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Nobody ever wants to pay more than they have to; at the same time, we all know that in many ways, you get what you pay for. So where does that leave you when the painters have just handed you an estimate? Where do you go from there?
First, you need to know whether you’re looking at an estimate or a quote. An estimate is just that: a professional, well-informed “best guess.” A quote is a fixed offer. As such, quotes are usually somewhat more detailed than estimates. Use some of the criteria below to assess whether you think the quote is fair or not. If what you’re looking at is indeed an estimate and not a firm quote, you can also use this as a guide to get a few more of those details. One more very important question to ask in regards to an estimate is how often the painters come in at or under the estimate versus how often they go over.
The amount of paint that you’ll have to pay for depends on the square footage of the area to be painted and if there are any special considerations: going from a very dark color to a very light one may mean that you need more paint and/or primer, or a higher grade of paint with more pigment in it.
Roughly speaking, a 1500-square-foot house will require about 10 gallons of paint; a 2500-square-foot house will require about 15 gallons, and a 4000-square-foot house will require about 25 gallons. The contractor cost of paint can range from about $15 to $45 per gallon for standard paints. Expect to pay more for custom paints or special finishes.
The painters may charge you for the prep and other materials necessary, or they may build this into their labor or miscellaneous costs. Keep in mind that the average paint job takes between $100 and $125 in supplies such as primer, brushes, and rollers, drop cloths and tape, and so on. If you are choosing painters that are not local, they may charge you for travel expenses as well.
The other part of the equation here is labor. Different parts of the country have different costs of living and therefore different wage scales. You’ll know whether you should adjust these estimates upwards or downwards accordingly.
Painters generally charge per square foot, not per hour (although, for your own information, a painter’s average wage is somewhere in the neighborhood of $25 per hour). An average price is approximately $2 to $6 per square foot to be painted. If there are special considerations, such as stairwells, cabinetry, or intricate trim, you can expect to pay extra. Also, remember that painters are not removalists. If there is heavy furniture that needs to be moved, there will likely be an additional charge for that as well.
According to HomeAdvisor.com and across the country, the average cost to paint the interior of a home is $1887. The typical range is $957 to $2888. The low end is $350 and the high end is $5000.