Why Can’t I Just Get a House Painting Estimate Over the Phone or by Email?

Getting a painting estimate over the phone or by email is not an accurate one.  We explain why it is best for the painter to visit the work area to see the job site in order to quote accurately.

Many people assume that all painting is the same.  That there is just a flat square footage rate for painting.  Explaining to potential clients that although we can provide a ballpark figure if they are just shopping around and on a budget, the best scenario and outcome is for the painter to actually see the job site.

painters preparing estimate of painting work for their client

A Painting Estimate and Quote

In order for a painter to know what exactly is involved in the scope of the painting work to be done, an appointment should be booked with the homeowner to view the job site.  This gives the opportunity for both the homeowners and the painters to meet and discuss the details of the job.

Several factors that are taken into consideration when providing a quote make the determining factors to providing accuracy over estimating by phone or email.

The following are just a few of the things a painting contractor will consider when preparing an quote for interior painting or exterior painting

  1. The condition of the walls.  Is there damage to the drywall that needs repairs
  2. The height of the ceilings and if there are embellishments such as crown molding
  3. Are there dark colours to be painted over.  Will the new paint colour be lighter or same dark shade as current one.  This makes a difference in how many coats of paint need to be applied, and for using a primer.
  4. How many colours will be used in the painting of the room or entire house.
  5. Is the trim, baseboards, crown molding, closets, cabinets included.  Will windows and doors need to be painted.
  6. Will there be furniture and window coverings that need to be moved or removed
  7. and finally the square footage of the area to be painted.

This is just the beginning of what is included in the pricing and cost to paint a room or house.  Does this give you a better understanding of why painters need to see the site before giving you an estimate.

Verbal Agreement vs. Written Contract

If all you get is a verbal price, then you are not doing your due diligence.  Getting more information than just a verbal price leaves you open to the extras and surprises when you are making the final decision on which painter to hire.  Most reputable painting contractors who provide you with a verbal estimate initially will usually follow up with a written agreement.

Here is some of the information that should be included in the quote.

The painting contractors contact details should be listed.  Having the company name, address, telephone number and website makes it easier for you to track, rather than having just some guy’s first name and a cell number, especially if they take a deposit and then they never show up.  A good reference as well is to see what other people’s experience has been if they have worked with this painter before.  Reading the reviews and testimonials can help you make the right decision.

A detailed list of the scope of work that will be done.  This includes any prep work they will do before painting and the process.

If you the homeowner forgot to ask the painter any questions such as what types of paint products they will use, will a primer be applied and what type of paint finish or sheen is best, then it can and should be included in your written estimate.

Get the start dates and a rough estimate as to when the painting will be completed.  Some painters can be booked up to six weeks in advance of being able to start your project, while others can be available the very next day.  The difference being between the booked way in advance and the ones that are available the next day is about the quality of their work vs they have no other job to go to.

The total costs should be outlines including hst taxes on the final total amount of the quote.

When you do decide on which painting company you want to work with,  making sure they are being honest in the products they are using and that you are not being scammed out of quality and quantity that you still may be paying for.

If you are needing a painting estimate from painters in Ottawa give us a call or email us and we will be happy to set up an appointment.


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This post was updated 27 August 2019 @ 130 PM