5 Tips to Save on House Painting Contractors

House painting projects are quite taxing on your wallet and your mental state. For an average ranch style home that is two stories tall and 2,500 square feet, your costs could be in the neighborhood of $4,000 on the exterior. Working inside, it’s closer to $5,500. Many homeowners are willing to invest in their home but will have to work on a budget. Here are 5 tips to save on house painting contractors.

Decisions that cost this much can chip away at your mental wellbeing. Fresh paint will surely make your home look great, but keep in mind it is the first line of defense for your home. Putting off painting can cost you more in repairs if the walls or exterior deteriorate further. Our contractors are happy to give you a full rundown of damage and costs to help ease your mind before you make any big decisions.

Save on House Painting Contractors


It’s important to get an itemized projection of costs. Most professional painters offer free estimates where they will address any questions or concerns at the property. After the appointment, you should be presented with a breakdown of the costs and work to be done, itemized into labor and materials.

Always get estimates from several companies. Research online or ask for referrals from friends and family to get you started. Once you have a few you’re happy with, move forward with getting estimates from them. Do not feel pressured to sign anything at the appointment or make any snap choices.


Labor is typically the majority of the cost to paint a house. Professionals will tell you that ⅔ of the job is done in the preparation phase of work. This means before a can of paint is cracked, there are tons of repairs and preparations to be made. This makes the difference between a good painting job and a great one. Professional painters always spend time addressing sanding, sealing, caulking, and taping before they start to paint.


While materials are less of the costs, your professional crew will likely recommend a good, mid-priced option of paint. They will offer you a manufacturer and style they have had good experiences with. You should expect to pay $20-$70 a gallon, depending on the finishes and needs of the room. Mold blocking, washable or other extras will cost more but offer options that might appeal to you.


It can be tempting to skip an extra step like an estimate. Don’t! Start with referrals to narrow the field, then follow up online with review sites. Once you have at least three you are happy with, schedule the estimate appointments. Make sure after the appointment, you receive a written copy of the estimate, broken into labor and materials with itemized items. More than likely, the estimate will also include information about how to proceed, payment schedule and estimated length of the project.

Pitch In

Sometimes the costs of the project are just out of your budget. A bit of elbow grease can save your wallet. Remember, preparation takes manpower, which you are paying for. If there are tasks you’re comfortable with, try to pitch in to reduce costs. Moving furniture, sanding or removing fixtures are simple enough but still take time from the crew. Talk to your estimator, some companies won’t give guarantees on their work if they didn’t complete it from beginning to end.

Check with the estimator about doing preparation work yourself. This includes:

Trimming Back Shrubs
Moving furniture
Removing and reinstalling the outlet covers, switch plates and doorknobs
Prep work like patching, sanding and scraping, if you have the skills

Don’t Procrastinate

Planning for big jobs like this require a bit of forethought. The longer you wait between paint jobs, the more likely you will need repairs and extra coats. That all costs you more. Painting is expensive enough, don’t incur extra charges by letting problems get out of control.

Trim the Scope

Now that you chose a painter and estimate, look at the scope of work. Estimators are trained to anticipate all of the needs on your project, to give a full estimate. If you don’t necessarily need ceilings painted or if the trim is still in good shape, could you cut those areas? This is all work hours and costs. Removing some items may not affect the outcome of the job but will change the bottom line.

Think Color

Changing colors costs more. To get the desired shade, there are extra coats and primers that are necessary. Keeping the color somewhat similar allows for an update and fresh look while reducing the amount of coats that need to happen. If you’re picking an exterior color, remember that the more vivid shades will fade more quickly and need more maintenance.

If you’re ready for a new paint job at your home, call our CertaPro Painters of Carlsbad for a free, in-home estimate at no obligation to you.