To Hire or Not to Hire (a Paint Contractor) . . . That is the Question.

 The following is a guest post by Jason Kyle Sapp of Kyle Developing LLC with some advice on how to decide if you should hire someone to paint your house or tackle that job yourself. Jason has been running his family business in the New Braunfels area for close to a year and he caught my attention with all of the positive feedback his company was receiving on the Mom’s of New Braunfels facebook page. His skills in residential construction range in jobs of any size. Check his website and facebook for examples of everything from new patios to full kitchen remodels. 

Over the last year of remodeling in New Braunfels I’ve seen several common calls from potential customers.  I would either get a call from someone that just bought a house and wanted it repainted or a customer wanting to prepare a home to sell by painting it.  The question they all want the answer to is a legitimate one for any home remodel/repair work: “How much is this going to cost me?”Advice about painting your home in New Braunfels

Home sellers are usually in a position to do what it takes to sell their house, to make it ready for a potential buyer to come in and say: “Yes! I want this house.”  The visual of a home is one of the main factors.  House size, layout and yard are other factors for buyers to consider, but the paint quality and color of a home that is for sale can impact how quick it might sell.  Here are a few tips that show if you need to paint your home while preparing it to sell.

  1. If the paint is worn down or fading (more common on the exterior siding of your home).
  2. Scratches and markings that show wear and tear on the walls (interior) that can’t be removed by cleaning.  Common issues that I see are couches that rub the wall over the years and leave permanent marking on the wall or kids writings on the walls that won’t come off.
  3. Walls or rooms have been painted a custom color that might not go well with potential buyers.  i.e. pastel greens, blues or pinks for children’s rooms or merlot reds and navy blues for dinning rooms or a study.
  4. A DIY (Do-It-Yourself) paint job that looks just like you did it yourself.

Although there may be many more reasons sellers wish to repaint prior to selling, these are the most common.  Here are a few reasons I hear buyers wanting to paint their newly purchased home.

  1. The seller didn’t paint and needed to.
  2. The colors are not what the new owners wanted but they liked everything else about the home.
  3. The quality of paint used isn’t durable for the new owners.  In most cases this involves families with kids that really “use” the walls and the paint wasn’t a strong paint that will allow you to clean up without removing the paint.
  4. New owners want custom colors for their new purchase.

Likewise with home buyers, there are many more reasons to repaint a home that you just purchased but for both home buyers and sellers the main question comes to costs.

Contractor pricing can be the most confusing aspect to remodeling, including painting.  I get this type of question quite a bit:

“Why is your estimate so high, I mean I can go to (name a home improvement store) and buy paint for $X?”

Which is usually followed by:

“Why are the 3 companies I got bids from so different in price?”

These are valid questions that I’ll try to explain.  First question involves asking a contractor for an estimate to paint your home.  Every contractor knows that a home owner can DIY the project if they had the time, experience and desire to do it.  In most cases if asking a contractor to give an estimate it’s because the homeowner doesn’t have time, experience or desire.  Therefore the price you get from contractors include labor, materials, cleanup, and of course profit.

Now those are the exact reasons why most contractors pricing can vary so greatly.  Here are a few examples:

  1. Company overhead.  This includes fixed costs a remodeling contractor has to stay in business.  General liability insurance, office space, vehicle payments and insurance and management expenses all vary between companies of different sizes.
  2. Experience level.  Some contractors are small and usually are just the owner and maybe a helper or two and they use just their experience to price their projects.  These contractors usually don’t have most of the overhead listed above.  (Make sure your contractors carry proper insurance at the least so that you protect your most valuable investment, your home.)
  3. Laborers.  Some companies hire laborers that are paid $8-$12 an hour and do all of the work.  Usually quality suffers here but not in all cases.  Some companies are able to offer lower estimates because their labor costs are lower than other companies that employ more experienced/ more costly hourly wage workers.

All of these factors can influence an estimate that different contrators offer you as a home owner.  There are a few guidelines that you can go by to see if a contractor is either priced too high or way too low to get the job done right without asking you for more money to finish the job.  One tip is to work with your Realtor when choosing a contractor.  They can offer you advice from experience.  Often times your Realtor has gotten contractors to get work done on homes in the past and have a general idea of what a particular project will cost.  Another tip is to simply get 3-4 estimates and talk to the contractor that comes to your house.  Trust is a huge factor and a lot of times you can know right away if you can trust someone or not, go with your instinct.

At some point or another everyone will need to call a contractor for work on their house.  Be sure you take these steps to verify that you are getting a good contractor/company that you can trust to get the job done right, and on budget.

Jason Kyle Sapp – Residential Contractor
Owner – Kyle Developing LLC
Member, New Braunfels Chamber of Commerce since 2013

Article Name
To Hire or Not to Hire (a Paint Contractor) . . . That is the Question.
Advice from a New Braunfels residential construction expert on how to decide if you need to hire a contractor.

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