How Much Does It Cost to Paint Exterior Trim?

The Cost to Paint the Exterior of a House

cost to paint the exterior of a houseWhen you pull into the driveway and look at your house, do you see mildew? Is the paint starting to fade or peel?  Have the shutters faded to a dull oxidized version of their old self?  Is the wood starting to rot?  Is the house screaming at you for a fresh coat of paint and you’re wondering what will it cost to paint the exterior of a house?

The good news is, when you shut the front door, you can’t hear the screams and cries of your trim and siding begging for a fresh coat of paint.  Out of sight out of mind quickly wins the battle until next time, and next time and then finally you ask “What is it going to cost to paint the exterior of my home?”

You see a painting contractor working down the street and you ask for an estimate on your home.  He measures and calculates and sends you a proposal and unless you get a few more estimates you really don’t know if the exterior painting price is fair.  It’s not like getting a transmission replaced on your car where everyone must use the same parts and the process is all done the same way. If everything is done properly, your transmission is going to last about 100,000 miles.  In painting the exterior of your house, the price is going to be determined by many different factors.

Home Exterior Estimate Method #1

By measuring and attributing the cost to the difficulty and amount of exterior painting a professional painter can determine a rough estimate for the exterior of your home.

Key Factors Considered When Estimating the Cost to Paint Your Home’s Exterior

The height of your home – 2nd-floor work will take between 20% – and 30% longer to paint than the same work on the first floor.  Tall gables that require a 40’ ladder can also add even more to the cost of exterior painting.

Dormers on your 2nd-floor roof (add between $100.00 – 200 per dormer). Because the exterior conditions are much harsher, and the sloop is difficult to work on the cost will be higher than standard surfaces.  It is a good idea to pay the extra cost to have all surfaces primed and double coated.

The sloop of your land – difficult terrain to negotiate a ladder can add cost between 5% and 25% in extreme cases.  fences, cliffs, working over porches, and other obstacles need to be considered.

Window sashes – window sashes are the moving parts of the window.  Depending on if the window is a single pane glass and needs minimal prep work the cost could be around $30.00 per window.  If the window is a 6 over 6 window and needs to be re-glazed the cost could be upwards of $150.00 per window.

Soffits, fascia boards, and rake boards – this is challenging to give a detailed exterior cost for these trim boards because it will depend on the height, terrain, condition and the condition of the surface to be painted.  If it under 12 feet tall and in good condition, $2.00 –  $3.00 per coat should be a reasonable price.  If it’s peeling and needs to be scraped, primed, and receive 2 coats of exterior paint the cost could be closer to $6.00 a linear foot on the first floor and $7.00 or more on a second floor.

Shutters – Vinyl or Fiberglass 2-panel shutter cost about $10.00 – $15.00 per coat.  Louver shutters take more time so  figure $15.00 – $20.00

Columns – A exterior fiberglass column with a little chipping and peeling at the base might cost about $45 – $70.00 per column depending on if it needs one or two coats.

Siding – It’s impossible to estimate the prep time on the siding.  The cost for each house will have to be determined on its own.  However, a good rule of thumb is wood siding can usually be painted between $1.00 and $1.50 per coat, per linear ft.  Again, a final determination of the exterior painting cost will be affected by the terrain, height, and condition of the surface to be painted.


Home Exterior Estimate Method #2

Big picture breakdown method

Breaking the cost down into tasks is another method, for example, a typical house might look something like this:

Power wash house – 8 hours

Scrape loose paint, caulk, and Bondo – 16 hours

Prime 12 hours

Apply two coats of paint – 48 hours

Clean -up and touch -up 4 hours

Get materials 2 hours

Materials $500.00

This labor cost on this job would be 78 hours.  The average labor rate might be $55.00 per hour

These hours are all hypothetical but you might be surprised how accurate you instinctively are!

The materials and processes will also affect the cost of exterior painting.  Ask yourself these questions when evaluating the price to paint your exterior.

  • What is your best guess on how many hours it will take to do the prep?
  • How long will it take to prime? Do you want everything primed or just spot primed?
  • How many coats of paint do you want to be applied? Each coat of paint is another trip around the house.

If estimating the exterior cost for your home seems overwhelming that probably means you are really thinking about it.

Home Exterior Estimate Method #3

Small Picture Breakdown

Try breaking your house down into small sections:

How long to prep and paint the lower front of your house?

How long to prep and paint the front door?

How about the second floor? The front of the garage? The side and so forth.

Just keep walking around the house and breaking things into bite-size pieces.  Once you start envisioning the process and the obstacles you should be able to get some idea of the total amount of hours.

Labor cost for a typical exterior paint job will be between $45.00 – $75.00 per hour based on where you live and the level of difficulty of the job.  Work that requires a 40’ ladder or a lift will only add to the cost.

I have trained many estimators to properly estimate exterior work and it is far harder than estimating interior work.  One final and very important thought on the cost of painting the exterior of your home.  The process and materials used to paint your home are far more important than the price.  The price is a one-time purchase and far different from the cost!  If you spend $5,000 to paint the exterior of your home and it only lasts 3 years then the cost was $1,666 per year.  However, if you prepped your house properly, primed your house with Mad Dog Primer, and applied 2 coats of premium exterior paint the price might be $8,500.00 but, the job will last about 12 years!  The cost would be only $708.66 per year.  That’s a savings of $11,492.00 over 12 years!

If you would like to know more about our process and materials we use, please contact us, and I or one of our experts will be glad to assist. We also have franchise opportunities available in select territories.

COVID-19 Update: Klappenberger & Son Is Still Open For Business

Klappenberger & Son is still open for business during COVID-19