House painting is a labour-intensive job. And labour in Australia is relatively expensive.
So, unless your surname is Packer, it makes sense to think carefully about what needs to be painted in your home and what doesn’t.
I’ve visited a few homes where the home owner waves airily at the whole interior and says, “Give me a quote to paint everything.” And then they get a shock when the cost to paint everything hits.
If you want talk to me (The Tidy Painter) about fixing your cracks and painting your walls and ceilings (and you live on Sydney's Lower North Shore) click here.
So here are 3 tips to help not break the bank and still transform your home. I’m happy to discuss any of these with you.
1. Do you really want ALL rooms painted or just the ones your friends see? By NOT painting the bedrooms in a 4 bedroom home you can save about 30% of the cost.
2. Does it ALL really have to be done in one hit? I’ve painted quite a few interiors, in several stages, over several months. My clients paid as they earned enough money to pay for each stage. Kind of old fashioned but it works!
3. Do you really need walls, trim AND ceiling to be painted? Let me answer that. You DO need your walls and trim painted. But sometimes the ceiling is pretty good. Walls and trim get bashed around and fail much faster. NOT painting ceilings can save up to 10%.
NOW, here are 3 more tips that save money … but will leave you angry and feeling ripped off. I will NOT work this way. But some painters will.
4. Do you really need to prepare the surfaces? YES!!!!
Skimping on surface preparation is the number one way cheaper painters can be cheap. The ‘minimal preparation scam’ works so well because it saves a fortune - 15 to 30%. And the surface looks fine … for a few months . Then it starts to peel and you are worse off than before.
One guy quoted a badly cracked interior at a quarter of my quote. So the client saved 75%!!!! Happy days! Until the whole job failed 3 months later.
5. Do you really need to protect your things? YES!!!
The second way El Cheapo painters save money is by not taking the time to protect your floors, furniture, lights, wardrobe contents, cat etc. A good interior painter will apply masking tape along the timber floors or carpet, then a wider strip of protective plastic or cardboard, then thick drop-sheets. All small items will be moved and big furniture (and hanging lights) are wrapped in plastic. A cheap painter will kick a single drop sheet along the wall as he paints. He might even catch some of the spilled paint this way … but not all of it.
Not bothering to protect your home will save between 15% and 30%. But what will it cost to replace your best clothes, furniture or carpet when they are splattered with paint?
6. Do you really need quality materials? YES!!!
Here’s where it gets tricky. Cheap painters have cottoned on to the idea that clients know Dulux is probably the best quality paint brand, so they wave the Dulux cans around and give the impression of being serious players.
Using Dulux (over cheaper brands) only adds a maximum of 1% to most jobs (Because as noted above, labour is the big cost)
The question should be, what went UNDER the Dulux paint? What plaster, fillers, primers? What is the foundation gripping to the walls, doors and ceilings that the lovely Dulux paint sits on?
By now you will have guessed that crummy painters use cheap, nasty, or NO plaster, fillers or primers. And you’ll only find out when the good paint peels off.
(Another exasperating story: Cheap painters did a dud job on a lady’s bathroom. I quoted to remove the peeling paint, prime the area properly and then … paint it. Her husband said no, he wanted to go cheap again. Ayah! Maybe I’ll be asked to be the THIRD painter. Who knows.)
So that’s it …
3 ways to save money that still gives a high quality, long life job.
And 3 ways to save money that result in a bad job and damaged possesions, then the cost of rectification, then the cost of painting properly.
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