Quote for interior paint

31 Replies

Hi BP Community,

I recently got a quote from a contractor of mine for interior paint and it seems quite high in my opinion. I wanted to get your opinions on the quote. The unit is 733 sq ft. 

The quote was as follows:

Repaint all ceiling and walls 2 coats and paint trim. - $2,824

Keep in mind, I am paying materials so this is just for the labor. 

That does seem really high, but it will depend on your market and the quality of the contractor. I would get a few more quotes before you commit. 

You can check out homewyze.com and get some ball-park numbers from there to compare.

Get 2 more quotes and make sure they are apples to apples. Hard to say if the quote is high or not.

@James Allen complete rip off. Assuming its just minor mud work total just with materiel 1k  max. . My crews do on ave, 7 paint jobs a month, . Typical, 1300- 1500 ssq ft, Material about 600, total job UNDER 2k, with material. Rule  of thumb about 1.3 per sqft   , good luck  

Originally posted by @Bob Prisco :

@James Allen complete rip off. Assuming its just minor mud work total just with materiel 1k  max. . My crews do on ave, 7 paint jobs a month, . Typical, 1300- 1500 ssq ft, Material about 600, total job UNDER 2k, with material. Rule  of thumb about 1.3 per sqft   , good luck  

 While I don't disagree that the price is too high, not entirely fair to compare your own crew in Cleveland to someone with no contacts in LA.

The guy probably has no refferals and the contractor doesn't want the job so he has a high price... And all his quotes will probably be far higher than anyone with their own crews would pay...

Only realistic way to see if bids are high is to get more, low bids don't mean anything if you can't get the work performed.

Always get multiple quotes.  Painting is typically in the $1 per sf for 2 coats for rolled, spray is a little cheaper (RS Means).

Rough#  733 sf clng, 880 for inside of ext walls (assume 25' x 30' at 8' = 880 sf).  assume another 880 for interior walls. no idea on room layout.   733+880+880= $2493 

So I bet he is including product cost but I have no idea of cost inflation in your area.   I would sit down and figure out the wall area.

  

@Matt K. not really sure how else to put it,  .Its a COMPLETE rip off. It will take two days. My personal home in LI, painted 2 rooms  BR and office , about 1100  sq ft, $1400, with materiel,, 1.3- 1.5 is the avg per sq ft anywhere in  " normal " areas in America, Of course the multi million dollar home you will be charged more.   good luck 

Originally posted by @Bob Prisco :

@Matt K. not really sure how else to put it,  .Its a COMPLETE rip off. It will take two days. My personal home in LI, painted 2 rooms  BR and office , about 1100  sq ft, $1400, with materiel,, 1.3- 1.5 is the avg per sq ft anywhere in  " normal " areas in America, Of course the multi million dollar home you will be charged more.   good luck 

 Again, thing is if he can't get anyone else to do it then it's his only option or he does it himself. You and I can call it a rip off all day, but doesn't really him get it painted ...

Now with that said, he should get more bids, but if everyone gives him rip off prices ....he's basically got no other choice.

@James Allen do it yourself its a small job, Painting is not that difficult, HOWEVER if it needs a lot of mud work, well, that takes talent. I have seen super nice properties with lousy Spackle jobs,  just kills it...... All the best, 

@James Allen the simple answer is get multiple quotes. Then compare cost and details of the proposed work. When painting, keep in mind that two coats will cost you more than one. If you buy quality paint, you may get by fine with one coat. Painting ceilings will cost extra over just walls. Often you can avoid painting ceilings. Painting trim will cost extra. Color changes will cost extra. Amount of drywall repair /prep work will affect cost. Insured and bonded contractors cost extra. If your contractor is subbing the job, it will cost extra. Sometimes companies will even bid higher or lower depending on how busy they are. It could even vary depending on how quickly you need it done. 

Here is a good example of multiple bids:

I had a roof replaced this summer and requested six bids. Three of them where within $300 of each other. Two of them never bid, despite talking to me on the phone and promising to get it sent over (one called a month after the job was done and asked if I still wanted a bid). The sixth bid was $1500 more and the guy was a total jerk. The guy who responded first and was the nicest on the phone was the least expensive by $100 and I went with him. 

A month after I had the job done, our city got hit with a major hail storm. There is hundreds of roofs waiting to be done. If I bid the same job today, it would be $1000 more, because they are all busy with lucrative insurance work.

Painting is one thing in find worth doing. Get a big super size roller and can do the walls and ceilings in a few hours. Trim is the part that's a pain but in a rental can do it pretty quickly too. I'm starting to paint them the same for that reason. That way can do the whole house in a day. But as for pricing it does depend alot on the area. That sounds high but not ridiculous
It could be the I dont want the job bid but you wont know until you get some more bids. If it needs a lot of spackling or trim work that can drive the cost up too. As others,have said your area is probably a higher cost region.
@James Allen I just paid $1,200 for labor to paint the inside of my 1,000 sq ft rental. I thought it was high until I just read your post. My tenant is the one who did it, so I was happy to help him out a little. Good luck with yours.
Does a bucket of paint cost more in California than in Ohio ? Does a roller or brush cost more too ? The quote is very high . Keep looking
@James Allen I’ve been a contractor for 15 years. 50% of my business is painting. It’s really hard for me, or anyone to judge the cost being high or not without seeing the property. It would be like someone calling me and asking how much... can’t quote something I can’t see. While the place is small, it doesn’t seem high to me. How much prep work is involved, does the trim need to be wiped down, doors painted?, etc etc. I have never once bid a paint job on square footage as every job is different.

Some contractors are more expensive than others , thats just the way it is . Now is that expensive ? Only @James Allen can make that determination . Sure you get additional estimates . But the cost of doing business in California I am sure is Higher,  than Cleveland Ohio . Contractors dont rip you off if they give you a high price and complete the work as described . They only rip you off when they dont do the job or dont finish the job . Each contractor sets their own prices . 

That would be very high in Ohio... BUT prices can vary ALOT. For an old building with layers of paint are they going to sand down or putty the edges? remove the window stops to paint the windows? Is there fancy base cap or crown with tiny edges? Were there heavy smokers so they have to seal and primer? or are they just going to slap on a new coat over pretty decent looking trim and walls? it matters.

@Matt Michaelson agree 100%. We own a roofing company and we get asked all the time same question how much does 20 sq shingles cost to tear off and install. Without looking out the house there is no way to give am accurate number I also believe you 90 percent of time get what you pay for. A good quality roofer or painter, hvac, etc should get a fair amount they are running a business and we are making money and so should they. And I want to pay a little extra for the quality painter or the warranty etc
@James Allen As a painting contractor, I can tell you that materials are a relatively small percentage of a project. The largest is labor. A typical repaint in south florida can be from $0.95 - $2.00 depending on condition of walls, prep work needed, detail required and the neighborhood. Get more quotes but make sure you have a scope of work so you‘re comparIng apples to apples.

I just had a similar sized unit done in Florida.  All in 3,100, that was ceilings primary and two coats and this pace was nasty smoker unit that needed a lot of elbow grease to get rid of the tar and what not off the wall.  Go get a few more quotes.  I have had luck with thumbtack to get quotes fast.  

Where I live most painters charge a homeowner 2.50 per square foot. $1 would be great here.

I would get multiple quotes and try to look at a previous job once you find a potential painter.

@James Allen It’s not high given he will need to switch to semi gloss sheen on bathrooms and kitchens.. If there are different colors, this costs time. Also, do you want blotches on your ceiling if it’s a different wall color? You’re going to want the trim painted well. Does he have to tape all the baseboard between carpet? He will probably supply $200 of material in drop cloth, tape etc even if you buy material. Doors too?? How much stuff is in the bathrooms? There’s a lot more to this stuff than you think on the finishing side of things for quality work. And is he available and recommended? California is higher, bottom line.

Work on your business or in it.  Stroke checks or roll your sleeves up. Painting is simple, but it's not easy. Especially if you want it done right.

I get that some (most?) don't want to do their own painting.  Get more bids, especially this time of year in what is most places, a cooling market.

I received a quote of $3600 from a painter in a 636 sqft apartment. But it needed a lot of work. Wall paper removed, holes patched, caulking throughout, painting of trim, cabinets, etc. I also received a quote of $1900, but the guy clearly wasn't reliable based on his references.

I decided to pay a buddy who does it for a living $1300, and I helped with all the prep work. He came in and we bombarded the place with a sprayer and oil base primer. It made the place like an open canvas, we could see every little hole and crack that needed to be patched and caulked. The only thing worst than painting, is painting. So it was well worth it for me to pay a few bucks for the help. Like @Steve Vaughan said, its simple, not easy, and needs to be done right. It can make all the difference in the world. 

Some contractors have so much work that they just can't get to it all - but they also have a mind for business. They give a super-high quote, and if you're willing to pay that much, they'll find time to get to you. I've had this happen frequently. I just get more quotes. For paint, I do it myself because I think they are all charging too much.

Roofing? Gutters? Drywall? I almost don't care what they charge, I'm not doing those jobs myself ever again.

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