Hiring painting contractors is expensive and most people don’t budget enough money to paint their home. We always find the money to fix the roof or replace the furnace before the winter comes. A bathroom leak gets quick attention before the ceiling and drywall get damaged. Home decoration is not considered to be a necessity. Ecopainting has been painting homes in Toronto for many years and I cannot remember a time that we had to respond to a “decorating emergency”. Whatever the reason, many homeowners don’t have the budget for a full paint job.
Is it possible to spend less money and still receive good quality work in return? In this blog we will put forward some suggestions on how to save money on your next decorating project.
Paint Less of the House
Not every surface needs your attention. Certain areas see a lot of wear and tear whereas other areas do not.
- Do not paint the ceilings, at least not all of them. There are less and less people smoking and the days of deep frying in the kitchen are just about over. Smoking and cooking used to be major environmental factors that stained a white ceiling. Additionally, today’s water based paints resist yellowing. Definitely avoid painting your popcorn ceilings. They are very difficult to do, messy, and as a result more expensive.
- Some doors and door frames may still be in good condition. The enamels used on doors and woodwork are more durable and are meant to last longer. In fact, all semigloss or satin paints are washable. What most homeowners don’t realize is how easy it is to wash common hand grease stains around door knobs.
- Does anybody see your closets? Why paint them? New colour in a closet is low priority for just about anybody and a good place to save money.
- Rooms that don’t get used often do not need painting. Spend your money elsewhere.
Paint More of the House?
- One of your rooms looks dated and you are sure you want to redecorate it. The painter comes to see it, estimate it and afterwards mobilize to paint it. Going through all this trouble for just one room is not as worthwhile and generally expensive. If you have more areas that they can work on while they are in your home, ask if they can add them for a reasonable cost.
- Rainy weather deal. Exterior painters need good dry days to keep working steady and uninterrupted. Unfortunately, Toronto weather is unpredictable. Most painters would be happy to have some interior work to do in case it rains. Let the estimator know that you have some interior work to do. if they can give you a “rainy weather” price.
Paint your Home Before Moving In
Painters love working in empty homes. They can come in early and stay late without inconveniencing anyone. They can sequence the work better and move from room to room without having to worry about furniture. They can prep the entire home at once, prime everything, paint all the ceilings first… you get the idea. An empty home is easier, faster and of course less costly to decorate. If your home sits empty for a few days, get the painters in first. Ecopainting has “realtor packages”, offering their clients a complete painting service before moving into their new home.
Help with the Furniture and Window Coverings
Not everyone has the opportunity to renovate while the home is empty. Why not offer to help the painters with the moving of the furniture.
- Is your china cabinet full of dishes and very heavy? Painters hate moving them. Offer to empty them.
- Are there a lot of items on top of your dressers and night tables? Put them away somewhere in another room.
- Move small furniture like chairs, night tables and bookshelves, they are difficult to work around. By moving them beforehand, your painters can concentrate on what they do best… painting.
- If you are comfortable with your ability to remove drapes and window coverings, offer to do this. It will save a lot of time.
Choose a Simple Colour Scheme
Using a different colour in every room is expensive and frankly, not very harmonious.
- Use one gray neutral or gray-beige as the main colour throughout the common rooms of your home.
- If neutral grays are not your favourite colours, try a soft white. Whites work perfect with modern interiors, and are simple to create a colour scheme around.
- Use your accessories, window coverings and art for colour.
- If you are daring enough, paint a highlight wall in a strategic location using a strong, vibrant colour.
- If you want even more colour, painting a room or two in a different tone will not break the bank.
Keep it simple with three or four colours. That’s all you need to create eye-catching colour schemes and still keep the cost down.
Save with Paint Brands and Paint Lines
If you frequent the paint department of your local big box store, you spent some time looking at their display of colour swatches. This is a lot of fun and an integral part of decorating your home. The only reason the retailer is doing this is to sell you their paint. Do not buy the paint yourself. Give your contractor your colour choices and let them supply the paint. They have the knowledge of ordering the right amounts of the right paint and ultimately pass this value to you.
How would your painter save you money on paint?
- They buy the right amount and not a gallon more. Paints tinted with colourants are not returnable to the store.
- Every major manufacturer has value contractor lines. This year’s second and third line paints are better than the top-of-the-line five years ago.
- The contractor uses the correct product for each surface. Flat is fine for ceilings, but you want durable sheens in a bathroom, the kitchen or the children’s rooms.
- The retailer will sell you primer for everything or try convince you to buy their so called “primer and paint in one” product. If you trust your painter, let them make these decisions, they know best.
- Retail pricing is expensive. Contractors negotiate a discounted price because of the volume of products they buy. You can also benefit from the purchasing power of your painter.
Be Flexible with the Schedule
Work with the painters’ schedule and be accommodating. It will pay off with a lower cost. Read on:
- Painting is a seasonal business. During the summer you can’t even get anyone to see your place while during the winter painters have availability. Why not make this work to your benefit. Sure, you need good weather to paint your exterior, but the inside of your home can be painted when it’s cold outside. Today’s paints are virtually odourless and you don’t need to have all your windows open. Ask the contractor if they can give you a discount for booking during their slower times.
- Sometimes there is last minute availability in their calendar and contractors like to keep their best people working. If your schedule allows it, be open to a last minute booking. Make this known to the estimator, she or he will appreciate it.
- Do the painters like working early in the morning in order to avoid the rush hour traffic? Are you an early riser yourself? Why not make this work to everyone’s benefit. 7 am starts are not out of the question.
All reputable contractors have similar operating costs and buy paint at similar prices. When comparing estimates, beware of the very low, “get your foot in the door” cash deal. Stay away from unskilled individuals without insurance coverage. They will buy inferior materials and skip the necessary prep-work. These situations never turn out right for the customer.
All of the above suggestions are reasonable and your contractor should be open to discussing them. Most of the time what keeps the customer happy is not the painting price alone but the entire experience of decorating. Good service contractors know this and like to keep the customer experience positive.
Do you want to paint your home and save some money doing it?
Call us at 416 733-7767 to book an appointment and start this conversation with our estimator. We are happy to serve you.