It’s common in the painting industry for quotes to vary widely making it important to carefully compare several detailed estimates before hiring a contractor. You’ll want quotes that give a full description of the work that will be done (prep, painting, clean up), paint/products that will be used, start and completion dates and payment terms. You’ll likely notice broad differences between the estimates you receive. The following are a variety of reasons why quotes vary between painting contractors. 

  • The amount of preparation to be undertaken will significantly affect the price quoted. It takes time to do proper prep work (removal of old paint, protection of surroundings from spatter, repairing imperfections, sanding, cleaning, taping, priming). Sometimes this step of the process takes more time than the painting itself. A contractor worth hiring will undertake extensive preparation work to ensure a quality outcome. This is reflected in the quote.
  • Insurance is part of the regular cost of operating a painting business. If a price is exceptionally low, this may indicate a lack of insurance (liability, worker’s compensation). A reputable painting contractor will happily provide the name of their insurance agent to allow you to verify their coverage. This coverage will increase their quote. 
  • Add-ons: A low quote may indicate that the contractor will later adjust charges with add-ons not included in the initial estimate (2 coats of paint, amount of prep work, grade of paint). These additions can add hundreds of dollars to the final price. It’s important to check the estimate carefully to make sure all final charges are included and carefully itemized making add-ons unlikely.
  • Knowledge/skill level: Contractors vary in their ability to determine the cost of a job and provide an accurate estimate. Look for a contractor that actually measures the area to be painted, asks questions regarding your wishes and takes the time to provide a detailed and accurate quote. 
  • Business size: Large and experienced painting companies have more expenses (salaries, vehicles, liability insurance, office space, training, certifications) but they get quality work done faster. Choose a trusted and reliable company by looking at the company’s past work and online reviews. A well-written, detailed quote shows you the company cares about their customers and that they’re knowledgeable about their craft.
  • Quality of paint, equipment and materials: Some projects require more materials (paints, primers, ladders, drop cloths, brushes, rollers). A lower estimate may indicate cheaper paint and insufficient equipment to provide a timely, quality job.
  • Labour is the largest cost of a paint job. Labour charges are determined by the amount of preparation and repairs, attention to detail and expertise provided by a contractor. If labour charges seem light, you may not receive a quality paint job.

When choosing a painting contractor for your project, take the time to carefully compare several quotes. Note the level of detail included; the type and quality of products specified, labour costs expected, the projected timeline of the project and preparation promised. It’s a good sign when a company is willing to provide details. Make sure you’re comfortable with the contractor and that you trust them. There is a price and a painting company that will suit you. 

Looking for a painting contractor you can trust to provide a professional job completed with quality products? Call the Calgary painting experts, Cal Res Coatings at (403) 835-4817. We’re a residential painting contractor that strives for quality, has an eye for detail and colour, and will not rest until your job is done to your satisfaction. Request a free quote today.

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