Author Topic: Paint the house or hire it out?  (Read 1071 times)

FoCoFriend

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Paint the house or hire it out?
« on: May 20, 2018, 09:09:36 PM »
Hey folks, I'm considering paying someone else (3500) to paint the exterior of my home.  I figure I could do it myself for about 1200 and 5 or so days of labor.  I've done some painting before, including a little spraying.  Any opinions on this?  It is hard to fork over that 2000+ but I am a little nervous about taking on this size project on my own.  Thanks!

PNW Lady

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Re: Paint the house or hire it out?
« Reply #1 on: May 20, 2018, 11:12:21 PM »
I just paid $4,500 for an exterior house paint (approx. 2400 sq.ft. & 2 stories) and back deck refinish (power wash, clean, sand, paint/seal) and it took a professional team (3 guys) four 12-hour days. I couldn't even manage testing out different paint colors by myself without dripping everywhere, and I was being super careful. I would have happily taken on the deck by myself but the painters threw it in at almost no additional cost (I hadn't even included the deck in my inquiry).

Here are my questions to you: 1) do you have the time?, 2) do you have someone to help you with ladder placement/spotting?, 3) do you have the tools?, 4) are you comfortable being on a ladder while managing painting equipment/tools?, 5) can you afford to fall or strain a muscle due to the unfamiliar nature of the work? Not me, my friend. I will always use professionals for exterior house painting. In fact, I will always use professionals for interior painting as well since I have proven to be horrible at it (just don't have the precision).

Of course you could probably do it, but don't underestimate the skill and efficiency that comes with years (or at least a full season) of any given profession.

elliha

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Re: Paint the house or hire it out?
« Reply #2 on: May 20, 2018, 11:45:41 PM »
I would add, is the house the type that is easily painted? Is it large or have hard to reach areas? If so you may have to rent equipment just to reach these areas to paint and this costs money too. If you can reach all areas of the house with a ladder or a simple home made scaffolding I would go for painting it myself if all of the questions above are positive.

lthenderson

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Re: Paint the house or hire it out?
« Reply #3 on: May 21, 2018, 07:45:00 AM »
The nice thing about painting is that there really aren't any hard time constraints. If all you have is a couple hours one week to paint the house, you can paint on it for those couple hours and start again the following week. I painted my last house over the course of a month picking and choosing the best weekends days when the weather was great to do so. Probably the biggest fail I see home owners who paint their own house do is inadequate prep work in removing old loose paint and dirt. Judging whether or not to paint your house by yourself shouldn't be decided by if you can paint it or not. You should make the decision based upon whether you can do the proper prep work before you start painting.

FoCoFriend

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Re: Paint the house or hire it out?
« Reply #4 on: May 21, 2018, 11:09:38 AM »
Thanks for the feedback!  To answer the concerns/questions...

1) do you have the time?  I can make the time.  No kids working a 9-5.
2) do you have someone to help you with ladder placement/spotting? Not really.  If I had someone to help with the project I would definitely take it on.
3) do you have the tools? I would rent the tools.  My estimates are that the job would cost me 1000-1200, while I would be paying someone 3500
4) are you comfortable being on a ladder while managing painting equipment/tools? I would take my time, but I don't have much experience here.  I do have a lot of interior/exterior painting experience.
5) can you afford to fall or strain a muscle due to the unfamiliar nature of the work? Not really.

As of right now I'm still undecided, it is hard to understand the scope of the work and that is where my concern lies. 

Fishindude

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Re: Paint the house or hire it out?
« Reply #5 on: May 21, 2018, 11:46:46 AM »
Hire it out.
You'll wind up with a partially painted house several weeks from now and be sick and tired of painting.
Lot's of these do it yourself jobs never get finished.

FoCoFriend

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Re: Paint the house or hire it out?
« Reply #6 on: May 21, 2018, 11:50:15 AM »
Thanks for the advice.  I think the nature of the job is such that although I definitely tend towards DIY, I might pay the money this time.

toganet

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Re: Paint the house or hire it out?
« Reply #7 on: May 21, 2018, 11:53:44 AM »
I'm pondering the same thing right now, for the house I bought for my parents to rent.  It badly needs paint, and there will be a lot of surface prep that needs to be done prior to that.  On top of that the house is very tall, and the tallest side has an embankment that would make scaffolding difficult. 

That being said, the (possibly imaginary) cost savings makes me want to do it myself. The more I get into the details of what I would need to do, the more paying a professional sounds like the reasonable thing to do.  I may pursue a "hybrid" where I pay the pros to do the hard (read, up high) parts, and I do the lower parts.  Then, years from now when someone asks, "Why is the paint peeling down low, but not up high?" I can say, "I saved money!!1!!"

FoCoFriend

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Re: Paint the house or hire it out?
« Reply #8 on: May 21, 2018, 12:05:18 PM »
hey toganet, yeah sounds like we are in the exact same mindset.  When I think about all the nitty gritty details of the work I think I better hire someone...when I think about the 2500 to be saved I think I better do this myself.  I plan on negotiating to get the best possible paint, which is warrantied for 6 years and should last 10.  So really 2500 / 10 years = 250 per year, probably worth it.

Sibley

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Re: Paint the house or hire it out?
« Reply #9 on: May 21, 2018, 02:33:48 PM »
Perspective: I will be painting my garage this summer. I have all the equipment, just need to borrow a particular ladder from my parents. 1 story. Simple. I have plenty of experience. I'm ok on the ladder (for that height at least).

I also need to paint my exterior windows. 2 story house. I have the ladder, but I can't move said ladder. Also not ok that high up - the fire department will be called to get me down if I try. I may do the lowest windows myself. Many of the 1st floor windows are at least partially over my height limit. But will be hiring out whatever I can't manage, just working on figuring out what my limits are and paint color.

In your case, if you have the money, I'd hire it out.

FoCoFriend

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Re: Paint the house or hire it out?
« Reply #10 on: May 21, 2018, 02:56:09 PM »
Thanks Sibley, after talking with my lady friend we agreed that would probably be the best option.  I'm comforted by the fact that I shopped around, feel like I'm paying a fair price, and I'm protecting an appreciating asset. 

Gone Fishing

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Re: Paint the house or hire it out?
« Reply #11 on: May 24, 2018, 04:39:02 AM »
My wife any I painted the siding (not the trim) on a one story, 1400 sq ft house in 2 weekends.  Never mind the two weekends were several weeks apart!  I can't remember, exactly what we spent but I'm pretty sure it was under $200.  We made a pretty drastic color change and used a Valspar paint advertised to cover with one coat.  To my surprise, it actually did.  The amount of paint was also surprisingly little, maybe 3 or 4 gallons.

Linda_Norway

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Re: Paint the house or hire it out?
« Reply #12 on: May 24, 2018, 07:15:18 AM »
We always paint the exterior of our house ourselves.

If you do it yourself, I wouldn't hire the equipment, but buy it. You can use it again next time. Apart from a scaffold.
We own a ladder, an S-shaped hook for hanging the bucket on the ladder, brushes of all kinds, an extendable stick and brushes for that. What more tools would you need to hire? If you need a sander, it is also good to have one.

DH has started using a paintbrush on an extendable stick. This works well for the most part. He only needs to go onto the ladder for the difficult corners right under the roof. I also have colleagues who rented a lift-truck to paint their house and they think it was a very good investment. But this costs a lot compared to standing on a ladder.

We paint one or two walls at the time (our house has many walls), and the whole project might take a month, including the cleaning of the walls with a brush. We haven't had to scrape off old paint. We always put some anti-fungi fluid (don't know what brand) into the paint.
« Last Edit: May 29, 2018, 01:31:31 AM by Linda_Norway »

Gone Fishing

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Re: Paint the house or hire it out?
« Reply #13 on: May 24, 2018, 11:27:44 AM »
If you don't mind a bit of "texture" on your siding, a wire wheel on an angle grinder makes quick work of old, peeling paint.  Just be sure to check for lead paint.

phred

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Re: Paint the house or hire it out?
« Reply #14 on: May 24, 2018, 11:31:45 AM »
If it's a one story house, I would do the painting myself.  Don't think of the entire house all at once; just think of one wall at a time.  Plan the job so you're not painting in sunlight -- either the sun has passed or hasn't reached that exterior wall yet.

The only difference from interior painting is to wire brush off any loose paint.  And, of course, to use an exterior grade.  It will be hard to see any mistakes from far away -- such as curbside

Patrick584

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Re: Paint the house or hire it out?
« Reply #15 on: May 28, 2018, 09:56:53 AM »
This forum is about finding ways to spend very little money, and Iím amazed by the support and creative reasons the commenters are giving for spending a large amount of money. 2500 does not equal 250/year for 10 years. If your going to post on MMM at least use his crude accounting that adjusts for market opportunity costs. Hiring someone to paint is lifestyle inflation and a really bad way Financial decision. Painting is something you can figure out and do yourself. If you donít feel ok on a ladder you should address this rather than avoiding it. Not sure where 1200$ comes from. You should definitely use brushes and rollers. These supplies plus paint are only a few hundred dollars. Find a ladder on Craigslist. The MMM mentality is  to do things yourself on the cheap and this gives you an amazing sense of ownership.

FINate

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Re: Paint the house or hire it out?
« Reply #16 on: May 28, 2018, 10:29:25 AM »
This forum is about finding ways to spend very little money, and Iím amazed by the support and creative reasons the commenters are giving for spending a large amount of money. 2500 does not equal 250/year for 10 years. If your going to post on MMM at least use his crude accounting that adjusts for market opportunity costs. Hiring someone to paint is lifestyle inflation and a really bad way Financial decision. Painting is something you can figure out and do yourself. If you donít feel ok on a ladder you should address this rather than avoiding it. Not sure where 1200$ comes from. You should definitely use brushes and rollers. These supplies plus paint are only a few hundred dollars. Find a ladder on Craigslist. The MMM mentality is  to do things yourself on the cheap and this gives you an amazing sense of ownership.

I respectfully disagree. If someone isn't comfortable on ladders then they shouldn't be up painting a second story. Even if you do feel confident on a ladder, check your ego, are you really really sure about it? A family friend fell off a ladder and landed on his head on the cement - he's no longer with us. The pros know what they're doing and even so, they still get hurt. Don't be "penny wise and pound foolish."

That said, if it's a single story then sure, go for it. Do it right. Pressure wash and clean, repair damage, caulk, prime (if necessary), tape/wrap, then paint. No point in putting in all the work just to do it again in a couple years. And buy the right tools for the job. As much as I like tools, this is part of the reason I've started hiring out certain jobs. Tools are expensive and then you have to store them. A house is painted, what, every 10-15 years or so? I don't have the space to store a bunch of tools I use infrequently. Renting solves the storage problem, but rental costs add up quickly if you drag a project out over a week or more. At some point I just factor maintenance (such as painting the exterior) into the costs of homeownership.
« Last Edit: May 28, 2018, 10:34:39 AM by FINate »

Sibley

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Re: Paint the house or hire it out?
« Reply #17 on: May 28, 2018, 10:43:29 AM »
Patrick, I understand what you're saying. I'll be painting my garage myself. I'm going to tackle the windows that I can. And I'll hire someone to do the windows I can't. Saving money is good. Being realistic is better. MMM himself does a ton of stuff. He's also young, ablebodied, and in good physical condition. Change those conditions and the calculations change. I encourage OP, and everyone else, to do what they can. Sometimes outsourcing is smarter.

TrMama

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Re: Paint the house or hire it out?
« Reply #18 on: May 28, 2018, 11:50:05 AM »
I'm in the midst of painting my 2-3 story, 3500 sq ft house. It's a big complicated job, but it's not exactly rocket science. I'm working almost entirely alone since my DH is both partially disabled and a terribly messy painter. My kids aren't quite old enough to be useful for more than an hour.

The house is a daylight basement, craftsman style. So it's got tons of bump outs, decorative gables, and a million miles of decorative trim. The second story is setback 10ft from the first on two sides which makes using a ladder impossible. When we had the job quoted 2 years ago, the quote came back at $6800, and that was with a mediocre brand of paint. After speaking with others in my area, that quote was probably several thousand too low.

All in, it's only going to cost me $3000 to DIY. That's with using a very high end paint (so it lasts as long as possible) and with renting a 40ft lift (cherry picker) to reach the upper sections on the 2 setback sides. I'll also need to rent narrow scaffolding to reach the 2nd story on one side since the house is built very close to the one next door and there was no way to fit a lift in there. There's also no way to safely use a ladder on that side. Oh, and I also paid our gutter guy to wash the house before I started.

Here's what I've learned:

1. Take photos and measurements of your house to the local rental equipment place. Ask them what tools/scaffolding/lifts/etc might make the job safer, easier and faster. These guys have awesome advice. Ladders are for suckers.

2. Make a spreadsheet of all the steps and supplies you'll need. This makes it easier to break the project down into reasonable chunks and ensures you'll actually save money.

3. There's a million great painting videos on YouTube. I'm a pretty experienced homeowner painter and I still learned a ton of useful things there.

toganet

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Re: Paint the house or hire it out?
« Reply #19 on: May 29, 2018, 07:38:31 AM »
I'm in the midst of painting my 2-3 story, 3500 sq ft house. It's a big complicated job, but it's not exactly rocket science. I'm working almost entirely alone since my DH is both partially disabled and a terribly messy painter. My kids aren't quite old enough to be useful for more than an hour.

The house is a daylight basement, craftsman style. So it's got tons of bump outs, decorative gables, and a million miles of decorative trim. The second story is setback 10ft from the first on two sides which makes using a ladder impossible. When we had the job quoted 2 years ago, the quote came back at $6800, and that was with a mediocre brand of paint. After speaking with others in my area, that quote was probably several thousand too low.

All in, it's only going to cost me $3000 to DIY. That's with using a very high end paint (so it lasts as long as possible) and with renting a 40ft lift (cherry picker) to reach the upper sections on the 2 setback sides. I'll also need to rent narrow scaffolding to reach the 2nd story on one side since the house is built very close to the one next door and there was no way to fit a lift in there. There's also no way to safely use a ladder on that side. Oh, and I also paid our gutter guy to wash the house before I started.

Here's what I've learned:

1. Take photos and measurements of your house to the local rental equipment place. Ask them what tools/scaffolding/lifts/etc might make the job safer, easier and faster. These guys have awesome advice. Ladders are for suckers.

2. Make a spreadsheet of all the steps and supplies you'll need. This makes it easier to break the project down into reasonable chunks and ensures you'll actually save money.

3. There's a million great painting videos on YouTube. I'm a pretty experienced homeowner painter and I still learned a ton of useful things there.

Thanks -- the more I read of this thread the more I am motivated to DIY.  Renting the cherry picker is probably the best solution, as it would solve for the side of the house where scaffolding won't work, and would also work on the other "high" side, so I could avoid scaffolding altogether.

TrMama

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Re: Paint the house or hire it out?
« Reply #20 on: May 29, 2018, 09:37:37 AM »
I'm in the midst of painting my 2-3 story, 3500 sq ft house. It's a big complicated job, but it's not exactly rocket science. I'm working almost entirely alone since my DH is both partially disabled and a terribly messy painter. My kids aren't quite old enough to be useful for more than an hour.

The house is a daylight basement, craftsman style. So it's got tons of bump outs, decorative gables, and a million miles of decorative trim. The second story is setback 10ft from the first on two sides which makes using a ladder impossible. When we had the job quoted 2 years ago, the quote came back at $6800, and that was with a mediocre brand of paint. After speaking with others in my area, that quote was probably several thousand too low.

All in, it's only going to cost me $3000 to DIY. That's with using a very high end paint (so it lasts as long as possible) and with renting a 40ft lift (cherry picker) to reach the upper sections on the 2 setback sides. I'll also need to rent narrow scaffolding to reach the 2nd story on one side since the house is built very close to the one next door and there was no way to fit a lift in there. There's also no way to safely use a ladder on that side. Oh, and I also paid our gutter guy to wash the house before I started.

Here's what I've learned:

1. Take photos and measurements of your house to the local rental equipment place. Ask them what tools/scaffolding/lifts/etc might make the job safer, easier and faster. These guys have awesome advice. Ladders are for suckers.

2. Make a spreadsheet of all the steps and supplies you'll need. This makes it easier to break the project down into reasonable chunks and ensures you'll actually save money.

3. There's a million great painting videos on YouTube. I'm a pretty experienced homeowner painter and I still learned a ton of useful things there.

Thanks -- the more I read of this thread the more I am motivated to DIY.  Renting the cherry picker is probably the best solution, as it would solve for the side of the house where scaffolding won't work, and would also work on the other "high" side, so I could avoid scaffolding altogether.

Yeah, the cherry picker was great. It basically takes no time to setup/teardown, so you can just get to work. You can also load the bucket up with all your tools and supplies so there's no going up and down to fetch things. The only tricky parts were maneuvering the massive base around our tiny lot and making sure I didn't smash any part of it into the house.

When you're renting one, if you have a choice, get one that's less articulated (has fewer adjustable joints in the extension arm). It's counter intuitive, because you'd think that more joints would make it easier to get the bucket exactly where you need it to be, but in practice I found more joints just made maneuvering it more confusing (and therefore more likely I'd move it the wrong way and smash it into the house). The downside of a less articulated arm is that it will require more space.

After working from the lift for 2.5 days, going up, and down, and back, and forth, and over, and back, I felt like I'd been on a carnival ride. I was even a little unsteady on my feet in the house in the evenings. I have kind of a weak stomach though. YMMV.

One more tip is to get on the email list for whichever brand of paint you choose. I went with Sherwin Williams Emerald paint (which retails for $80/ga here). However, SW runs 30-40% off sales quite regularly. So I was able to get really nice paint for the same price as the hardware store stuff.