Paint or Not?

to paint or not

Paint or not? We can all spot a house in need of painting. Often people let a home go longer then they should before deciding it’s time to get it done. Sometimes the home is neglected for much much longer then it should have been.

How do you know if it’s cost effective to paint versus residing? To be clear, every home can be repainted and done so in a professional manner. That means not just scraping the loose paint and then painting but actually sanding everything down and removing all existing paint if necessary. That would require a lot of labor and labor is the single most expensive component of a paint estimate.

I personally do not like vinyl siding. You can take the most beautiful home and put vinyl siding on it and it becomes garbage to me. It looks like a plastic mess. Cheap looking. That’s just my personal opinion. Sometimes that is the best option for someone however. Often budget constraints will force the issue and it makes more sense to put siding (vinyl, steel, aluminum) on a home and save a lot of money. Sometimes however siding is much much more expensive then painting. It often comes down to the condition of the home versus the quality and type of siding you might choose. Vinyl is traditionally the cheapest.

time for siding

Obviously if it will cost $7000.00 to repaint a home and you can have it resided for $3000.00, that may be the way to go. There are some companies out there that will do siding very cheap (that’s how it looks). If your selling the home, I would suggest the siding if it’s cheaper.

Reasons for going with siding:

  1. You have lead based paint and can’t afford mitigation (removal).
  2. Your selling the home or don’t plan on being there long and it’s cheaper.
  3. The home is in such bad shape you can’t afford to have it repainted.
  4. You like the look of siding as opposed to paint.

Reasons to go with repainting:

  1. You hate the look of siding.
  2. Your home has unique carpentry work or features.
  3. You plan on living in your home for a long time.
  4. Your budget allows for a quality paint job.
  5. You don’t want to be limited in color selection. Siding has very limited color choices. When you paint you can do multiple colors and choose any colors you like.

One problem with siding that is often overlooked occurs down the road when you experience damage to the siding. Hail, wind, etc. Often that same siding is not available and then there is a big problem. The siding available has a different embossed pattern to it, is a different color, etc.

To paint or not often comes down to your personal preferences and financial constraints. The best way to navigate through the decision is to get an estimate from a reputable paint contractor and a siding contractor. Ask lots of questions and make your decision based on the facts.

Oh the house with the scaffolding at the top had all the paint removed. All 4 sides. Lots of work!!


Ironically the day after I wrote this I did an estimate that is the perfect example of a house with character worth having the job done right. Removing the old paint and sanding down the wood.

house with character
need to remove the old stuff

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