Every painting job is different, but on average, the cost to paint or stain a 2 story home will be $2.25 per square foot. So the math is fairly easy to do.
Here are a few sample prices and then we’ll look at factors which will make the job more or less expensive. We compare painting to popular siding options below.
1,000 sq. ft. home = $2,250
1,500 sq. ft. home = $3,375
2,000 sq. ft. home = $4,500
2,500 sq. ft. home = $5,625
Factors that Make House Painting More Expensive
Extra Prep Work: If your home has a lot of peeling paint or the surface requires patching, repairing and priming, this will significantly increase the price.
High Peaks: When painting contractors have to use taller ladders and take extra safety measures to clean and paint a home, the price will go up. High peaks on a home with a steep slope roof will also require more paint, but not enough to make a large price difference.
Extra Corners and Complexity: Some painting contractors factor in the complexity of the design on a home when determining their written estimate. Ginger bread and other elaborate wood work will cost more to paint.
Having it Done in the “Busy” Season
Depending on your climate, paint contractors will be busiest somewhere between April and October. If you get bids when contractors have the most work lined up, the bids will be higher. Ask contractors if they give discounts for work done during an off season.
Factors that Reduce House Painting Expense
A Well-Maintained Home: Most homes that are repainted require some scraping, patching and sanding. If you have your home repainted before the surfaces deteriorate, this will lead to lower estimates from painting contractors.
Power-washing the House Yourself: If you own or can borrow a power washer – if you don’t have to spend money on it, in other words – doing the job yourself can lower the price. However, check with your paint contractor before you do this. The contractor might want to do it him/herself to make sure it is done to their standards. They might not warranty a job is they don’t do the power washing.
Scraping, Priming or Sanding the Home Yourself: This might lead to lower estimates, but again, check with them before hiring a painting contractor to make sure they will warranty their work if you do the prep.
Getting Multiple Estimates from Competing Paint Contractors: When you get 3-4 house painting estimates from companies that know they are competing, you’ll get lower estimates.
Painting vs. Siding Cost Comparison
We’ve said that the average cost for painting a 2 story home is $2.25 per square foot. The actual job might range from $1.50 to $3 per sq. ft. based on the factors we mentioned.
Here are the costs for other siding options:
Vinyl Siding Cost: $1.50-$3.50 per sq. ft.
Insulated Vinyl Siding Cost: $2.50-$4.50 per sq. ft.
Aluminum Siding Cost: $3-$6 per sq. ft.
Fiber Cement Siding Cost: $2.25-$4.50 per sq. ft.
Cedar Siding Cost: $4-$8 per sq. ft.
Brick or Cultured Stone Veneer: $6-$10 per sq. ft.
As you can see, paint is a cost-effective option when compared with most other materials. Most contractors recommend having your home painted before the paint begins to peel or damage to the wood occurs. While this might sound like a sales pitch to have your home painted more often – and of course it is, to some extent – doing this will definitely lead to lower home maintenance costs in the long-run.