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Pricing up the cost to paint a house

Helen G
by Helen G
Published on 8 May, 2018

As a self-employed painter or decorator, pricing up the cost to paint a house intelligently and fairly is a key part of winning work, achieving customer satisfaction and gaining repeat business.

Taking the time to quote customers accurately will also help you to operate more efficiently and ensure you’re being paid justly for your time and work.

What to consider when pricing a painting job

Here are a few steps to take when pricing a painting project for a customer:

1. Meet the customer and assess the project

To ensure that your quote is as accurate as it can be, it’s a good idea to visit the property and speak with the customer before giving your price. People are impatient, and time kills deals, so it’s best to try to visit the property within a few days of taking the enquiry.

Speaking to the customer in person also gives you the opportunity to gain their trust and scout out any potential risks that could complicate the job or make it take longer than usual.

2. Consider market and competitor rates

It’s important to regularly review your pricing according to the economy and local competitors to keep your prices fair and competitive.

3. Evaluate the cost of materials/equipment

The cost of materials will vary significantly from one painting job to the next depending on the size of the property, scope of the project and quality of paint and finish required. Don’t forget to factor in the price of any equipment that you will need to rent out, including the price of scaffolding for exterior paint jobs.

4. Think about the length of your experience

As you gain experience you’ll become more efficient at your job and at pricing the work at a rate that is both attractive and fair for customers and profitable for yourself.  Your hourly rate should start out low to reflect your experience and increase as you become more established.

Basic painting contractor pricing structure

Your workings out when pricing a painting job should look something like this:

Hourly rate X number of hours estimated

+ price of materials and equipment

+ % for your business overheads

+ VAT

= cost to paint a house

Cost to paint exterior of house

Below are the variables that will affect the price of painting the exterior of a house, these should be discussed with the customer before pricing the job:

  • Condition of walls, will any repair work be required?
  • Is it just walls being painted or woodwork too?
  • Requirement for and cost of scaffolding
  • Surface being painted (pebble dash is generally priced more expensively)
  • Age of building (cavity walls and solid walls may require different paint types)
  • Type and quality of paint required
  • Number of days the job is likely to take
  • Number of coats of paint that will be required
  • Who will remove anything attached to house (satellite dishes, flower boxes, etc)

Cost to paint a house interior 

Below are the variables that will affect the price of painting the interior of a house, these should be discussed with the customer before pricing the job:

  • Type and quality of paint
  • Will you be expected to remove furniture?
  • Condition of walls, will any repair work be required?
  • Is it just walls being painted or woodwork too?
  • Number of days the job will take
  • Number of coats of paint that will be required

To be successful as a self-employed painter and decorator or contractor, it’s just as important to brush up on business skills like pricing jobs as it is your trade.

The more experience you gain, the easier it will become to accurately and profitably price up your jobs.

Helen G
Helen G
Helen is a freelance content writer hailing from Cheshire who specialises in tea drinking and writing about digital marketing and SEO after having worked in the industry for over 6 years.
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