Anyone want to take a guess on PAINTING this old house?

sarahandbrayAugust 6, 2012

Here's our 1860's-70's Victorian near Albany, NY--picture is from the 1940's but it currently has aluminum siding over this original wood siding.

All the paint will be white and then dark green shutters will be added.

The house is about 3200sf on the main two levels.

We are getting rid of the 1950's storms and replacing with new white storms but thinking we should wait until the paint job is done (therefore not worrying about taping windows).

Assuming the wood is in "good" shape for being 140+ years old, any guesses/ballpark on cost??


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Well, considering my SIL spent about $ 70,000 to paint a small colonial house (inside and out), and that one is at least 4 times the size, with a lot more detail work.... I'd guess between 120-150 would be a conservative estimate for the exterior? Possibly more?

But then, even though I saw the receipts, SIL is a liar, and maybe she was getting kickbacks from the contractor. Also, whatever she did pay was surely overpriced, because the house is in a very snooty, upscale colonial town where everything is always overpriced just because of the address.

Really gorgeous house, though--hope you find someone good who does fantastic work at a reasonable rate. It's going to be lovely when finished (heck, it's lovely now!)

    Bookmark   August 6, 2012 at 9:01PM
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We have a similar 1880s Victorian house in a somewhat rural area in Maine. Slightly smaller than yours with the same railings and shingles, it cost about $30,000 to do some minor repairs, scrape, prime and apply two coats of brushed-on white paint. That was in 2004.

Your house is beautiful!

    Bookmark   August 6, 2012 at 11:56PM
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Christopher Nelson Wallcovering and Painting

The op says it is currently aluminum siding ,so I think these 2 prices are just a little much. There is no way in he!! for anybody here to tell without an up dated pic. Even with that, you just need to call local painters and get quotes. Go to you're local REAL paint store and ask for recommendations.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2012 at 4:19AM
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Thanks for the responses!
We don't know the condition of the original siding yet without pulling the aluminum off and are half excited/half scared to do so. The siding in the photo is the original wood siding, which is now underneath aluminum and has been since the 1950's.

Luckily, my husband's grandfather (who owned the house when the aluminum was put on) had the foresight not to cover or cut any of the trimwork, so we can see that it is all in good shape, but desperately needing a paint job.

I have been collecting names of local independent painters to get a few quotes on the house once we get the aluminum off. We will (hopefully!) be doing this part ourselves and getting the $$ back from a local recycling plant.

Just was kind of looking for a ballpark, assuming regular wear & tear on the house--house is not "complicated" in the fact that it really is just a big rectangle and will be solid white, save for the shutters.

Our quotes on removing aluminum siding, getting vinyl siding, new storms, and shutters were all around $40-45K. REALLY don't want to do this--but also don't want to spend every summer and weekend on scaffolding painting either!

What a conundrum...


    Bookmark   August 7, 2012 at 7:30AM
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Hey Sarah !! welcome back :) How have you been ??? What have you been doing on the inside ? I sure did love seeing your home and have often wondered what was going on in your life. Hope all is well . c

    Bookmark   August 7, 2012 at 1:33PM
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I have a small Cape Cod in Ohio that has aluminum siding installed in 1970 over the original wood siding (built in 1954). I found sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo much damage! I don't think the art of installing aluminum siding had been perfected yet in 1970 - either that, or whoever installed it just didn't care. The aluminum wasn't even close to water tight. So much water got behind it and damaged the wood. GOOD LUCK and I hope you find something better under your aluminum!

    Bookmark   August 7, 2012 at 5:55PM
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Thanks, everyone! And great to see your name again, trailrunner!!
Our current projects are the siding (we ripped off a small section and it looks good so far...fingers crossed and pics to follow) and our home office, which used to be the apartment kitchen when people had converted this into a two-family. Waiting on cabinets and then that should be done before school starts, hopefully!
We've also finished our upstairs bathroom (that was gutted to the studs) and have installed central A/C upstairs. Kids rooms are done as is guest room and we put in big IKEA wardrobes in our master bedroom (huge house, teeny closets!).
Other than that, we haven't done a ton. Still have a list a mile long of projects, but I have a feeling the number of things on that list will never really go down!
I guess we have done a lot, though it feels S-L-O-W--but we have a limited budget, full-time teaching jobs, and three little kids, so it's to be expected!

Off to download some pics to show you the siding, finally released from 60 years of being covered by aluminum!


    Bookmark   August 9, 2012 at 7:01PM
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Wow, Sarah, you have done a lot!

I forgot to mention in my post about our paint job that the price included caulking 30 old windows and installing new storm windows on top of them.

At any rate, you're getting some estimates so you'll get an accurate idea of what to expect.

I hope the aluminum siding managed to protect your wood siding. Good luck!

    Bookmark   August 11, 2012 at 1:07AM
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You should be able to get a few dollars for the scape siding. A good paint job on a home is all about the preparation. Wood that old will have to really be looked over and sand, calk, fix bad areas. A good, honest painter won't take short cuts and wants to look good for a job that big. Also, a good quality paint is not cheap but will give you years of protection for your home. The paint alone will be 25-40 dollars a gallon, depending how much of a discount the painter gets from the paint store. So go to the paint store and talk to them about this job. They will make some recommendations on different paints, preparation, give you an idea of coverage per gallon. Then figure out the sq footage of the job so you can see how much the contractor is going to charge for labor. Read up on the different brands of paint, etc..I went with Porter Paints on a big fence job I had to paint and I am very happy with that paint brand. But there are several good brands out there. Some painters have their own favorites so if you painter suggests a certain brand ask him why he likes that brand. Get some recommendations for good painters and at least 5-7 bids. Good luck!

    Bookmark   August 12, 2012 at 5:47AM
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Quote number one comes from a sign I saw on a Victorian home I LOVE in a neighboring village. He came over today and, based on the exposed section we have uncovered, gave me a quote.
Whole house scraped, primed, painted w/two coats of Sherwin Williams Emerald paint. All holes from blown-in insulation and nails patched.
3-4 weeks to complete.

What do you think? Obviously, it will depend on the shape the rest of the siding, but I thought that was a fair number.

What other questions should I ask?

Thanks again!

    Bookmark   August 19, 2012 at 1:01AM
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Sounds like a reasonable price. Does it include the paint and primer? I assume any unexpected repairs under the siding would be extra.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2012 at 12:18PM
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Yes, that includes the primer and two coats of paint but not the repairs--he said he works with two different contractors should he run into rotted/damaged wood--one a more basic handyman and the other a more historic contractor. That would be above and beyond the $8200.

I actually thought the price would be around $15,000 because the house is so large, so this was a pleasant surprise! Been poking around with friends and neighbors and the local paint store to see if anyone has heard bad/good things about the guy. Love his current project...but is that enough to go on? Probably not...

    Bookmark   August 19, 2012 at 1:18PM
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Oh and here's a pic that I added in another thread of the aluminum coming off and the siding underneath.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2012 at 1:50PM
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Hmmm,,,,if he is working alone at 40 hr week for 4 weeks that is 160 man hours..or 50.00 per hr and then $200 for paint or there about. That doesn't seem like anywhere near enough to charge given paint costs and if he hires someone else what is he going to pay that person. I would want a better break down to see how he can charge so little.

I know my painter was $35 an hour for each of them and that was 6 yrs ago...they were fantastic but it was also in the house...although I believe he did charge the same outside too.

At least get a complete breakdown of his price and also talk at length to the current homeowner . c

    Bookmark   August 20, 2012 at 5:27PM
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Thanks, trailrunner!! Always value your opinion!
I got a contract e-mailed to me and it spells everything out in terms of prep, scraping, painting, sanding, filling holes, paint specifics for the SW primer and for the two coats of Emerald SW exterior--basically any color scheme I want--though it's going to be some combination of green and white.
I'm quite pleased with the guy and the price--and he is insured, which I checked on today. He's a bus driver full-time, so he would paint in the day between runs and in the evenings, which doesn't bother me.
The Victorian in Delmar he's painting looks lovely and this is the 6th job for that homeowner--he also had this painter do several other properties he's owned.

I may get a couple of other quotes, but I just don't see how they would beat this, to be honest. His discussion of what's needed in the prepwork seemed spot-on and I did some poking around locally and on the internet for complaints. Fingers crossed--I do like the number compared to what I thought it would cost.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2012 at 5:38PM
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