How much was your "painting" bid?

redheadeddaughterFebruary 17, 2014

Afraid of looking ridiculous, I haven't been posting the different parts of our bids for our farmhouse plan. But I always love to see what others post. (Everything with a grain of salt and a location thermometer. :)

But... there are a few pieces of the bids coming in that are kind of crazy. But maybe not?

One of the painting "estimates" for our house (interior and exterior) was 80k. Not too much surprises me these days, but that did. I've had houses painted before. And labor around here is cheap (nothing else). Am I being taken to the cleaners? :) Would you mind sharing your bids and any upcharges for colors inside? We will likely just do linen white everywhere with white dove trim, but the cement fiber siding needs to be painted and I don't have any experience with that.

Oh and we are in California (between the Bay Area and Salinas)

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How big is your house? And how high are the ceilings?

    Bookmark   February 17, 2014 at 1:23PM
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Including a good brand of paint? And how many colors? Does that include the final sanding and drywall touchup (It should, and yes, that's needed even on new construction if you want a premium job.) Rolled or sprayed or a combo? Priming and two coats of paint IS 3x the labor of "just" a one coat paint. Something low quality thinned out even further with water and sprayed on haphazardly without touching the walls at all will have a much lower labor cost. The answer is in the details.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2014 at 2:06PM
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10 foot ceilings first floor
9 foot ceilings 2nd
no drywall or interior paint in the garage or attic

That's the thing. We don't want a premium job... a standard basic (what we've had in all our other boring spec homes before) is fine with us at this stage. :) I have plenty of Farrow and Ball paints planned for future decorating projects.

So given that we want a simple 1 color interior paint job, 1 color exterior paint job with white trim. Benjamin Moore Paint. Is 80k high? My research says it should be 40k or less, but I trust GW's more. ;)

    Bookmark   February 17, 2014 at 2:21PM
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What is your square footage?

    Bookmark   February 17, 2014 at 2:34PM
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4600 on 2 levels. No basement.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2014 at 2:37PM
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Wish I was help, but I'm sure others here are. Just thinking from the Midwest that would be 17.5% of the build cost on a $100 sq ft project. I'm sure your home is much more detailed than mine, but maybe my hubs needs to become a painter! Aside from that, when I ran one of those home building cost estimators on a 2500 sq ft home, I recall the painting being about 17K
Sounds like you may just be wanting the walls primed? That way they would be ready for all the colors you have picked out? I would tell your GC to get more bids based on your expectations of quality. For the 40K difference, it sounds like you are able to do the touchups? Good luck with your build!

    Bookmark   February 17, 2014 at 3:05PM
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I don't pretend to be "up" on the cost of painting, but my first house cost less than 80K. And it wasn't all that long ago!

    Bookmark   February 17, 2014 at 6:01PM
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Hi RHD, your quote sounds high, painting in our contract is under $60K. All in, our sq ft would be about the same as yours. One color exterior (+ porch ceiling), one color interior with different finishes + trim/windows.

I seem to recall you were having a rather large garage? -- is that included in the bid and perhaps a reason the number is higher than expected?

    Bookmark   February 17, 2014 at 6:11PM
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RHD, we're in one of the pricier parts of the bay area. 4700sqft house, 3 levels, mix of 10', 9' and 8'. Builder told us to expect between $60k (midlevel job) and $120k (best quality) for our job. A few colors but no fancy effects/faux finishes. I think cabinet finishing is included with this.

Other people in this thread should know that the SF area has a price distortion field. It will cost you 2-4x as much other parts of the country to build the same house. Even if you're on the fringes of the metro area or just outside it you are still using the same labor work pool and suppliers most likely.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2014 at 9:05PM
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Oaktown, thanks for sharing. Did you do a fixed price contract? Yes, we do have a decent sized 3 car garage... but our designer said we needed to do that as a minimum for the area to get a good appraisal... that could be the upcharge I'm seeing. The only strange thing about the exterior is we have a detached garage, so an extra wall to paint I suppose. Still seems awful high though. I'm almost tempted to go get 3 bids of my own like I did with cabinets and windows. Whew. I have to say though, that with windows it really paid off. After completely writing off wood windows as a possibility I went to HD and have a great fabulous quote for Wood Wright windows for a little more than my other vinyl quotes. Crazy what kind of discounts they offer with their bid room!

    Bookmark   February 18, 2014 at 12:05AM
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RHD, we are fixed + allowances (so basically cost plus) but paint is already set. We started last year, and our builder did say that prices have been going up because "everyone is busy" now.

I have this picture in my mind of your garage as a lovely barn that looks like it would have a hayloft -- now where did that come from? :-) Wish we had room for something like that.

Couldn't hurt to get other bids -- sounds like you struck gold with the windows!

    Bookmark   February 18, 2014 at 12:23AM
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Oaktown: Oh yes, that's us! How cool you remembered me! The hayloft won't be finished out for a while though... and I hear you on the space. We looked at lots everywhere from Atherton to Los Gatos to Santa Cruz... and couldn't find what we wanted without going really far down into agri - heaven. ;)

I think you are right about the building pace picking up - substantially. Our total bids are coming in at 600k OVER the exact square footage that someone on GW had built in the same area last year. I'm so glad you were able to get started before the craziness hit (again). Are your allowances for things other than fixtures?

    Bookmark   February 18, 2014 at 2:12AM
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Our interior 3 tone paint was bid at $35000. Our home is 6700 sq ft not including the garage or basement. Plus, the cabinets are not part of our bid. We have 3 vaulted rooms, 10' first level, and 9' second level.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2014 at 10:29AM
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Bids on our place at 2/3 the size came in at $12K for the exterior and $18K for the interior. This is with 8, 9, and 11 ft ceilings, using four colors on the exterior and a half dozen inside. This is in the Boston area, not a cheap place to build.

I had the contractor do the exterior so that the pre-primed clapboards would get a first coat on all sides. I did (well, am doing) the interior myself. Primer and two coats on all of the walls and ceilings took about 10 days total. All the doors and woodwork has been another five so far, but I'm only a third of the way through. The Craftsman style SDL windows are nice to look at, but a PITA to paint! Perhaps I'll get faster after another 20 of them. Finishing the painting awaits warmer weather when I can pop the sashes out of the frames for painting. I'm not sure that painting all of those muntins is really worth the savings.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2014 at 2:23PM
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That is crazy expensive. You can buy a house for that. I think you would be foolish not to get a number of clearly detailed bids.

What paint line are you using?

    Bookmark   February 18, 2014 at 5:46PM
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Sophie Wheeler

''You can buy a house for that.''

Mabe in rural America, but no, you can't even buy a condo in a bad neighborhood for 60K in that area of the country. On a multi million dollar build in that locale, it's actually maybe only a tad high. And if the contractor has a great reputation, he might be worth the premium.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2014 at 7:28PM
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All these responses are so helpful. Thank you everyone!

Benjamin Moore. But I'm open to whatever the painting contractor likes to use honestly.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2014 at 7:37PM
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hollysprings: You are right about the cost of living being higher, but we are an hour commute south of San Jose and very far (not commutable distance really) to SF... Salinas is closer. The builder we are talking to built a house with the same square footage, 3 car garage, within 10 miles, 10 months ago for 720k. Our designer did that house as well. So these prices are a pretty big jump from that (nearly twice!)... it certainly wasn't embarked upon as a million dollar build, let alone a multi million dollar build. The appraisal would never support that. But we researched building costs to death last year and confirmed with our designer as to expectations. (It wasn't his fault the building climate changed so rapidly) So in light of that 80 k seems ridiculously high. My gut tells me 50k is a fair number that would provide the painting contractor with a good wage along with his staff... at least in that particular area.

All that being said... oh how lucky I feel to be going through this process at all. I've met so many great honest people. I'm glad the building climate is shifting and these business that were once suffering now have solid work lining up. This makes me very very happy.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2014 at 8:01PM
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I know this wont be helpful but I can't resist..

Our bid was a week of work off and on with extended family and 400 Tylenol.


    Bookmark   February 18, 2014 at 8:36PM
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Wasn't meaning in SF.

Is it their top line, Aura? Get multiple detailed breakdowns.

If you switch brands, the colors will likely not be wuite the same. FYI

    Bookmark   February 18, 2014 at 9:57PM
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Good luck spending only $80k for painting on a house in Atherton btw! That's the land of the $10M+ spec house.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2014 at 11:22PM
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Rh......that price is 'outrageous' even for Ca!! That's being gouged!! Are you an O/B or is this price going thru your GC? Are they union there? I built a house in the Charlotte NC area 6 yrs ago with 3900sf. Vaulted in GR, 2 story in foror, 10' on first, 9' on second. Filled in all nail holes in crown and base, sanded. Price was $2.15/sf x 3900sf. Crown thruout first floor, 5 dif colors, next to the highest grade you could get. This was just for the inside of house. It should actually be less for the outside. You need to get several more quotes!

    Bookmark   February 18, 2014 at 11:35PM
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The area is expensive even within California. San Jose minimum wage is $10.15/hr. San Francisco minimum wage is $10.74/hr and there is talk of an increase to over $15/hr. And as Caben points out, some areas command an additional premium. (A friend who lives there jokes that there is an unwritten "Atherton markup" that service providers add for any job in 94027.)

But I agree that it would be useful to get other bids.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2014 at 1:10AM
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I think for people outside the area some of the costs seem very high. I am in the Bay area also and when I talk to my brother in the different state he is shocked at the prices.

Red, I think 80K is still seems high and getting a couple of bids will be helpful. One thing that could be driving the cost up is the painting the cement board siding on the exterior?

    Bookmark   February 19, 2014 at 2:31AM
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Rh.....the more I think about it, since the GC said the price for painting out by the moon at 80k, ask him to deduct that from his quote and you can get that on your own. You don't need paint to get a CO. I know CA is in another world out there but that is nothing but a scam which seems CA is very fond of. If the painter made $20/hr and there were 5 painters working for a WHOLE month which is 'insane' that would amount to $16k for labor. Lets say you needed 150 gal of paint which is wayyyyyy over estimating how much you would need and it cost $75/gal which is also 'insane' would amount to $11,250 for a total of $27,250 for LABOR & MATERIALS!!!

    Bookmark   February 20, 2014 at 11:24PM
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Robin, as several people have already explained in this thread, high prices are the norm in the SF area. I can attest from experience that this price range is normal for a high end home of this size with a quality painter. That it seems high compared to another part of the US with a cost of living an order of magnitude lower does not automatically make it a scam.

Many custom home builders in this area also build to a much higher standard than the national average. You should check with your builder to see what this includes, and if you're willing to sacrifice some quality control/prep for cost. I think that's a totally fair trade-off.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2014 at 12:00AM
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robin0919, my husband would say that California has lots of "scams"! I hear a lot of complaints about Title 24 not to mention our local building requirements . . .

The Air Resources Board has imposed strict VOC limits, so paint is expensive. There's a tax/surcharge on paint to pay for the state's paint recycling program, so paint is expensive. etc., etc.

Also, keep in mind that if the fellow/gal doing the painting is getting paid $20/hr, the company still has to pay for equipment, insurance, taxes, office overhead (those folks also need to eat), meeting licensing requirements (not needed in a number of states) and of course they want to make a profit too! Unless you're willing to DIY, the best you can do is shop around.

Here's hoping redheadeddaughter gets a much better number!

    Bookmark   February 21, 2014 at 12:50AM
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Caben, You would be correct if we were talking about any place near silicon valley. The home prices support that kind of fleecing. :) But the price per square foot where we are building is about 300 per square foot vs. the 5-600+ per square foot you see an hour north. This area is quite humble (I like that), and prices are less for everything from eggs to antiques to service for you car. That's why I'm surprised. People were building houses in my location with painting bids a fraction of my current estimate, not 10 months ago - so I don't think it's the greenbuild requirements (no voc) or licensing requirements or the recycling charge. Those have been there for a while. And I've had interior whole house bids for under 10k in other parts of CA. Hmmmm. I'm happy to be giving the contractor honest pay for honest work, but I also don't want to be funding his 4 month vacation in Bermuda. The cost of living is much less south of SV, and north of Santa Barbara- California has some hidden gems!

Maybe it's my hayloft? ;) I may be looking at alot of DIY... and that's okay. It's just another excuse to be at the build site.... I'm going to be such a pest as things go up. It's just so interesting to me!

If I were building in Atherton, I wouldn't be sweating things like painting bids, I'm sure.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2014 at 2:54AM
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Red, even though you are an hour south of San Jose, I am guessing you may now be competing with Silicon Valley projects for the trades' time, given how busy I hear everyone is. Our finish carpenter is from Salinas and our framers are from near Sacramento (!). Our contractor says they are having a hard time getting a bid from a landscape sub because we're still a few months out, when last year they had folks calling them looking for work.

Good luck with your other bids. If you're thinking about budget, would you consider any of the prepainted Hardie siding? Or maybe they don't have the right colors.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2014 at 10:07AM
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Oaktown, I'm sure you are right. I'm hearing similar stories. It's also entirely possible that the subs were doing work for much less just to scrape by for a few years, and are now at their "real cost." I think I looked at the Hardie siding, but I couldn't find LRV numbers on them and the county needs to see that. I might try calling the company though, know that you mentioned it! Thanks.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2014 at 10:49AM
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Oaktown - yes that was my point earlier. I think most large custom home jobs in this area are in a few specific communities in SV. There is a population of subs in the broader geographical area, and they're used to charging to serve those communities. You might expect some slight discount by being outside of 9402[2,4,5,7,8]'s cloud cuckoo land, but some of the fundamentals remain unchanged.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2014 at 10:54AM
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Resurrecting an older post. Wow! That's scary high. I'm in Los Gatos and about to start my second remodel (not rebuild but close!). I'm also a realtor and get quotes for painting all the time. I would have a hard time keeping a straight face if I got a quote like that.

My 2800 Sq Ft project has had quotes ranging from $12K to $35K for entire interior and exterior. Most are coming in around the lower end of that scale. Might still DIY or use my handyman who's very cheap and about 90% there on quality. I'm fine with that, I can touch up if something bugs me (it never does in the end).

On our 1000 Sq Ft addition with 1800 Sq Ft remodel we've had 3 bids in 800K+ range. LG tax sounds as bad as Atherton tax ;) Our preferred builder is going to be about 60% of that.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2014 at 12:00AM
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Gail, Is there any way I could get in touch with you via email? I can't seem to send a message through Gardenweb.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2014 at 1:10AM
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I just reviewed our paperwork- The painting contract price is listed at just over 40k. We can choose a different color for every room, but one trim color. This also includes staining for the things we have stained (some cabinets, beams, main door, newel post, a bench top). I think the painting of the other cabinets is not part of this price. In my cabinetry quote I remember the finishing cost was around 3-4K .

I am also unsure whether this price includes the painting of our hardi board and batten outside, but I coudn't see another place where painting of exterior was listed.

The paint quoted for the walls is promar 200. They do a catalyzed lacquer on the cabinets. We are looking to upgrade the paint maybe. I was quoted the promar 200 eggshell as 20/gallon and Superpaint as 40/gallon. Also I have been told over and over how awesome these painters are (by people within the builder staff and also the clients we checked as references).

    Bookmark   May 2, 2014 at 7:27AM
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Our house was just finished in November.

4,668 sq feet. One story. Two 2 car garages, one has a breezeway to the house. Ceilings go from 10-14'. We have alot of custom stained beam work inside and out - beams and tongue n' groove. Crown molding throughout and 8 inch baseboards. Included 3 custom built-ins (2 for entertianment areas 12 feet long) and 1 for 10 foot mud room area.
Sherwin Williams super paint for exterior.
Sherwin Williams interior (mid grade).

Primed, sprayed and back rolled. NOT a perfect job as I expected... Did touch up myself. Some areas still bother me where it "flashed."

Interior of garages and all storage areas (2 outside closets) were all painted too. Lots of trimwork throughout the house included 24 exterior columns.

43K (Florida)

    Bookmark   May 2, 2014 at 10:49AM
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My completed paint cost last year was right at $8,000.00 for the interior. This was for a total of almost 3,000 square feet plus we had the garage painted and it is 650 square feet. We had oversize base and casing trim and all windows were also cased....9' ceilings in most rooms but valuted great room and 2 rooms with coffered ceilings with crown. Same color walls through most of our home with the exception of the bathrooms...ceilings painted one color.

I had estimated $2.00 a square foot but ran a little higher and one of the reasons was because our builder had all the closets painted the same color as most walls (light gray)and my wife wanted the closets all white.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2014 at 3:39PM
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