When you call us for a free estimate you will receive a quote in writing that will include the cost of all labor, materials and equipment as well as a description of the scope of work.  This way you will know up front what you will be paying and what you are getting in return. 

Contract Pricing vs Time & Materials:  There are very rare instances (typically non-painting) for which an hourly rate is most appropriate.  Receiving a fixed quote with a written description of the scope of work and products to be used gives you the best scenario for comparing "apples to apples" on price.  (Beyond price, there is are also the matters of quality, timeliness, reliability... to consider in selecting a contractor.) 
A little glimpse into my philosophy on fixed quote pricing.  As a painting contractor, this is how I feed my family.  My goal is to provide you with a quality service at price that meets your needs as well as my own.  If I can apply 2 coats of paint to a room in X amount of time for $500 and you agree that $500 is an appropriate amount to pay then, if I follow through with quality workmanship within the agreed time and I get paid the agreed amount - we are both happy. 
If two years later (not adjusting for inflation) you want me to apply 2 coats of the same paint to change the color of the same room - but I have acquired a new peice of equipment or technique and/or have improved my speed (and quite possibly my skill) and can finish the job in 2 hours less time - is that job now worth less because can complete it faster?  It quite possibly may actually be worth more!  If I were to charge solely by time and materials, as I improve my skill and invest in more efficient and effective tools, I would actually have to do a higher and higher volume of work just to make the same amount of money
To put it another way, if I and a competitor each give an hourly rate which is the same and we can both perform the same quality of job using the same product but it takes me 6 hours and my competitor takes 7.5 hours - is his work worth 25% more than mine for the same outcome?  Or if it takes me 9 hours, should I be paid 20% more than him more for the same outcome?  
Having someone quote you a lower hourly rate than another does not guarantee you that you are actually saving money in the long run.  By obtaining contract prices you have better idea of how the apples compare. 
Remember when comparing contract prices, you also often "get what you pay for".  Don't always assume that the best price is the best value.  Be sure that each contractor is using the same or similar products and paying the same attention to preparation and details. 

So what exactly goes into determining the price that you pay for a paint or stain job?
The answer to that is multi-faceted.  The two most simple components are materials and labor


You can figure for most paints that the required product should be around 1 gallon per 400 sf of surface area to be painted.  This can be greatly affect by the condition of the surface whether it is rough or smooth, dried out, primer, first or second coat.  Surfaces that are long overdue for painting or staining have a tendancy to soak up paint and stain quickly and thus the coverage rate is reduced requiring more product. 

The grade of product also plays a factor in the overall cost.  Since weather protection is a primary reason for exterior painting, only high quality paints and stains should be used for exterior applications.  Most major brands carry several grades of product.  Choosing high grade products gives you better color coverage and durability.


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