Why is it so difficult to get a reasonably priced quote on a repair to the exterior of my home?

This is the first in a new series of posts answering some common questions a lot of people have when it comes to painting and repair projects with the first being “Why is it so difficult to get a reasonably priced quote (or any quote at all) on a repair to the exterior of my home?”

We see posts on various social media sites asking for recommendations for a handyman who can replace rotted fascia, soffits, or other trim on the exterior of their home. Many times it’s followed by another post a month or so later expressing frustration and making the request again with an emphasis on someone who is ‘reasonable’ or who will actually call them back. Being homeowners ourselves, we understand the challenge of finding a handyman or carpenter to perform those repairs and why we believe you should let a full service painting company like Athena Painting Services take care of them for you.

Let’s explore the general process of using a handyman to replace a single piece of rotted trim on the front of your house. It starts with your initial phone call to the handyman and ends when he pulls out of your driveway with the trim repaired. After your first conversation with him regarding your repair concern, he drives out to your house to look at the damage so he can determine the needed repair and put together a materials list. He then has to drive to the hardware store, find the materials and stand in line, and drive back to the job site. On the way back, he stops by the paint store with a piece of the old board so he can get a color match to the existing trim paint. Back at your house he unloads his 24 ft ladder and other tools and gets to work. He removes the rotted board, cuts the new board to length, caulks the seams, and applies a coat of paint. He now gets to wash out the paint brush, clean up and put away tools, throw away the debris, and reload the ladder onto his vehicle. By this time he’s spent 5 or 6 hours replacing a single board and needs to charge you $300-$350 for the job.

That’s usually a best case scenario if everything goes right. Other times, you may not get a call back or you’ve booked the appointment only to wait around all day for a ”no show”. This usually happens because the handyman has other jobs booked and doesn’t need the work.

Please know we are not disparaging handymen! There are many handymen out there doing good work. In fact, one of our company’s owners is a handy-woman herself. One of the reasons she started Athena Painting Services is that she recognized there are types of jobs that are better and more economically performed (i.e., less expensive and/or more value for the homeowner) by a full service company than a single Jack (or Jill!) of all trades.

Now contrast that scenario with a full service painting company who’s doing your exterior painting. By the time you notice rot there usually are many other locations on your trim with significant degradation that need repair. Athena Painting Services performs a thorough inspection of both the siding and trim to identify any additional repairs during the estimate process. Other trim that we frequently see damaged include areas such as door and window casings (brick moulding), window sills, corner boards, fascia, and soffits. For homes with Masonite siding, damage can be found anywhere, but especially areas that are in contact with the roof (e.g., sides of dormers), unprotected by an overhang (e.g., chimneys), or near the ground where rain splashes up. Identifying and repairing all of the damage at one time significantly reduces the cost for each repair since a single trip for materials, setup and clean-up, etc. is spread across all of the repairs. Additionally, there is essentially no added cost for painting the new trim as that is included in the exterior painting being performed anyway. These efficiencies allow us to perform the repairs for a fraction of what a handyman or stand-alone carpenter charges.

If you have any questions or concerns about your home’s trim or siding, feel free to call our office at (919) 823-6937 to talk with one of our dedicated Client Managers. We offer free, no-obligation painting and repair estimates. Call or book online here. Oh, and if you made it this far, thanks for reading the post!