painting new construction

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Old 07-18-07, 09:01 PM
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painting new construction

I have been doing repaints for a while now and would like to branch into painting new residential construction. How would one go about tackling such a painting venture. Could anyone advise me on where to start. What I mean by that is would it be wiser to paint all of the ceilings first, then trim, then walls, or is there a given sequence of events to be followed for optimum performance?
Also, I have almost 3 years of repainting experience so am a fairly competent painter, so could anyone hazard a guess as to the time frame of a one man crew doing an average 2000sq ft house?
I do own a sprayer also.

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Old 07-19-07, 05:21 AM
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Here is the basic order I use

Spray primer on walls and ceiling shortly after drywall work is completed.
Trim carpenter goes in and installs woodwork.
Spray finish paint on ceiling after crown moulding is installed. Take down the doors and prime doors and trim.
Spray enamel on doors and brush enamel on crown moulding, door trim and windows.
Brush and roll walls then enamel base.
Touch up after carpet is installed.

Most new construction is priced in one of 2 different ways but almost always by sq footage price. The garage is rarely included in sq footage so basicall you paint it for free. Since you already know how to bid 1 room at a time you can multiply that by the various rooms in the house to get a rough idea. Exteriors are usually priced extra but not always. Your contract with the builder should specify just what is to be done [and maybe how]

Some builders supply the materials and you get a sq ft price for your labor. Others are priced with the painter including all materials and labor. I prefer to go with the latter. It gives me more control of the coatings used - better paint = better looking job, easier touch up. Also there is no waiting on the builder to bring supplies that you run out of.

There is no way to give a generic time frame for painting a 2000 sq ft house. I've painted many that size and larger by myself or with a small 1-2 man crew. There is a big difference between a cheap, 1 color, small trim and no crown and a house with multiple colors, large woodwork and multi piece crown.

Most builders don't give the painter enough time to paint so you must figure on doing a lot of the painting with other trades there also 30 yrs ago a painter would often get 1 week with no one else in the house to complete the painting. Now a builder will either give you 2 days to blow and go or on the bigger/better homes you usually get 1 day to prime and the rest of the work is done by working around the other trades.

hope this helps,

mark
 
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Old 07-19-07, 08:43 AM
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Thanks Mark that really helped alot.
A couple more questions though, can you spray the enamel coat on all of the wood trim and crown moulding, also is it contractors choice if oil or water based or is that painters choice?
Any idea of what the average going rate per sq ft is right now, or what did you charge, because with primer thats 3 coats, it adds up!

Appreciate the help
Carl
 
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Old 07-19-07, 11:15 AM
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I retired several years ago so between that, differences in building/painting practices and labor rates, it wouldn't help any for me to tell you what I charged back then. I had several different sq footage prices for the different builders I painted for and the different styles of homes. Obviously you can't paint a house with 3-5 piece crown, multiple colors and large trim for the same sq ft price of a home with unpainted ceilings, no crown and small trim. I suspect there would be a big difference in price between New York, L.A. and rural town USA. Material price may stay constant but labor and overhead can vary greatly!

Some builders will specify what materials are to be used while others leave it up to the paint contractor. Often this is negotiated prior to the start of the job. Because of the ill effects of occupational over exposure of solvents, The last several years of painting, I almost exclusively used waterborne enamel which I found to be superior to both oil and latex enamel. I even used it on some apartments I did [they were spec'd latex enamel] because although it cost more per gallon it covered better which saved me $

You can spray all the woodwork but [other than prrimer] I only sprayed the finish coat on the doors. A brush coat on the woodwork helps to minimize any voids/defects in the putty and caulking = looks better. Most new work is 2 coats - 1 primer, 1 finish. Using the best coatings for new construction will make a 2 coat job look and feel as good as a 3 coat job using bottom line paint.

I suggest talking to your paint rep about what materials are used on new construction in your locale. He may be able to offer some insight as to what the market pays. Visiting a few new homes and inspecting the paint job should also give you an idea as to what a builder would expect. IMO doing a paint job that is better than average is the only way to go. A good reputation can go a long way in keeping you busy.
 
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