January 12, 2015
We often get a call where someone request a per square meter price for painting as they have been quoted a per square meter price by someone else.
Often unscrupulous paint contractors give a per square meter price to get the job, but once on the job there is all kind of “extras” as the client never disclosed certain details.
The following can influence quotes drastically:
- Quality of paint can range from R350 (cheap and nasty) to R1800 or more if tinted into deep colors.
- Interior or exterior – straight forward exterior walls is normally a lot quicker to paint than interior walls where carpets and furnishings need to be protected.
- Preparation – preparation can be up to 30% – 40% (if building is in bad condition) or more of the cost of the whole project depending on the condition of the surface that needs painting.
- Intricacy– large flat surfaces is a lot easier and takes less time than a face brick (yes people do paint them) wall or other rough walls like scratch plaster. The piles of the roller are not long enough to reach in between the bricks and a brush is needed to get to all the nooks and crannies. More labour intensive means more costly.
- Height of walls & ceilings – standard walls that can be reached with a step ladder goes a lot quicker than when an extension ladder is needed. Walls higher than 8 meters need a larger extension ladder which is more time consuming to move as two people is needed every time you need to move this ladder.
- Furnishing – An unfurnished property is a lot quicker to paint than a furnished property. A house which is sparsely furnished is easier and less time consuming than a house full of heavy furnishings. Elaborate blinds and curtains all take time to remove and replace, which adds to the labour costs.
- Woodwork- Houses with a lot of woodwork, specifically small pane windows, takes quite a bit longer than houses with large pane windows.
- Aluminum windows – A house with aluminum windows all round is a lot quicker to paint than a house with natural wood or painted window frames.
- Exposed sprockets- Visible rafters under the roof which is normally covered by a soffit are a lot more time consuming than soffits.
- Cornish – Intricate Cornish and ceilings in a house can be time consuming as it is also labour intensive.
- Many colors – When painting many different colors in a house, quite a bit of paint is wasted as often only half of a 5l is used. It also takes time for a painter between colors to wash his roller, brushes and the container he works out of.
- Burglar bars – Burglar bars and other detail like steel gates and fencing is quite labour intensive and can add to cost.
- Awnings, fragile roofs and glass skylights – Where wide aluminum awnings cover stoeps and windows, the areas above the awnings or canopies might be difficult to access which again become labour intensive. Glass covered atriums can also pose a risk and needs extra care.
- Vegetation- heavy brush growth up against wall that needs painting can cause considerable extra labour and this is more costly.
- Cracks and damp areas – It is very easy to just fill a crack or paint over damp areas, however repairing a crack or treating a damp area properly takes time and skill of years’ experience. Some coats of paint will temporarily cover a crack until the next very hot day when it will simply open again as the building expand and contract because if extreme temperatures.
If all the above is taken in consideration and two houses is compared, one easy without frills and another with all the complications the price difference can be over 200%.
Taking all the above into consideration, it is easy to understand that it is risky to accept a ‘per square meter’ price.
For this reason we recommend an inspection and detailed quotation.