Before you have your property painted you will obviously want a written quote. A few painting contractors advertise their prices, however most professionals prefer to inspect each job individually. Here are a few of the common misunderstandings about quotes.

MYTH: Work can be quoted over the phone.

FACT: Many factors must be taken into consideration when quoting a job. Accessibility, the extent, and level of preparation required, the types and quantities of surfaces to be painted, and necessary repairs must all be considered. Without inspecting the job site, the estimator cannot give a quote, which accurately reflects the work to be done.

MYTH: The price for painting similar sized properties should be similar.

FACT: Other factors enter into the amount of work needed to perform a job. For example, two properties of similar size may have different architectural features. One may have a brick facade and aluminium windows, neither of which will need to be painted, while another may have weatherboard walls and wood windows. In the latter case, labour and material costs will be considerably higher because of the features on that property.

MYTH: The lowest price is always the best price.

FACT: As with anything, you get what you pay for. The low price may be based on the use of cheaper products, less preparation and, or the use of less skilled tradesmen.

MYTH: Using lower quality paints will dramatically reduce the cost of painting.

FACT: Material prices account for a small portion of the cost of painting, typically 8% to 12%. Labour is the largest portion of the cost. Using lower quality paint may save a few dollars per litre, but will result in a paint job, which will last considerably less time. In the long run, the additional money spent for quality materials is well worth the money.

FACT: Time and materials quotes (i.e., an hourly rate) are beneficial for the painter only.

MYTH: Some types of work are extremely difficult, if not impossible, to estimate. Touch up painting is one example. What the client and the painter believe should be touched up may differ considerably.

If the client only wants five hours of work done, but the painter sees 20 hours worth of work, the painter will submit a quote well beyond what the client wanted.

By requesting time and materials, the client can choose what level of touch up they want and the painter does not find himself in the position of touching up the entire property, when he thought only one room was involved.

Thus, time and materials quotes protect both the painter and the property owner.