You know how everyone looks better with the glow of a fresh tan? Or how a great haircut makes you stand up just a bit taller? Or how a pair of fierce new boots makes you walk into a room like you own it? Well this past summer our house got all of those and now looks brighter, bigger, and acts like it OWNS this street (haha more like it is now the brightest house so it kinda sticks out…)
From what we know our lil farmhouse has always been a cheery yellow, but lack of a fresh coat of paint for (by my estimation) the past 15 years has turned it to a creamy-yellowing-off white-BLAH. Not to mention terrible amounts of peeling LEAD paint (hello lawsuit should the neighbor kids get hungry!) and droopy shudders that made our house just look, well, sad L
We originally wanted to re-do the entire exterior in a vinyl siding or Hardieboard (a type of fiber-cement siding that is probably the best type of siding you can use). Since both types can go up right over the original cedar shake siding, they would have allowed us to add a layer of insulation between the old and new layers. This would have been wonderful considering our house has ZERO exterior wall insulation as evidence by our $400 gas bills…sighhhh. Anyway the vinyl would have cost around $13 – $18K and the cement board around $20K so they were both, unfortunately, out of the budget.
*Side note: If we knew we would definitely be staying in this house for a minimum 5 – 10 more years we would have made the investment now and easily recouped it when we sold. But we are young and might need a bigger place in that time frame so opted for a fresh coat of paint instead
The first order of business was to get some estimates from local painters. I used Angie’s List as my source for contacts and carefully read reviews before calling four painters to come out and give us estimates. Since I was home for the summer, I made all the calls, set up appointments, and reported back to the hubs. Things I was looking for when they came out:
1. Were they professional and friendly? Did they have refs? (I had Angie’s List reviews too)
2. Did they give me a detailed list of what they would actually do and what materials they would use? (i.e. I didn’t want any surprise costs later on or cheap paint)
3. When could they start and how long would it take? (I made these calls in early June and we wanted it done by end of July)
So here are the results of the estimates
*I omitted names except the painter we chose because some of these guys were kinda scary!
– Good reviews and has been used extensively in our neighborhood. Experienced with old homes
– Could start end of June and take 1.5 – 2wks
– Dropped off nice, typed, detailed estimate 2 days after our appt
– Estimate: $6500
– Certified to work with lead paint
– Stopped by and did estimate while I was not there despite my wishes otherwise (thus we did not discuss specifics)
– Dropped off typed estimate within a few days that was not very detailed; could start right away
– Estimate: $6900
– *heard stories later on about his staff showing up to jobs drunk and rarely working a full day!
– Came by soon after I called and acted like he was on some sort of illegal substance and reeked of booze
– Would only give me a verbal estimate after looking at the house for about 2mins
– Couldn’t start until July 11th
– Estimate: $4500
– Very friendly and spent a good amount of time writing up a detailed estimate (and went over each item with me)
– Mentioned his business was fairly new and had only 2 – 3 workers plus himself
– Couldn’t start until July 12th
– Estimate: $4, 150*
– *Later learned he can keep his prices low because he does mostly residential painting and has little overhead costs which assuaged my “you get what you pay for” fears
We obviously (due to price or just plain unprofessionalism!) went with Painter #4 which was K&W Painting owned and operated by Kevin Wheelous. Kevin was very friendly, easy to get a hold of (phone or text), and kept us updated throughout the entire process. He went above and beyond what we expected. He even helped me move some radiators when he saw me struggling with them one day. Kevin and his crew cleaned up everything beautifully (no paint chips on the lawn, paint cans stacked nicely on the porch) and since we left on vacation before they finished, he even called me when we returned to see if everything was to our liking. Would HIGHLY recommend!
Kevin’s estimate included:
powerwashing the exterior
scraping away all peeling paint
priming and painting all trim, siding, and brick foundation (including the window muttons and soffits)
removing our old shutters and the heinous awning over a back window
installing the new shutters
getting all the “stuck” windows to open (many layers paint had sealed many shut)
He thought about 10 – 14 days to complete the project which was accurate even with 2 rain day delays. Kevin recommended using either Sherwin-Williams “Duration” or “A100” paint. The Duration line is the top recommended paint from Consumer Reports, but at $63/gallon, a bit pricey. Thus we went with the A100 at about $36/gallon and were even able to take advantage of SW’s July sale of 30% off! I was very pleased with the end result and although the “Duration” likely lasts a few more years before fading, I was looking more for a “5-yr fix” so quite glad we saved the money.
We decided to “keep is classy” and do the siding in yellow, trim in white, and brick foundation in black. We used a satin finish on the siding and brick and a gloss finish for the trim. Helpful hint: using lower-gloss but not flat/matte gives enough reflection to hide the imperfections without being too shiny! The specific SW colors we chose were:
Yellow* = SW “Lantern Light” (#SW6687) – satin
Black = SW Tricorn Black (#SW6258) – satin
White = SW White (#SW7035) – gloss
*Choosing a yellow paint is damn near the hardest color to find the right shade. We originally had Kevin purchase SW#6681 “Butter Up” but after doing some test spots on the siding we determined it was too “submarine” for our liking. So we ate another $250 and got a few shades lighter with “Lantern Light” which is still a bit brighter than what I was going for but should lighten from a sun in a year or two. The SW rep actually recommended SW#6686 “Lemon Chiffon” and said that was a popular yellow for exteriors. I didn’t listen since it looked too beige…Lesson learned: spend $25 on the $5/each paint samples and test them first!!!!
$4,150 – K&W Painting (see list above)
$250 – “oops paint”
$50 – a few extras like fixing broken window panes
$300/ free – cost of shutters that were a anniversary gift from my parents (3 pairs were standard size an available at Home Depot; two pairs were special order size)
Here are BEFORE/AFTER pics of our new exterior. Notice how much “happier” the house looks J I will update you on the extra touches we did (doors, lights, etc) soon!