Exterior Painter - Did NOT include painting the windows in bid?!!

10 Replies

I got three bids for exterior painters. The one that I went with was the most expense, (22% more expensive than one and 62% more expensive than the lowest bid). His estimate was the most thorough of the three and knowing that the house needed a lot of work - I didn't want any surprises. Half way into the project, he texted me a photo of the wood window muntins noting that each window needs caulking/glazing around each of the wood muntins. This is an additional $45/window for 16 windows or $720 extra.(!) Seems outrageous on many levels. I have no problem paying a man for an honest days work but something seems really off . . . he is half done with the exterior repairs. Has not started painting yet. Has not started on the muntins yet. 

I want to contact him and say "Never in my experience hiring an exterior painter have I ever encountered such an oversight in the estimate." And ask what's going on. I want to hold him to his estimate. . . $45 a window seems like steep wages for outside Atlanta. Does this sound like a scam? Can he put a lien on my place?

Thoughts? What would you do?

If its not specifically included , its excluded . Read the contract he gave you . He did the right thing , he contacted you and let you know and gave a price before hand . $ 720  for 16 windows doesnt sound high by my standards for a professional 

His estimate included - "Remove old caulking around the house that's coming off, caulk any openings on the fascia, soft, trim, etc." Should this include caulking around the windows muntins? He texted me stating that the windows need 'glazing' and when I asked if I needed a glazier he replied that he does this and "it's just like caulking but material is caulking window glazing". (?)

@Jim K. seems like the consensus is that it isn't expected to be included then? Seems odd to me. A glazier will likely be as much. I'm cycling back to the other paint bids to see if it was included in their bids. 

I actually own a company that does wood window specific work. Ordinary painters and good ones that at work on wood windows are of an entirely different standard. The fact that your painter brought it to your attention instead of painting over missing glazing means that he competent and was a good choice. At an additional $45/window for spot glazing, that’s beyond a fair price. I expected more than that. 

You feel upset because the contractor did not thoroughly bid the job and is now hitting you with an upcharge. 

When I sub things out, I let them know to look at EVERYTHING and there will be no change orders. You are the pro, you should know what to look for and include it in the bid. If you missed it, it's on you. I will not pay for your failure to properly assess the job. I usually pay extra, and I am fine with that. I communicate what I want done very clearly upfront, and what the finished job should be. By setting those expectations upfront, it speeds things up and simplifies everything.

You're not the only one who hates $ surprises.

@Katrina Cabral

Caulking and spot glazing windows is a totally different scope of work than painting. Maybe the distinction is unclear to those not in the construction industry. But I wouldn't really expect a painter to do such work. 

In terms of the quote, it seems really low if it includes labor and materials. We would probably charge at least double for such work.

Disclaimer: While I’m an attorney licensed to practice in PA, I’m not your attorney. What I wrote above does not create an attorney/client relationship between us. I wrote the above for informational purposes. Do not rely on it for legal advice. Always consult with your attorney before you rely on the above information.

For your Info a glazier is one who installs windows and or repairs windows. If there are mullions then each independent piece of glass if amaged would need to be replaced and the area around the glas ( Mullion) to be caulked. This trade to be completed by one trained in the mechanics of the glazing industry. I would not have the painter do the replacement of either glass and or caulking. I beleive in good faith in that if he was awarded the project and was of a higher value then he needs to eat the difference and not puit it on the owner. 

He left it on the table and should have informed you before start up if he was trying to get an extra out of it. He cannot put a lien on your property if he has not completed that portion of the project unless you gave him the go ahead and refused to pay him.

All the best

Don - MPI Certified & Accredited Paint and coatings Inspector 00223  

You hired him to paint the exterior, not repair windows. If you hire a plumber to fix a water leak and he notices your floor is warped, would you expect him to repair the floor as part of his bid?

Two different things, two different professions. it's nice that the painter is pointing it out and offering you a price but I would hire someone that specializes in that trade.