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  1. #1
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    Default Exterior Painting Questions

    I've gotten a few bids to paint the exterior of my house. It's a two story with approximately 2500 sq ft of T1-11 siding (just big plywood sheets). I'm changing colors from a light grayish blue to white.

    The first bid I got was extremely professional. $3,300 to do moderate prep work, use a mid-quality flat paint, and put on 2 coats. Or $3,800 to bump up to much more prep work, caulking, and the best satin paint.

    The second bid I got was from a guy referred to me by my neighbor. $1,100 but he would just power-wash the house and only apply a single coat. He assured me it "is all I need, trust me."

    Obviously, I'm a little skeptical of the second bid but it's a little hard to pass up at 1/3 the first company's price.

    Any sage advice? How many more years can I get from a quality paint job as opposed to a cheap one?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Exterior Painting Questions

    Quote Originally Posted by chichikov View Post
    Any sage advice? How many more years can I get from a quality paint job as opposed to a cheap one?
    RUN don't walk away from the cheaper bid!

    That does not mean accept the higher one, however the point of getting several bids is to have each contractor provide a price for the same work and materials. If your house is in reasonably good condition, there shouldn't be that much in the way of prep, beyond pressure washing and a little caulking here and there, however, every paint job will require two coats, especially one where a color change is involved.

    Without seeing the bids and your home in person, I cannot tell you if the higher bid is overkill or not. Just from the info you've provided I'm inclined to believe that the work will be more meticulous and exacting and using good quality paint. Did the contractor provide references so that you can contact previous clients and see his work in person?

    The low bidder's comment is what scares me the most. The positive side is that you can go inspect your neighbors house to see the kind of workmanship you could expect. This guy sounds like a "tailgate" painter, meaning someone who uses cheap products and bad techniques. Again, I did not meet them in person, so I can only go on the perception you've provided.

    Just so you know, the rough cost of materials for this job is about $500, give or take $100 or so, the rest will be labor which is a good indication of the quality of work you're going to get.

    Finally, a couple things you should be doing before hiring anyone. Check that their licensing and insurance/bonding is in order before they start work. Make sure your own insurance covers injury to workmen (two story ladder work is inherently dangerous ). Get references from the contractor you intend to hire and check out their work and reputation. Make sure the contract spells out the work they'll be doing, number of coats of paint, paint brand, etc. Never provide more than a deposit to secure the contract (amount usually regulated by jurisdiction of license ), and never pay in full before the job is completed to your satisfaction.
    I suffer from CDO ... Its like OCD, but in alphabetical order, LIKE IT SHOULD BE!!!

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Exterior Painting Questions

    Our house was blue when we decided to paint it creme. Primer and a good one was essential to hide the blue. You could see where ever two coats of primer weren't applied over the old blue paint after the first coat of paint, fortunately they were hidden with the second coat of paint. We did it ourselves and we spot primed as we worked during the preparation stage anywhere the siding or trim was exposed so we wouldn't have moisture problems. Then we did the caulk and patch work, then we primed the overall areas. Because the blue shown through we used two different primer formulas from the Sherwin Williams store, one was for sealing and sticking the other was for hiding the blue I think they added some extra pigment to it.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Exterior Painting Questions

    Quote Originally Posted by tina zee View Post
    Because the blue shown through we used two different primer formulas from the Sherwin Williams store, one was for sealing and sticking the other was for hiding the blue I think they added some extra pigment to it.
    A helpful hint here is to tint the primer to the same color as your top coat.
    I suffer from CDO ... Its like OCD, but in alphabetical order, LIKE IT SHOULD BE!!!

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Exterior Painting Questions

    One thing I have learned in life,....you always get what you pay for.

    If you have any problems with your first contractor, I'll bet he will come back and make an effort to set things right. If you have any problems with Johnny low bidder, good luck even gettting him on the phone!!

    Having said that, I agree with A. Spruce. You need to get another half dozen qualified contractors in to make sure you get the best price.

    Good luck,
    Phil

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Exterior Painting Questions

    Quote Originally Posted by A. Spruce View Post
    A helpful hint here is to tint the primer to the same color as your top coat.
    Ditto that.

    Besides .... that Sprucey's a smart dude.
    "" an ounce of perception -- a pound of obscure "
    - Rush

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Exterior Painting Questions

    Thank you to everyone for the prompt replies. You all confirmed the nagging gut feeling I was trying to ignore about the low bidder.

    Thanks for your time! I really appreciate it.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Exterior Painting Questions

    I would be cautious allowing anyone to pressure wash wood siding. If the pressure is to high, it will damage the wood. Depending on how well the exterior of your home is sealed, it may also introduce moisture into the wall cavity and insulation. However, if you opt to allow pressure washing, insist on a 7 day lapse between pressure washing and painting to allow the wood to properly dry. Painting wet wood will inhibit the paints adhesive quality resulting in premature cracking and peeling.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Exterior Painting Questions

    not only would I lean towards the first painter but also his bump up. the reason is that one of the reasons that T1-11 fails is due to lack of caulking. it needs to be caulked real well before painting and then it will last a long time.


    trust me, sounds like a used car salesman.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Exterior Painting Questions

    DEFINATELY go with the 1st painter!!!

    You should still wash your siding though. Some house-detergents don't need rinsing.
    CLEAN siding is critical!
    Either way, let it dry for a WEEK.

    Forget the Flat paint. Flats tend to hold dirt. Satins will clean easier. I'd never use a flat outside.
    * Actual cost difference between each gallon of Flat vs. Satin is often only ~ $5!
    * What ACTUAL paint-line & primer will be used?
    * Oils or Latex?

    I don't have your wallet, but I'd prime everything...the topcoat(S) of paint will adhere better. On exteriors, TWO topcoats is ALWAYS BEST.

    >>> Even if everything IS primed, asking ONE coat of paint to hold up well outdoors is fool's logic. TWO is much better.
    >>> Also, tinting a primer ISN'T a substitute for a 2nd coat of paint. If you're absolutely only gonna do 1 paintcoat, tinting a primer can help the color...but does NOTHING for the durability of ONLY ONE topcoat.

    Faron

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