House Paint Quality
Being fabulously frugal should not be confused with being a cheapskate, there is a difference. Take house paint for example. Using the absolute best house paint on the market will save you money in the long run because labor costs significantly outweigh materials costs and better paint looks better, it REALLY does!
On a brand new condo I purchased, everything was painted the same dead-flat shade of off white, most likely sprayed on. The wall paint looked chalky and the enamel trim paint was dull and lifeless, but worst of all - dirt would not wipe clean. That's when I learned that house paint quality really does matter!
After having the whole thing redone with the best house paint, applied with roller and brush by a long time professional, the results were strikingly different.
The old paint looked liked primer, whereas new paint in the exact same color had so much more pigment, it almost glowed. But the best part is dirt, scrapes, food splashes, everything washes off with ease, and 5 years later it still looks good.
Cutting back on house paint quality, or the quality of your contractor, is never a good way to save money because you do get what you pay for. Instead, shop around for the best price on the best house paint, and read more to find out the right questions to ask.
Why House Paint Quality Matters
If you go solely by cost and don't take into account house paint quality along with the painter's level of expertise, you may be paying two or three times as much down the road when you have to re-do everything.
For example, going with the lower bid looks like you're saving money on the surface, but dig deeper and you'll find out the methods used by both can be as varied as night and day. Some use inferior or improper materials, don't do adequate prep, and/or they significantly under bid - which means they can't possibly do a good job.
Contrast that with the painter who preps and primes every time, uses the best house paint, rolls and brushes it on, protects your furniture, etc. They want to give you lasting results because their reputation depends on it. Their bid is likely higher, but there are many more steps involved, requiring more time to do the job right.
- What's their experience? How long have they been doing this?
- Are they insured and can they show proof?
- What specific paint(s) will they use?
- How many coats of paint? primer?
- Are paint, brushes, and other supplies included in the bid or a separate charge? If not, what will the cost of materials be after their professional discount? (get quote with superior house paint quality)
- How many gallons do they estimate needing?
- Who will be on site to manage the performance of the crew?
- Ask for names and phone numbers of their former clients and not only call them, but ask if you can see the actual homes they've painted.
Above all, Trust Your Instincts -If Someone Gives You A Bad Feeling, Don't Hire Them!
The mark of a really good painter is that they can take you to someone's house they painted a couple years ago and it will still look good, plus their clients will still be singing their praises.
Save Money And Do It Yourself
If you're not hiring a pro, then you need to do your own research to find out which is the best house paint, and the best methods of application. The better house paints have a lot more pigment in them and less solvent so more of the paint stays on the walls, plus they're so much easier to work with.
About how much is the best house paint? Figure on $40. - $60. a gallon depending on the type of paint (enamel, washable wall paint, etc) and whether or not it's on sale. Go online and look for coupons or sign up for your paint stores email list because they put this stuff on sale all the time.
Also, if you're home owners associations requires you to use colors on file with a specific paint store, check to see if they have an account that entitles you to a discount. It could save you as much as 25%.
Talk to folks that work at the paint store and ask them which paints are most favored by the pros, as well as do some online comparisons.
Now it's time to be honest with yourself ...
- Is this job too big for one person?
- Do you have the patience and physical stamina to see it through?
- If going up on a ladder is required are you capable and comfortable with that? How about craning your neck painting ceilings or having your arms above your head all day?
- Can you finish the job in a timely manner without dragging it out for weeks, or months?
You might need to break the project up into smaller goals and finish one room at a time before you move on to the next. That way your whole house isn't torn apart for ages.
Change your mind about doing it all by your lonesome but you still want to be on site during the process? One idea is to have your painter use you as part of the labor.
I did this with my painter and learned a great deal, plus got a true appreciation for what it takes to do the job right. Of course I cherry picked the things that were easiest for me to do and left the hard stuff for them.
Even if you don't want to do the work yourself, being closely involved with a paint project lets you be more fluid in your design. You can see right away what colors work best and change plans accordingly - saving time and money.
Strategies To Get The Best House Paint Quality And Results
When interior designers or general contractors hire painters, they have very high expectations because their reputations are at stake. You better believe they have everything spelled out. The painters hope they'll get repeat business from them so they're extra careful.
Checking reviews on Angie's list, Yelp, BBB, or Google + is a good way to find contractors but did you know that you can also use that as leverage to make sure they do a good job for you?
The internet is a powerful tool you can use to your advantage. In the old days it was just word of mouth, now online reviews are important too. Letting contractors know up front that you plan to reward a job well done with a good online review may incentivize them even more to do their very best work. (Of couse you need to follow through with your promise) Good reviews from legitimate customers is golden and it helps them get more business.
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