(This is probably our most important page on this site, do spend some time here).
We offer FREE estimates, but only by email.
We charge a fee for an in person estimate.
Unfortunately, we find we need to do things this way due to:
"Painting Contractors" are not all alike - they are not all selling the same thing.
Please send us photographs of what it is you would have us price for you, so that we can see what it is you are talking about (Recent photographs of what it looks like right now - not what it looked like a few years ago).
The more photographs the better - try to get different angles and up close shots when necessary.
Please give us a description of what work you would have us do, including;
Photos of the entire area (or areas)
Areas of concern or of note.
Any finish type, manufacturer and / or color(s) you prefer we use.
When we respond back to you, we will send you an Idea of cost.
Our "Idea of cost" is usually spot-on, but only when we can see the entire scope of the work involved, so do your best to show us the work.
If you fail to show us the intricate detailed work, the cost could be higher than our quote.
In Person Estimates
Considering all the people who stumble upon our site, view or photos, realize we actually ARE the painters who will be coming out to do the work, - and would like to have us drive out and price their project; we choose not to run all around Virginia pricing work - because it is a lost cause; costing us money, time, wear and tear on the vehicle, taking time from our busy schedule, or our day off, etc...
Estimating companies (for all kinds of contractors) charge a fee, so do HVAC contractors, plumbing contractors, electricians, your auto mechanic - and you can't get an architect to come out and draw you up some blueprints for a house you may or may not buy - without paying a fee.
Their TIME is worth something, so is ours. Isn't yours?
The fee we charge is non-refundable and different for each Customer, and must be paid in cash immediately upon our arrival.
If you are local, we might waive the fee.
Determining the fee will depend on how far away you are, and how large a proposal we need to prepare for you, and is generally between $40 and $120 to come out and price your poject in person.
Well then; why do other painting contractors drive out and give free estimates?
Because they can.
Many "painting contractors" are not painters at all, they are salesmen and nothing more.
Their job is to land sales.
They drive around pricing work and collecting checks.
They keep half of the money for themselves, then use the remaining half to buy the materials and sub contract the work out; usually to inexperienced college kids (home for summer vacation), street corner day laborers, or illegal immigrants.
It's actually a great job. Driving around in airconditioning collecting money, doing nothing other than meeting people and getting money.
The only competition they have is against others who are doing the same thing.
...and we are not in that competition - because we do our own work.
The Price Curious
"Price" is secondary - Remember that
Although price is always a concern, it should not be your very first concern, nor should it be your only concern.
Your first concern should be; WHO is Qualified?
If you are price curious, You will find a broad range of pricing that is anywhere from a low $25 to a high $125 per hour, with most contractors priced somewhere in the middle, and our price is very much the same of what everyone else is charging.
Unfortunately, not everyone who advertises painting services is a painter, so even when you do find that great price, are you sure you're getting someone who knows what they're doing?
Those Who Are Comparing Prices
All Painters Are The Same ...Right?
Painting is not a commodity, and neither is deck cleaning / sealing / staining.
It can not be packaged and sold in a box on a store shelf with another store down the road offering the same product at a better price, and if you think that "anyone" can do what a professional painter does - you are only fooling yourself.
Comparative shopping works in many areas, but it does not work when looking for a painting contractor.
If you are comparing one contractor's price with another contractor's price, you need to make sure you are comparing a qualified painter with a qualified painter, or a sub contractor with a sub contractor, or a franchise with a franchise. You can not compare oranges with apples with lemons.
Those Getting Several Estimates
"Always Get Three Estimates" ...Really?
I don't know who originally said; "getting three estimates is always a good idea", but this statement is only partially correct.
If you need an electrician, a plumber, or an HVAC technician; you definately want to get three, if not several estimates. They won't come out and give you a free estimate, rather, they have a "service call fee" - so that they can inspect and determine your issues, and then they will give you an estimate for the work - but you will pay the service call fee regardless if you hire them to do the work or not.
These tradesmen will be working on and / or installing the exact same devices. They have job performance rules and standards they are required to follow.
Other than having a business license, each one of these is properly trained in their field of work and carries certification that they are authorized to do their job, "proof" that they are experts and fully capable of working their trade.
Each electrical contractor, each plumbing contractor, and each heating / air-conditioning contractor has their own price, so it makes sense to get several estimates; because one of them has a better price than the other - even though they all are offering the same service.
...but what about a painter or drywall / painting contractor?
What about someone who cleans and seals fences and decks?
There is no certification.
Anyone can start up a painting business or deck cleaning / staining company, or go into the field of fixing drywall, or power washing houses - and they don't need experience in the field, all they need is to obtain proper licensing.
This means that when you are getting several estimates to have your deck sealed, or your house painted, not only will the pricing be different;
...but now you need to figure out which ones are actually qualified, which ones are real, and which ones are just advertising/marketing businesses out to make money by selling your project to the lowest bidder.
Your best solution is to research them.
See how long they've been in business.
Read "their" reviews (not the reviews they themselves wrote, or their family wrote, or quotes found on their webpage - read reviews that are from real people).
Look at examples of their work. One or two pictures is not enough, a true painter is proud to show off complete albums.
You really should do some research before you consider spending your money.
The "Tire Kickers"
Oh What FUN...
Tire-kickers are people who aren't going to use our services anyway, they're just checking us out.
Tire kickers interrogate, ask lots of questions, never commit.
When we meet with a tire kicker, they waste endless hours in person or on the phone, looking for the professional solution, asking about techniques, the products we would use - which is the best product, and why we would choose one brand over the other.
After we waste our time driving out to meet with them, answering their questions, taking notes, and spending time putting together a detailed written estimate for the work;
...we never hear from them again - not even a simple "thank you for your time".
Those Getting Insurance Quotes
Price it for us ...Please!!
Sometimes insurance companies require home owners to get a few written estimates (on "Company letterhead") from legitimate painting contractors; in order for the homeowner to collect the insurance check.
...so the homeowner calls up a few qualified painting contractors and has them come out and price the work.
After submitting the contractor's pricing to the insurance company, the homeowner collects the insurance check.
Now that the homeowner has the check, many homeowners either hire the cheapest contractor they can find, or they do the work themselves, or they just don't do the work at all; and keep the money.
How nice of us to help them get their money - while we waste our time and get nothing.
The "Firm Price Quote"
Not Gonna Happen...
After discussing the cost of a project through email and/or telephone conversation, and with the homeowner finding our price quote agreeable, they would then have us drive out and give them a more "firm price" by "viewing the project in person" .
Sounds like we pretty much got this in the bag. Sounds like the homeowner likes the email estimate we gave them, and are going to hire us,
...they just wants to pinpoint an exact; - a more precise cost.
...and all we have to do is;
drive out on our day off - or when we have time - meet with them; walk their project, take notes, drive back, put together a detailed proposal, send it to them; ...and we got the job!
...now that they have that firm price!
...but that's not what happens, and that's not how it's been working.
After we arrive; the project we discussed no longer exists, or the price discussed is now all of a sudden lower, or we are asked to price some other project that is most urgent (and needs to be done right away), along with "we will call you later in the year to do these other things we initially discussed".
The reality is:
We don't "have the job in the bag"; we have no contract, there is no obligation, there is no commitment.
Asking us to come out and give you a "firm price" after already discussing the cost; is just one way - to have us come out and give an "in person" estimate and avoid paying for our time and mileage (our estimate fee).
We've been there and done that (too many times); a complete waste of our time.
It's just one reason we charge a fee for an "in-person" estimate .
...even if you just want us to come out and give you a more "firm price", or to have us "get a better look at your project in person";
we don't do that
...unless you are willing to pay for our time, (because we already know) it's not our project just yet.
You really should research who you are considering to hire.
Our Competition includes...
- Honest experienced qualifiable legitimate licensed painters and contractors.
- ...those who are not what they appear to be.
Due to the economy, there are many new start-up companies (and many contractors who sub their work out) who have no idea of what a fair price would be to charge for painting, drywall or deck sealing.
In order to find out; they call several real contractors for their "free estimates", and they end up getting a pretty good idea - and the poor contractor who drove out to price the work just wasted his time and shared his pricing methods.