What is in the Price of a Paint Job and why there is a Big Difference Between Quotes.

It is commonly accepted that a very good paint job will improve your home. If you are selling your home, it will make the job of your realtor easier. If you want to improve your interior and enhance your enjoyment of living there, paint is your best friend. If you want to contribute to the value of your neighbourhood, you will increase the curb appeal of your house with a fresh paint job. If you ask a painting contractor, you should paint your home every 3 years or whenever there is a new popular colour. One thing is for certain, painting and decorating is a home improvement with a high return on investment.

So why don’t people paint their homes more often? There are three main reasons:

  • First, there is the hustle of finding a reputable contractor.
  • Second, is the inconvenience of turning your house upside down, especially the interior.
  • The third reason homeowners don’t paint more often, is the cost of doing it. Better paints cost more money than the watered down version and good painters are more expensive.

Ecopainting is a reputable painting company servicing the Greater Toronto Area. We discuss pricing almost every time we estimate a new project. Why not start a frank discussion about what is in the price of a paint job.

Do the same rules apply to a paint job that apply to most purchases? Do you get what you pay for? Is a more expensive job a better job? Why is there such a big difference between estimates? Let’s look at what is in a price of a painting estimate.

The Cost of Doing the Job – The Painter and the Paint

Despite what the DIY advocates will have you believe, painters are skilled trades people. A full trade apprenticeship involves over six thousand hours of training or about four years. Do you need to hire someone that has completed an apprenticeship to paint your home? No you don’t and most painters are not certified journeymen. However, as a consumer, you have a right to a trained and experienced painter to produce a professional looking job. Painters, like most career professionals deserve to get paid a good living wage and a good painter is invaluable to their employer. We know this by experience, We have been inside many homes and some of the paint jobs we witnessed are just terrible. A bad paint job is a waste of money and it costs a lot of money to fix it.

The Tools needed specifically for the job. Professionals use professional tools that cost more but make their job easier. Ladders, dropcloths, brushes and rollers are only some of the tools that a painter uses. There are many more tools in the arsenal of a professional and they all contribute to the end result.   

Paints, primers and other materials.

Better quality paints use better ingredients such as pigments and resins. One of the most expensive pigments is titanium dioxide (TiO2). TiO2 is efficient in scattering light (more than other white pigments such as clay, calcium carbonate and zinc oxide), and stays wet  when we. After lead was prohibitted,  it became the primary white paint pigment.(Paint Quality Institute). Cheaper paints use inexpensive pigments like silica and clay.

The better paints use better resins. Resins, also known as binders, are an expensive component of paint. Resins help paint adhere better and eventually last longer. This is where cheap paints can cut costs and quality.

Inexpensive paints contain less solids and more solvents, which means you are practically buying a watered down product. The end result is that you need more coats of paint and very likely more paint, which defeats the whole concept of saving money.

the business costs of painting

The Cost of Running a Painting Business – Small or Big

Running a successful business costs money. Running the office, salaries, marketing and sales expenses, vehicles, they all are part of a company’s overhead. Hiring employees, training, safety certifications, insurance and WSIB, they are some necessary costs of running a company.

Why should you care? You just want your place painted.
You want it to look good, the colours need to look right and your furniture and floors protected. In case of any damage, the contractor’s liability insurance should protect your belongings. You want the peace of mind that if anyone is hurt in your home you will not be liable. Reputable painting contractors are registered with WSIB and protect their workers in case of injury.

You want the workers to repect your schedule and communicate with you daily. If they are late, they should call you. If changes are required, they should get your approval before proceeding. The completion of the scope of work is as important as the customer experience. A company that values the service culture, trains for it.

What about the warranty? Exterior and interior paint doesn’t last forever. Professionals use good paint, apply it properly and stand 100% behind their workmanship. However the warranty will be useless if the contractor goes out of business and most of them unfortunately do. We at Ecopainting have been around for many years and plan to be around for many more. Servicing  a warranty is something we look forward to and our regular customers appreciate it.

Why are some painters so inexpensive? Why is there such a big difference in pricing?

If you compare quotes from established contractors, you will be surprised to find out that their prices are very close. Just make sure the scope of work and specifications are similar. We all have comparable business expenses and profit numbers.

You may know someone that knows someone that has a business on the side. Maybe your community Facebook group is full of handymen that are inexpensive and work for cash. Is it possible to get a good painter without paying a lot of money? It is definitely possible but not likely. It doesn’t take much to start a painting business, a handfull of tools, a ladder and some business cards. Many new painters don’t know their numbers. Many of us have been there. Some will learn what it takes to survive but most will be out of business within 5 years.

Hopefully this answered some of the usual pricing questions. If your home in the Toronto area needs painting, call us at (416) 733-7767 and arrange to meet with one of representatives. We think that our quotes are reasonable and our proposals are full of value.

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