How often do I need to paint my South Shore Home?

Chapter 3

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Chapter 3. Services offered by South Shore exterior painting companies:

Front entrance of white home with black front door and white exterior.Not sure you need to paint?  Take this exterior painting quiz.  You’ll find out if you need to apply a coat of paint to your South Shore, Plymouth, and Boston-area home for it to stay protected from our harsh New England climate.

Need to replace wood?  If you need to paint, you may also have rotting wood that needs to be fixed before the paint is applied. Never apply paint over rotted wood since the paint will quickly peel off, and the wood will continue rotting.

Need help with color?  You may also want to change the color of your home, so choose a painting company with a designer on staff who can work with you at your home, for free. Spending time upfront with a designer is the biggest way to ensure you’ll love the final result as you drive up to your home for years to come.

Secret services your exterior painter might offer if you know to ask for them:

While working with your estimator, be sure to remind them if you’d like to take advantage of any of the following services – often, painters offer all of these but forget to mention them during the quoting phase. For example:

Free color consultation to help you choose colors for your exterior that are “just right.” Look for a company that will have their designer come to your home to do the color consultation because you want to test the color in the light of day.

Free color renderings of your home before you paint.  Computer renderings allow you to imagine what the final paint color will look like before the painter ever picks up a brush.  Plus, once the first rendering is done, it’s easy to swap in new colors to “try on.”

Adding you, the homeowner, to their insurance as “additional insured.” This means you know their insurance is in force and paid up and protects you from having to pay out a liability or worker’s comp claim if something happens on your property.

One-stop shopping for painting and carpentry so you don’t have to hire a separate carpentry crew to replace any rotted wood (window sills, trim, deck boards, etc.) before you paint your home.


How often do I need to paint my South Shore exterior?  


3 oceanfront homes
Homes that sit directly on the ocean need painting sooner than inland homes on the South Shore.

While some of this depends on how your house was built and what materials were used, here are some quick rules of thumb to decide when it’s time to paint. If you want to find out for sure if your home needs painting, take our 20-second quiz.

The following are just averages – depending on the materials used, your home might need a different painting schedule. Also, if you apply a maintenance coat, you “start the clock” over again on needing to paint.

Wood houses inland (i.e., towns not directly on the coast like Pembroke, Rockland, Hanover, Norwell, Milton, Canton, Avon, Weymouth, Braintree, Randolph Stoughton, Lakeville, Whitman, Hanson etc.): 2 coats of paint every 7-10 years. A possible maintenance coat every 5-6 years to prolong the life of your home and freshen it up.

Wood houses with an ocean-view: (i.e., homes that sit DIRECTLY on the waterfront in towns like Duxbury, Marshfield, Cohasset, Hingham, Hull, Scituate, Quincy, Dartmouth, Plymouth, Marion etc.): 2 coats of paint every 6-8 years. A possible maintenance coat every five years to protect the wood on your home from the coastal wind, cold, and salt air.

Wood houses in coastal towns that do NOT have an ocean view (i.e, inland homes in towns like Duxbury, Marshfield, Scituate, Cohasset, Hingham, Hull, Quincy): 2 coats of paint every seven years. A possible maintenance coat every 5-6 years to protect the wood.

Vinyl-sided homes: Since vinyl is so durable, you never really need to paint your home unless you want to change its color.

Stucco homes: Stucco is durable and holds up well, but is not infallible. Most of the time, stucco homes only need painting every 7-10 years or when you start seeing the stucco cracking. Stucco Tudors are common in the town of Milton and surrounding towns.

Aluminum-sided homes: Aluminum siding is extremely durable and usually lasts 40 years. You might need to paint if you notice chalking (rub your hand on the siding and notice if “chalk” appears on your hand). Applying a maintenance coat of paint to the Aluminum siding every 10-14 years is a good idea and can freshen up your exterior.

CertaPro Painter in white shirt and white painter's pants painting a tan house dark blueDefining the scope of the exterior painting work:

Ensure that the specifications you give to the first painter are the same ones you give to every subsequent painter who quotes your project. For example, if you have the first painter quote a “spot prime and one coat,” don’t have the second painting company quote “full prime and two coats” because you won’t be able to compare the price of the two quotes side-by-side.

Sometimes, the project’s specifications can change when you talk to another painting company (this happens when a painting company has a different approach than the first company that bids). If this happens, have the 2nd painting contractor bid on the original work scope and add the price for the new scope of work as an optional price.

Assuming good online reviews mean a painter will be detailed, it makes sense to schedule a meeting with the painter with the best online reviews so they can help you develop a good scope of work for subsequent bidders.

Gray exterior home with black shutters in Rocky Nook part of Kingston MassachusettsShare your budget – painting companies have lots of ways to save you money:

Less surface preparation.  This can work nicely for homes going up for sale that simply need a coat of paint to look fresh.

Spraying the home and back-rolling the paint costs less than rolling the house and provides just as durable of a finish.

Phasing the painting – doing one side of your home this year and another part of your home next year helps you budget your painting over a few years.  This is common in Condominium Communities as they stretch their maintenance budgets.

If budget is a concern:

See if the painting company gives a sense of paint pricing online. This will determine how much you’ll need to paint your home.

Ask your painter if they offer financing. If you don’t have the money to paint your home but need to paint (for example, because you’re selling your home and need the proceeds of the home’s sale to pay for the painting), you can often finance the painting and pay for the painting after your home sells.

You can try DIY exterior painting, but understand that it is time-consuming.  It is much better to DIY small pieces of an exterior project, such as deck staining, shutter painting, etc, one area at a time, so if you lose steam in the middle, your home is not left “halfway done.”

Read chapter 4: Getting inspired to paint

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