Painting your home can be a stressful and costly endeavor. Finding the right painter who can get the job done the way you want it within your budget can be extremely challenging, so many homeowners wonder, is it acceptable to negotiate with a painter?
Most professional painters calculate how much it’ll cost to complete a job with thin margins, but sometimes there’s some space for negotiating. Always be friendly when negotiating price, get multiple quotes to have references, and offer payment or timeline flexibility to sweeten the deal.
Negotiating is a skill that takes lots of practice to perfect, and there’s also something to be said about when it is appropriate to try to haggle down the price on a quote. Let’s take an in-depth look at whether you should negotiate with a painter or not and some tips to help you talk down the price to stay within your budget.
Should You Negotiate with a Painter or Not?
You want a satisfactory finished product while staying on budget, and painters want to deliver a quality job while also providing for themselves. There’s a mutual desire to come to a win-win agreement, and sometimes that involves negotiating the price—and sometimes not.
While it’s not customary to negotiate with a painter, it’s also not entirely unheard of either. Many well-established professional painters will not waver on their quoted price because their calculations account for razor-thin margins, and they have other customers willing to pay full price.
Younger painters tend to be more open to negotiating prices, though their willingness to haggle often depends on the state of the market, the particular job, and many other factors. You should always do tons of research to be knowledgeable when talking to a painter, and sometimes you’ll find opportunities to talk down a quoted price to help you stay on budget.
Best Ways to Negotiate with a Painter
There are no definitive rules when it comes to negotiating prices. It’s all about getting to know the person you’re talking to and creating an outcome where both of you win. So with that said, if you’re going to try to talk down a painter on the price of a quote, here are a few of the best negotiation tips and things to know.
- Be Friendly and Personable
Being friendly, personable, and easy to talk to will get you far in negotiations. When asking a painter to lower a price, focus on being polite and communicating effectively. The worst thing they can say is no, but the benefits of approaching the situation respectfully can be innumerable.
Most painters are much more willing to work with customers regarding price if they’re pleasant to be around and generally nice people. An excellent working relationship with your painter can also lead to a higher quality finished project.
- Get Multiple Quotes for the Job
Whenever you’re pricing out a painting project, it’s essential to get at least three quotes. There are many great reasons for this, including that it allows you to see if you’ll need to adjust your budget, what painters are available in your area and your options regarding material quality.
Getting multiple quotes for a job also gives you more insight into the market, so you’ll be more knowledgeable when negotiating with your painter. The more information you have, the better decision regarding hiring a painter you’ll be able to make.
- Talk Through the Quote Line Items
Once you’ve received a quote, going over the line items and prices with your painter can help you gain valuable insight into the cost of the job. It can help you spot areas where there’s a little financial wiggle room that you could potentially talk the price down.
Carefully reviewing the quote can also ensure you’re getting what you want regarding materials, timeline, and the million other variables accompanying a painting project.
- Offer Schedule Flexibility
In exchange for a slight final price decrease, you sometimes must offer something up to your painter. Most professional painters have pretty hectic schedules, so especially if your project is quite extensive, you can offer a flexible project schedule or extend the deadline to a date that works better with your painter’s schedule.
Remember, negotiating with a painter is a collaborative effort. To lower a quote to within your budget, sometimes you must offer something in return. Offering to add an extra week or two to a project timeline can help relieve stress on your painter’s schedule and can possibly reward you with a small discount.
- Offer More Payment Up Front
Cash talks, especially in the unpredictable trade market. If you have the budget, offering your painter more money upfront in exchange for a lower total price can be a very enticing prospect.
Providing more cash upfront is inherently risky, so make sure to have a signed contract outlining all the financial and work details of the agreement.
- Increase the Size of the Job
Increasing the size of your job can help you get a discount when hiring a painter due to economies of scale. By increasing the area or number of rooms you need your painter to do, you can often negotiate a lower price per square foot.
They’re already at your home with all their equipment, so why not paint a few more rooms?
While you’ll end up spending more money, if you were planning on painting the additional square footage in the near future and have the cash on hand to cover the added expenses, you’ll end up with a better deal.
- Do Some Prep Work Yourself
You can potentially lower the quoted price from a painter by doing some prep work yourself. Painters need a clear workspace, so you can save money by moving furniture, covering items with plastic, removing switch plates, and other easy prep work that you would otherwise receive a bill for from your painter.
When it comes down to it, you get what you pay for when painting your home. To get quality work with high-quality paint, you’ll likely need to up your budget and spend more than the lowest quote you received.
Negotiating with your painter is excellent to ensure you get the best bang for your buck, but nothing beats paying for quality work.