1. State your budget before the quote
Hardly anyone does this (although everyone decides after getting the quote if its above or below their budget!). But, hey, you never know. The timing, length of job, location, whatever, might be just right for your painter. They might have a slow period that your lower priced job could slot into.
2. Negotiate after the quote.
And hardly anyone does this either!
The important thing is not to ask for the same work for less money.
If the quote is higher than you can afford, just ask what would need to change to make it cheaper.
You might be surprised. Maybe leaving out a small but fiddly part could save the painter time and you money. I know only painting the walls and not the trim will save a lot of money.
3. Break it up.
Painting every room inside can be expensive and take ages. A lot of my clients have me in to do say 3 or 4 rooms one time then come back a few months/years later.
- Go away.
I mean on a holiday. It saves time and money to leave the bedroom fully covered in dropsheets over the 3 to 4 days needed to paint a bedroom. Being absent also gives opportunity for we painters to work on the weekends.
4. Empty the house.
Not usually practical, but if you’re planning to refinish your timber floors or are just about to move into a new house, emptiness is next to Godliness. BUT plan ahead!!! I’ve had to turn down far too many people who want me to paint their 4 bedroom home next week (and only take a week).
5. Be flexible on timing.
Either wait for the good people to be free (they are usually booked up months in advance) or if you have a smallish job, wait for a gap in bigger bookings. I had one nice man wait months for me to have a gap to do a 3 day job.
6. Keep the colour scheme simple.
White ceilings, white trim and one wall colour is a standard palette. Lots of different coloured room looks great but will cost more.
Also going from an old dark wall colour to a new light wall colour will require either a third coat or an additional undercoat. That’s more money.
7. Don’t choose the cheapest quote.
What? Who? How does that save money I hear you ask. Simples. The cheapest quote will almost certainly have the worst (or non existent preparation) and as such will fail much faster and need to redone much sooner.
True story: I have spent the last 3 days scraping and sanding a bad Acrylic paint job over Oil – a front door and 2 windows. There was no sanding, no primer, no nothing, so the Acryic paint didn’t grip. You could peel the paint off with your fingernails!!!! So now the client pays me say $1500 to fix up a $100 ‘el-cheapo’ job. That’s $1600 by going cheap instead of $500 to do it properly in the first place.
I believe they call that a false economy.
What does NOT save you money?
8. Buying your own paint.
Paint (and tape, brushes, everything) makes up about 10% of the total quote. Most painters get a small discount and either mark back up to retail or pass the saving on to you. Sooooo you buying at retail price is just a damned nuisance for you and doesn’t save a penny. Don’t bother.
Seriously a lot of guys will walk if you offer to help them.
Firstly there are insurance issues. Secondly painting may look easy-peasy but its not. Thirdly your helping will slow the process and therefore cost more.
The only help that might actually help is for you to do the prep. BEFORE the painters arrive. Sanding and scrubbing with sugar soap is grubby and time consuming. So if you are prepared to do that part you could save a lot!!!
Ok. Hope that helps.
Now, if you want to know what it costs to paint a unit or house interior CLICK HERE.
By Tony Richardson - The Tidy Painter - Mosman, Cremorne and the Lower North Shore's favourite painter.
You are welcome to use my blog posts - in their entirety or as "quotes".