How to price house painting jobs

Updated April 17, 2017

Accurately pricing a house painting job is an essential skill for anyone who wants to make a living as a house painter. House painting prices vary from one location to another and from one house painter to another as well. People who are considering having their house painted will usually take a few bids from different painters and opt for the best price. In order to be competitive, it is necessary to know the average price of house painters in your area, how long it will take you to paint the house and how much the materials will cost.

Determine what the market prices are for house painters in your area. House painting prices depend on the local housing market and the local economy. Talk to painters in the area and to people who have had their homes painted.

Develop a systematic procedure for estimating the time involved in painting a house. Accurate estimations are essential part of making a profit in the house painting business. Walk around the house with the owner and carefully clarify all the particular details of the job. Walk around the house a second time with a pad of paper and figure out the time involved for each part of the house. Estimate one side at a time; north side, south side, east side and west side. Figure out how long it will take you to paint one window. The time includes prepping, priming and painting two coats. Multiply by the number of windows. Do the same thing for doors, trim and woodwork and walls or siding. Add all the hours together. This is the first part of an estimate.

Pay attention to particular details. Each job is different, and some jobs are more difficult than others. It is easy to lose money when you neglect aspects of the job that end up being very time consuming. Always consider potential problems: hard-to-get to places, high work that requires a scaffold set-up or moving ladders, the shape and condition of the walls, the shape and condition of the windows, peeling paint, grimy areas and so forth.

Factor in travel time and fuel costs.

Add in the cost of paint and other materials. In addition to estimating the labour time for painting a house, it is necessary to accurately estimate the necessary amount of paint. Consider how much paint is needed as you do the walk around estimate mentioned in Step 2. The amount depends on the type of paint and the condition and texture of the surfaces that are being painted. Buying paint in --gallon units is less expensive than buying paint in 1 gallon containers. Other materials depend on the individual job, but you will need things such as caulk, patching materials, sandpaper, paintbrushes, rollers, a broom and cleaning supplies.

Add all the different steps together to determine the price. Figure out how much you want to make an hour. Add estimated painting time with the cost of the materials and determine the price for the particular job.

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About the Author

Robert Russell began writing online professionally in 2010. He holds a Ph.D. in philosophy and is currently working on a book project exploring the relationship between art, entertainment and culture. He is the guitar player for the nationally touring cajun/zydeco band Creole Stomp. Russell travels with his laptop and writes many of his articles on the road between gigs.