Painting contractors typically measure and estimate the exterior painting work based upon the square feet of siding that needs to be painted.
To estimate the # of square feet of siding your property needs you will need to measure the vertical surface area of siding of all sides of the home.
The easiest way to measure the siding of a house is to break the surface areas down into sections.
Start by measuring the height and width of the simple shapes such as squares or rectangles.
Multiply the the height by the width to calculate the total square feet your need for each square section.
Note: Do not subtract window or door areas when calculating your siding areas. The extra square footage for the window or doors will be used for material waste in your siding contractors estimates.
Once you get the simple square and rectangular sections measured you will measure the gables, which are the triangular portions of siding that are on the end of gable roofs.
A gable wall section is basically two right-angle triangles that are sandwiched back-to-back. When you combine the right-angle triangles this creates a square or rectangular shape.
To measure a gable section, measure the height of the peak and measure the length of the halfway point of the gable triangle. Multiply the height by the width to calculate the area of the gable section.
Once you have calculated the square footage for each section you can calculate the total siding square footage for the entire house.
To estimate your budget for your siding you will multiply your Total Siding Square Footage by your budgeted costs per SF pricing based upon the type of siding material selected.
Although measuring the square footage of siding and multiplying the square footage by a unit price is generally the most accurate way of estimating the painting costs, you can also use a quick rule of thumb based upon the property size to calculate a rough budget.
Generally speaking, exterior painting costs fall in a price range of around $1.5 to $2.50/sf of the property square footage. So for a 1,500 sf property a house flipper should expect to pay between $2,250 to $3,750.
A painting crew can typically complete the painting on a one-story, 1,500 sf property in 2 to 4 days. Generally, the first day will be utilized for prep work to tape-off windows, scrape peeling paint, fix wood rot and caulk existing siding boards and trim. Once the property has been prepped, the painting crew can typically get the first coat completed the second day and apply the finish coat on the third day.
Exterior painting is a relatively simple and fairly inexpensive repair, however costs can vary substantially depending on the size of the property, type of siding, & the amount of amount of prep work the siding needs to mask windows, scrape peeling paint, fix wood rot and caulk existing siding boards and trim.
The type of siding being painted can affect the price of the painting. Concrete & masonry siding absorbs more paint than wood siding, so you will likely need multiple coats of paint which will increase the price.
Prep is generally the most time-consuming aspect of painting, so if your siding needs substantial scraping, caulking and masking it will increase the price.
In construction, there is a term called economies-of-scale. The larger the project, the more efficient the contractor can be painting the property which reduces the painting cost per square foot.
A painting crew can paint the siding on a one-story house from the ground much more efficiently than painting a multiple property that requires ladders, scaffolding or lift equipment.
A simple square, box-shaped home is easier and cheaper to paint than a house with gables, eaves, nooks and crannies.
The location where you are installing the siding will have a significant impact. If you are painting in downtown San Francisco the painting will obviously cost much more than the same roof being installed in Suburbia.
Spring and Summer is peak painting season and Painting Contractors are generally swamped with work, so if you are painting during this time you will likely pay a premium.
Painting contractors will generally provide an all inclusive bid to 'furnish and install' all labor and materials on the project including the paint materials.
Here is an example of how to write a Scope of Work that insures your Siding Contractor provides an all-inclusive bid.
All Exterior Painting work (including paint materials) is to be Contractor Purchased, Contractor Installed.