A fresh coat of paint can transform and beautify your home, but achieving long-lasting and high-quality results requires a painting company who will ensure the job is done right. When you’re looking to hire a contractor to paint the interior or exterior of your home, one of the first steps is to obtain a painting estimate. This post will explore proactive action you can take, items and information to expect, and red flags to watch for as you begin requesting quotes for your project.


Before You Get a Painting Estimate


  • Identify your needs. To get an accurate estimate, you’ll need to decide on the actual and specific work you want to be conducted. That might include the finish and paint you prefer, spackling or other necessary repairs, and further details specific to your space. If you’re uncertain, a good painting company can work with you and make recommendations about paint color, finish, and other details, all while managing expectations related to Painting cost per square foot or the average labor costs to paint a room.


  • Compare contractors. Do some due diligence when searching for a painting company. Check out their websites and reviews and contact a few companies so you can compare estimates from each of them. Comparing multiple companies will allow you to shop for the best price and find the best painters for your specific project. Ask to see examples of their previous work and for references from previous clients. Of course, any contractor you work with should also be able to show proof of proper licensure and insurance. 


What a Painting Estimate Should Include


  • Scope of Work. The scope of work will identify all items and areas to be prepared, painted, and finished, as well as the number of coats to be applied. This section will indicate everything included in the cost estimate and possible factors. For example, if your walls require caulking, spackling, or further repairs, some painters may not include these tasks in their scope of work. Make sure your estimate has everything included and that you are comparing apples to apples when looking at the different prices among contractors. 


  • Labor. Your estimate should include how many people will be working on your home painting project and how much it will cost to pay them. 


  • Materials. The estimate should also include paint cost information and estimated costs of any other equipment or materials needed to complete the job. 


  • Other common details. The projected timeline to complete the job, billing and payment policies, a guarantee of work, and terms and conditions regarding any additional fees or costs are also common in professional painting estimates.


Painting Estimate Red Flags


As with any home improvement or construction service project, it’s essential to keep an early eye out for any red flags that could be potential warning signs of future issues:


  • The contractor does not put the estimate in writing or does not agree to a written contract. The first rule of contracts: Always get it in writing. Verbal communication of the estimated cost is not an official estimate and will not hold up to any scrutiny if actual costs end up much more than expected based on a verbal quote. Providing a written contract is standard practice and protects both parties involved in the transaction. 


  • The painting company’s estimate is way out of line with the estimates of other contractors in your area. This is one reason it’s smart to receive estimates from various companies. While they may differ slightly, it’s usually a bad sign if one company’s estimate is significantly lower or higher than the competitors. 


  • The painting contractors do not do an in-person or virtual “walkthrough” of your property before giving an estimate. To give an accurate estimate, your contractor will need to see the space to be painted and assess the scope of the job. You cannot get a proper painting estimate based on square footage alone or even a detailed description over the phone. A professional painter may be able to spot issues that you may not. If a contractor gives you an official quote without having set eyes on your home, there’s a good chance the estimate will be too high or too low based on how the painter estimates square footage or determines average labor costs—leaving you open to surprise charges later on.


A professional painting company should come to your home at an agreed-upon time to perform a walkthrough and evaluate the condition of the painting surfaces. They should also take note of any fixtures that need removing, any damage that may need treating, and what kinds of protections will be needed to preserve your floors and furniture. Most importantly, the right painting company will give you peace of mind that the job will be done on time and within budget. Reach out to ONiT Painting to schedule your free estimate appointment, or get started with our virtual estimate tool today.