• Home Pros Team

How much does it cost to paint the interior of a house?

Updated: Jan 24, 2021


Google it: "How much does it cost to paint the interior of a house?"


If you Google "How much does it cost to paint the interior of a house?" you will come across very generic information typically from websites that are lead providers for contractors or serve as an advertising medium. The idea is to get you on their website and then you will either see ads or they will direct you to get a quote from a contractor that's in their database. As a real life exercise I just did a search on "how much to paint a room?"  The top 6 websites that popped up: homeadvisor.comhomewyse.com, homeguide.com, smartasset.com, houselogic.com, thumbtack.com.


On the homeadvisor.com information snippet, the following was displayed (this is before I clicked on the link): "The average cost to paint a house interior ranges from $2 to $6 per square foot with an average of $3.30 per square foot. Painting trim, baseboards and ceilings ..." After I clicked on the link I was asked to provide my zip code and then I was asked for the location of the project so that I could be connected to a Painting Contractor.  

On the homewyse.com website I did find more specific pricing info (for example by zip code) but once again it had a wide range of pricing plus I had to ignore all of the ads that were disbursed throughout the information they were providing.  On this site the price range for painting interiors swing from $3.17 to $6.26.


So the two above examples depict what you will come across when trying to obtain pricing for painting the interior of your house. In one case you will come across a lead generator for local contractors.  The most popular websites are homeadvisor.com, thumbtack.com, porch.com, angieslist.com, and homeguide.com. There are plenty of others trying to jump in this marketing space.  Now even Amazon wants to get into the lead generation/referral business.   If you pursue this method of getting pricing expect to be bombarded by several contractors trying to get you to choose them. In some cases it can be up to 5 contractors that will contact you. 


In the other case you will get pricing without being bombarded by contractors, however that pricing is so generic that it really doesn't do you any good if you want an accurate project cost. 


WHAT IS THE BEST WAY TO GET ACCURATE PRICING FOR AN INTERIOR PAINT PROJECT?


No Way Around Setting Up An On Site Visit


The best way to get pricing for an interior paint project is to allow a painting contractor inside your home so the square footage of areas to be painted can be accurately measured and surface conditions assessed.  In addition, environmental settings also have to be taken into consideration. Do you have carpet on the floor?  Do you have high ceilings? Is your trim all beat up? Do you have drywall damage?


We all know that the biggest reason for not wanting a contractor in your home is that you don't want that anxiety that comes with having someone in your home that you see as a sales person or that may want to push you into doing something you are not ready to do.  No one wants to be "sold." 


HERE IS WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN A GREAT (NOT GOOD BUT GREAT) ESTIMATE THAT WILL PROVIDE YOU PEACE OF MIND


Prior To The Estimate


1). Check out Google Reviews and only deal with highly rated companies with lots of reviews.  The more reviews they have, the more they put emphasis on getting feedback from their customers.  These companies have probably been around for a while and know they have to perform at extremely high level.  It is highly unlikely you will find a contractor with a perfect 5 star rating--unless they only have a few reviews.  Take everything with a grain-of-salt and be extra cautious of those "perfect" ratings.  Is there any one company that's perfect??


2). Ease of booking an estimate.  If you are serious about getting some interior painting done and you are willing to meet with an estimator then there's no reason to call into an office to setup the appointment.  A highly evolved company should have the means for you to view estimator availability and book your appointment online.  This will save time and possible aggravation by allowing you to provide information online that otherwise would be be asked of you over the phone anyways. A good online system will provide you with notifications as the estimate date nears.  


3). Good communications is the start of a good stress-free experience. The reality of things is that when you are considering a painting contractor if you don't hear from them in a timely manner you start to wonder how it will be like once the project starts. This is why dealing with an established company with an administrative staff capable of responding to your calls, e-mails,  and/or texts is ideal. A smaller company may not have the resources--people hired to just answer phones or just put together estimates--like a larger more established company does. 


Putting Together The Estimate For Final Pricing


1). Estimator should show up on time and dressed like they take their job seriously.  If running late they should contact you ahead of time to keep you abreast of their arrival time.  It happens to the best of companies, the difference is in how they deal with it. In all your interactions with the contractors you are trying to figure who ultimately makes the best impression.  Someone showing up at your door in torn jeans and flip flops doesn't really convey the sense of professionalism.


2). Upon arrival the estimator should clarify what all you want painted .  Most homeowners forget to consider things like baseboards, window casings, door casing, ceilings, chair rail, etc. The estimate should break down each type of surface and how much of it is going to be painted.  So for a full interior paint project you should receive figures for walls, trim, cabinets, ceilings, and any repairs required. This makes it easier for you to figure out where the pricing is coming from and make any adjustments.  Think of it as an a-la-cart menu.  


3). When submitting a request for interior painting, many homeowners instinctively revert to using the square footage of the floor plan.  That would work out great if we were painting the floors but that doesn't work when we are painting walls. A good estimator will take the time to measure out all walls by the square feet.  They will measure out how many lineal feet of baseboards, chair rail, crown molding, and other trim pieces are to be included in the project. Door and window casing needs to be accounted for as well as doors.  Any and every piece of hardwood that's to be painted should be measured. Ceilings typically get calculated by multiplying the width and length of rooms.  


4). The actual estimate or bid or quote should be in writing and put together in such a manner that leaves no doubt as to what is going to be painted.  In essence once the bid is approved it should serve as the scope of work. Where feasible a room by room break-down should be provided.  Why?  It makes it much easier to track if you wanted to add another room or remove a room from the scope of work.  The estimate should be provided to you within 48 hours.   


In addition to the actual figures you should also receive terms and conditions, copy of license, copy of insurance certificate showing both general liability and workmans comp coverage, and a copy of the warranty document. 


Factors That Go Into Pricing An Interior Paint Job


As easy as it seems, painting an interior from the contractors perspective actually involves many factors that have to be taken into consideration in order to provide an accurate quote that works both for the homeowner and contractor. 


A company that bids too low in order to win work based on price alone is going to "hate" doing the job.  As soon as they realize they under bid the project they will find ways to save money, cut back on quality to shorten the time on the project, and possibly come up with reason to charge you more at the end of the project. If you have an issues with the paint project forget about seeing them again.


Below are things painting contractors have to consider as they put together estimates:

  • What quality of paint is being applied?

  • How many coats of paint?

  • Does the surface need primer prior to painting?

  • What surfaces are being painted?

  • How much masking and prep prior to painting?

  • How many coats of paint?

  • Condition of surface being painted?

  • Height of walls and/or ceilings?

  • How is paint being applied?

  • Are there any repairs required?

  • Who is doing the work--employees or the owner?

  • How long is the warranty being provided?

  • Does the company have overhead such as salaries, insurance, marketing

How Do I Use This Information?

The goal of this particular blog is to give you some perspective on the reason behind large variances in interior painting pricing. You now know that the caliber of the contractor may have a significant impact on the final figures.  How do you know the caliber of the contractor?  Google Reviews is probably the best resource to help you..  By qualifying the contractor ahead of time you will definitely save yourself time by not having to see multiple ones (or at least keep it to a minimum).  You may also save yourself unforeseen stress and headaches.  Keep in mind there are approximately 300+ painters in the San Antonio area.  Remember that how a contractor will perform in the future is reflective on how they  have performed in the past.   We Are Here To Serve You If you are looking for a hassle-free no-strings attached interior paint quote feel free to book your free estimate using our online booking calendar.  We are highly rated on Google Reviews; we are licensed in San Antonio; carry workmans comp and general liability insurance for your protection; get paid upon completion; back our work up with the best warranties. 

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