Forum HomeCA-Modern ForumsHome Maintenance Hotline › Painting costs

Painting costs

15 replies [Last post]
Joined: Mar 25 2003

I've been surprised by some recent bids to paint my Eichler. Can anybody share some experience regarding what a quality paint job (two coats of paint) should cost for interior (ceiling, beams, trim) and exterior (beams with major prep and siding with minimal prep) work.

Joined: Oct 10 2003

We just got a couple quotes for various levels of repaint / paint repairs.

One company quoted full interior / exterior for about 14K for our 1800 sq-ft house. The estimator / owner basically walked around measuring everything and sent us a detailed itemized blanket quote. Rouighly 9K interior, 5K exterior.

Palladino painting (an advertiser here I think) also quoted, and seemed to be more into figuring out what we really needed. Lou came out and worked up a quote covering different levels of work, from fixing some trim and other areas, to painting most of the exterior. Prices ranged from 1.5K for the fixes to 5K for 3/4 of the exterior. he also seemed very knowledgable about working with Eichlers. Also, his price for the exterior work tracked pretty well with what the other painter quoted -no "eichler premium"

If you havent yet, I'd try talking to Palladino. If you already have, I'd be curious what you thought of them. cheers,

Joined: Mar 25 2003

$9k for the interior. What were they using for paint, gold?

Joined: Apr 2 2003

Hi Tom,

Quotes from others might not be comparable--a lot depends on the house (how much repair needed, degree of color change, etc.) and on the owner (level of prep requested, level of detail/perfection required, whether you want sprayed or rolled, etc.).

About 5 years ago, I had my Eichler painted (a bad choice of color which I've since corrected) for about $7500 plus cost of paint. That was in an empty home. I believe about $2500 was for ceilings and exterior overhang, sprayed with two top coats and minimum prep work needed. The other $4500 was for the exterior walls and trim. The exterior included some reasonable sanding and primer, then 2 top coats --some significant sanding of the atrium beams was also involved.

The company owner basically estimated number of hours required and multiplied by $40. That hourly charge might seem high but remember they have overhead they have to cover in a very expensive area of the country. I've had some small jobs done since by an independent sole operator who was quoting $35 an hour (but took longer, I thought, so probably no savings over the first situation).

Does that help any?


eichfan at rawbw dot com

Joined: Oct 10 2003

tborsellino: $9k for the interior. What were they using for paint, gold?

I know, that's why we've decided the paint inside is just fine.

I would think Eichlers would be much LESS expensive to paint because of all the windows....

Joined: May 8 2003


If you had a choice of paint, check out the Sears Weatherbeater Ultra.
It won the Popular Mechanics Design and Engineering Award in 2001.

The cost is about 25 bucks a gallon. The cost of paint is relative low compared to the cost of labor for painting your house.

- J

Joined: Mar 20 2003

I had my entire Eichler painted last year by avery reputable and excellent private painter in LA. He used Catalina paints which is a very good paint. The only part I didn't have painted was the ceiling on the inside (it was still stained). But I did have the outside ceiling/eaves painted because they already were. So I had painted: exterior paneling, beams, door, trim (total 4 colors). Also painted was interior paneling (one one wall in living room--it is matching siding), all the rooms (our walls are drywalled--1964 eichler), interior beams to match and trim to match paneling color.

He also stripped all of our mahogany paneling and restained it to make it all uniform.

The total was about 11000. $6000 for painting and $5000 for restaining. This was also slightly higher than other bids but he came so highly recommended and his workers were so thorough and nice. He didn't quibble about any issues at all.

Hope that helps you in your decision. Also, I have a 1980 sw. ft. Eichler.

Joined: Mar 2 2004

The scary word for painting is 'Major Prep'. It saves money to paint before the paint and wood start to disintegrate. An 'Easy Prep' paint job can take less than one tenth the labor and have much better results. Once moisture gets into the surface, the wood swells and everything begins to crack, peel and come apart.
I am surprised how some painters promote paint brands that Consumer Reports says are inferior. I trust Consumer Reports. Materials are a small part of house painting expense. It saves real money to use the best materials and paint early.
When forced to do major surface remediation, don't skimp. If the siding on your Eichler doesn't look good, future purchasers will think (or know) that the property wasn't maintained (loved) properly. Removing peeling paint is major work. This job is hard to appreciate if you have not done it yourself. Your painter will have difficulty pleasing you if a lot of prep is involved.

Joined: Mar 22 2003


No. Eichers would not be less expensive to paint "because of all the windows." This makes them more expensive.

Without the windows, the painter can just spray or brush the blank wall. With windows, they have to tape and mask everything off, and do much of the work by hand -- very time consuming. The cost of paint is insignificant. The cost of labor is the important factor in painting jobs.


Joined: Jul 1 2003

We are exploring adding an integrated 200 Sqft section to the house (20 x10); the bid included $2,100 for interor & exterior painting, and my wife thought I burst a blood vessel after seeing the "estimate."
The general problem, as I see it, is that wealth creation that has occured around the Bay area from tech (millionaire mint) and home equity from increasing LAND prices and lower interest rates have raised expectations - - even prison guards want a 90% pension citing high CEO pay. The cost of services, like manufactured goods, used to be priced based on the cost to provide it. Yes, our friend Renman and others cite the high cost of doing business in the area, but now the cost of services is driven by demand or what the market will bear. With mini-split A/C, there is no way it should cost $5,500 for a 2-zone system, but the estimators will tell you that's what customers "value" the improvement to be, and there is unwritten protocol that established firms don't undercut each other. Before the flood of dissenting views come in, let's end it by saying we agree to disagree, and we have to be satisfied to think the other person is substantially wrong (at least my wife thinks I am wrong most of time).

According to Santa Clara County's RE Assessor, my house is worth $127,000 (based on actual terms, not Prop 13 manipulation -- but the LAND is valued at a multiple of it). My homewner insurance company saids it costs $145K-$189K to replace the house (1600 SF), and they price it accordingly and cover it up to 200% of it. When I consider that a new foam roof will cost $15K, interior & exterior paint job (from this posting $10K??), A/C at $6K and other renos at similar pricing, I have a plan to raze the house to the ground, and order a pre-fab modern 2-story house like the ones that win design contests for about $100 SF, and get another 30 years useful life. My theory is that the re-sale value will still be high enough to cover the apparent higher cost of "new" compared to renovating - - but those old Eichlers surrounding the new house would be detracting.

Joined: Aug 28 2003

I agree that you cannot go by your home improvements alone when determining value. The surrounding neighborhood always makes a bigger impression than the house itself. Location, location, location is one cliche that holds true even with a major housing price "bubble".
We recently saw a 1.6 million dollar home on the market in a marginal neighborhood. The home was a custom design and looked like it was expensive to build plus had all the top of the line accoutrements--but the neighborhood was a $600,000 one. I will be surprised if they get 1.6 million. (BTW, it wasn't an Eichler but was built in a modern style).

Joined: Mar 20 2003

Supply and demand are the biggest factor in determining home/land cost. The Bay Area is one of the most desirable places to live. Urban Growth Boundary restrictions have limited land supply, therefore, focusing attention inward, resulting in redevelopment and increased value in property. The increased property value gives local governments a constant cash flow to pay for services.

Unfortunately, older homes, like Eichlers, become targets of redevelopment for larger homes, regardless of architectural significants. Economically, it makes no sense for a developer to build smaller homes. Builders use a formula to balance land and house costs. When land values rise, so does the cost of the house. Higher housing costs result in a higher standard of living...

Bookworld: please, don't blame CEO salaries and regional economic success for reasons why your cost of living is ridiculously high.

"The cost of services, like manufactured goods, used to be priced based on the cost to provide it." – where at, the USSR? As long as I can remember, America has been a capitalist country.

Joined: Apr 5 2003

For what it's worth, we had our ceilings and eaves painted last January. (It rained during a re-roofing after they'd stripped the old roof, so we had stains *everywhere*.)

For our 1650 square foot San Jose flat roofed atrium model with 3' of eaves on all outdoor edges, bids came in from about $2500 to $4500. Required work was primer for the stains, pressure wash the outside eaves, and spray paint the ceilings. The painters also had to manuver around all our furniture, and had to avoid painting the panelling. The lower bids were for one or two man companies, the higher bids came from the larger firms. We ended up going for one of the bids in the middle; the company had done a nice job on the exterior for a previous owner, seemed competent to do the work inside, and appeared well-insured enough to handle any potential problems if they spilled paint on our stuff.

Contact me directly for the names of the painters.


Joined: Jul 12 2004

Yes, contractor prices here are beyond the ridiculous. For eichler owners, I recommend "do-it-yourself" if you are physically capable...and get family, neighbors, and friends to help. We painted the exterior of our home for $400 + two weekends (one prep and one for painting). We had a total of four people working on it on a leisurely pace. We have a smaller eicher with no atrium, and no A-type roof.

We stripped what we could with a scraper, then we filled and sanded any rough spots. The following weekend, we used a power washer to wash everything down. On the next day, we primed and then painted the trim with a brush and then we used rollers on the siding(we used a two-hour primer).

by the way, we rented a power washer for $50 for a day (or you can buy one at Sear for $299 and up). We found that brush and roller work best and use less paint. + the prep work is also less since papering and taping are less due to no over-spray. However, you can always rent a spray paint sytem as needed if you want to go that way.

Joined: May 10 2003

For Cindy in TO: I am in need of a painter reference for my new Eichler in GH. Please contact me at TolemiaATearthlinkDOTnet.

Joined: Sep 10 2004

I live over in Westgate and got a quote for my 1800 sf atrium model, 3 colors (house, trim, and underneath white), exterior and atrium walls for $1800! He's done work for me before and he does an EXCELLENT job. If you're interested, send me an email to lflosznikATyahooDOTcom.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.