paint manufacturers make a wide range of products from very high quality to low priced. All painters should be able to explain what products they use and where it falls in the manufacturers product line.  This is also true for primer and caulk because they are as important as the paint. Low grade caulk will not bond will and could lead to more splits.  Inexpensive primer is thin (because it contains fewer solids) and will not fill, cover or bond the way primer should.  Estimates that include the cost of materials bet on the painters’ expertise and give the homeowner a better view of their final cost.

InsuranceAlways Ask for Proof Of Insurance when Comparing Professional Painters Estimates

No homeowner wants an uninsured painter slipping off a high ladder on their property.  Make sure your painter can document that he and his employees are properly insured.  A certificate of insurance should be supplied as part of the estimate.


Find out if  your home will be painted by the company that offered you the estimate or will they have to sub out the work because their in-house painters are already booked.  You may not be getting the same quality of work and materials.  If you are guaranteed you will not see a difference from a subcontractor, ensure each painter has his own current, up to date insurance certificate.

Work Quality

A closely supervised, experienced team of painters will do a great job. Find out who will be responsible for the work being done and the final result. There should be a supervisor leading the team and a project manager who is assigned to your project.  Are they willing to inspect the completed work with you before asking for final payment.


Most average sized homes (1800 square feet) can be painted in a week by a professional crew.  Any less time and they are not allowing the product used to adhere or cure.  If they take longer, they may not be working full days.  If your painter does not give the appropriate time between applications your paint project will not last the way it should.  After a pressure wash they should allow at least 24 hours for the surface to fully dry.  After they have scraped, sanded, caulked and primed the surface, they should allow the caulk time to set.  Using clear calk is a good indicator.  When clear calk is applied it is white but when it dries it will become clear.  When it is clear they can paint over it.  Find out what the expected start and completion dates are (weather will always be the wild card).

Winning Repeat Business

Daily clean-up, no blaring music, no foul language, professional attire, drop cloths used to cover the driveway and When comparing estimates a professional painter will work for your approvallandscaping are all part of making the interruption of painters at your home more tolerable.  What extras do they offer while completing the process?  Will they pressure wash the front of your cedar fence while they are pressure washing the house.  Do they offer to replace a worn house sign plaque when they are replacing damaged trim boards.  What will they do if they break anything while moving or removing it?  Great service is not just being courteous and respectful but what is done when something does not happen as planned.  These small details do make a difference.

Please give us a call at 720-231-2344 or email us to help you with your next painting project.

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