Friday, January 28, 2011

Have Your Maintenance Guys Been Pulling A Fast One On You?


One of the easiest ways for your maintenance guys to get one over on you is to overestimate the cost of paint and either return paint or use the additional they have on your next project or someone else's while billing you again for it. Yes, unfortunately we live in a world these days where everyone seems to always be trying to get one over on someone else. And knowing this you need to keep people on their toes and watch them closely.

It's easy to figure the exterior paint if you have the square footeage of the house. Most exterior paints say they cover 300 - 400 square feet but realistically for a good solid coat you really can count on about 200 square feet per gallon...... As long as they are using a halfway decent paint like Olympic Premium exterior paint. Not that Olympic Fast Hide garbage which is so watered down you will paint it 3 or 4 times to get a solid coat.

A 5 gallon bucket of Olympic Premium is going to run you about $105 these days and a one gallon about $22.

So for the exterior of a 1,500 square foot house they are going to need about 7.5 gallons for the walls and another 3 or so gallons for the trim depending on how many windows and doors there are. I would estimate around 11 gallons of paint needed and would subtract if the siding was a smooth surface like hardy board and add if it was a rough texture like never painted concrete, brick or cedar siding.

So on a 1,500 square foot house you're looking at about 2 five gallon buckets of paint and a one gallon totaling about $232 plus tax and at most $20 bucks for some roller covers, a cheap drop cloth or whatever other little things they need.

Interior can be a little more complicated but can be found out easily with this calculator.
Interior Paint Calculator

I find these calculators underestimate a little because they are basing their figures on what the paint manufacturers say their paint will cover (300sq ft per gallon) instead of the 200 sq ft per gallon that they really cover. If your contractor has materials costs well over these calculations you can pretty much be sure they are pulling a fast one on you. Unless we are talking about previously unpainted material that they will be painting which can almost double the cost of paint.

Exterior Paint Calculator

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