The Dangers of a Cheap House Painting Estimate

Nobody wants to spend more than they need to for house painting.  When you’re comparing house painting estimates, it is natural to be drawn towards the lowest bid.  However, is that actually the best deal?  Are there hidden dangers you need to be aware of?

Only a small percentage of your estimate turns  into profit for the owners.  The majority of what you pay goes into creating an excellent paint job, and a positive painting experience.  If a painting company gives you a cheap estimate, they have to be cutting their costs somewhere, which will inevitably lead to an unsatisfactory result.

So, how are these low numbers made possible?

Inferior Materials

you need quality paints for quality house painting

The price difference between budget paints and premium adds up quickly, leading some house painters to try to make more profit by using cheaper paints.  Quality is directly related to the price, however, and cheaper products just don’t hold up or perform to the same standard.

Quality paints provide truer colors, with more consistent coverage and a more attractive finish.  They also hold up better against wear and tear in an interior setting, and against the elements in an exterior setting.  This means that quality paint look better and last longer, giving you far more value for your money and protection for your investment.

Insufficient Preparation

a cheap house painting estimate may indicate insufficient preparation

For any painting company, one of their biggest costs is man-hours for surface preparation.  If the painters skip over or do a poor job at repairing and preparing the walls, they can save a lot of cash.

Every quality painter knows that excellent surface preparation is the key to an excellent paint job.  For interior painting, this involves filling holes, smoothing rough spots, and creating a fresh, even surface.  Skipping this stage means that the finished product will show every flaw and dent.  You will have a new color, but the walls will still look old.

With exterior painting, surface preparation is primarily concerned with making sure the substrates are structurally sound, and that the new coat of paint can adhere to them firmly.  To save time, a budget painter might paint right over rotting wood or failing paint, which will inevitably lead to the new paint failing very quickly.  This can also lead to leaks and further wood rot.

Another step that some companies might skip is priming.  Primer is not always necessary, but in many cases it is.  Primer is necessary if any wood, plaster, or drywall has been repaired.  It is also helpful for covering the previous color if you are putting a new color on the walls.  Finally, stain-blocking primers can help seal stains and odors so that they do not continue to affect the home interior.  Skipping the primer can have disastrous effects.

Poor Management

quality house painting requires a good office staff

Another way a painter can reduce payroll, and thus provide cheap estimates, is by reducing office staff.  The problem with this is that it makes their communication less effective, and their management more haphazard.

In order to provide an excellent painting experience, a quality house painter needs an effective office staff.  That way, someone is ready to answer when you call or email.  Your paperwork will be filed correctly, so that no important information will be lost or forgotten.  A good office staff promotes organized scheduling, so that you can believe the painters when they tell you when the project will start and finish.

No Licensing or Insurance


hire a certified, quality painting contractor

It takes time and money to maintain proper licensing and insurance for a painting company.  Anyone with a vehicle and a paintbrush can claim to be a house painter, but you need to know that you are working with a legitimate professional.  If a company is not licensed, or does not carry proper insurance, you are putting your family and your home at risk by hiring them.

Something else to look for is professional association.  For example, is the company a member of the PDCA, or some other organization that promotes industry standards and honest dealings?

Unskilled Painters

hire a quality house painter for your home

Training a painter in all the necessary skills requires an investment of time and money.  A reputable residential painter maintains a consistent painting staff, who receive a thorough education and on-the-job training.  Even once their initial training is done, they continue to receive education about products and processes, as well as refreshers on job safety.

A cheap house painting estimate may indicate that the contractor does not invest in the skills and knowledge of their employees.  Clearly, this leads to shoddy work and a poor overall experience.  It could even lead to unsafe work practices taking place in your home.

Unhappy Painters

Why should you care if the people painting your house are happy?  Well, there’s simple human kindness to begin with!  But beyond that, you are also likely to get better results from a painter who is happy with his or her job.

When employees feel that their company values them and is taking good care of them, they are much more willing to dedicate themselves to doing their work with excellence.  They are more likely to show up on time, work diligently, and do a good job with the details even when no one is looking.

house painting services

In contrast, employees that are poorly paid and undervalued are more likely to be slovenly in their work, cutting corners and putting in the least amount of effort they can get away with.  Additionally, a company with unhappy employees is likely to see frequent turnover.  As painters leave and new ones are hired, you are more likely to get untrained, rookie painters in your home.

Fair Estimates for an Excellent Painting Experience

At A.G. Williams Painting, we don’t claim to be the cheapest house painting company.  However, when you get an estimate from us you can be 100% confident of what you are getting:

  • Quality paints and materials
  • Thorough surface preparation
  • Organized, effective office management
  • Proper licensing and insurance
  • Regular training of all employees
  • Dependable, vetted, long-term, happy painters
  • Honesty, excellence, and great value

We have been providing excellent residential painting services since 1906, and thousands of satisfied customers can testify to our dedication to serving our clients well.  Based in Pelham, New York, we serve Westchester and Fairfield counties.

Remember, value does not mean the lowest price; it means getting excellent results at a fair price.  We trust that is what you will find when you work with A.G. Williams Painting Company.