The painting industry as a “structured trade” dates back to the late 1200s. Two guilds were formed to regulate the price or fee that a journeyman could charge for their painting services.
Today we have what is commonly known as the painters union. One of the many responsibilities of a union is to decide what would be reasonable and customary for a professional painting contractor to charge per one hour of a professional painter’s time.
Unfortunately for the average family, this ONLY pertains to commercial work and is in no way related to what you might be charged to paint your home.
Having been in the painting industry for 25+ years, W.C Painting Services have seen what is commonly known as the “going rate” for a paint project dramatically change.
In some instances, the cost to paint an exterior of a home has fluctuated by 80-100%. What a professional painter might have charged Mr. and Mrs. Jones back in 1999 would have just about been cut in half for the same paint job to the same home in the same condition nearly ten years later in 2009.
Back in 1999, painting contractors were paying anywhere from $16.00 to $21.00 for a premium exterior, 100% acrylic, latex stain. 13 years later in 2009, the same high-quality paint would cost about double that.
In 1999 the average hourly rate for a professional painter with at least 5 years of solid experience was right around $16.00 per man-hour. In 2009 painting contractors could expect to pay around $24-$28.00 per man-hour
As you can see, the amount of overhead a professional painting contractor would expect to incur to complete an exterior project with a focus on the highest quality has nearly doubled over the last 13 years.
At the same time, the amount that is deemed to be reasonable that a consumer would expect to pay has been virtually cut in half. This has forced many contractors to look to “cut corners”.
An example of cutting corners would be to buy much cheaper paint or hire “painters” with little or no experience in an effort to cut costs and increase profit.
As a consumer, those two cost-cutting ideas would probably make you uneasy and might even have you thinking about taking on the project yourself and canceling all of your weekend plans for the next 10 weekends. Probably not something you wish to do.