Should You Do It Yourself or Hire a Painting Contractor?

Not everyone is cut out for house painting. There are a variety of factors to consider before undertaking any painting project. Pushing ahead when you’re not ready is a recipe for aggravation and failure!

Your Physical Limitations

Both interior and exterior painting are labor intensive and require considerable physical effort. Depending on the products used and the height at which you’re painting, it can even be dangerous. Exterior painting is, typically, the most demanding. It’s important to consider your physical limitations before undertaking any home improvement project.

  • Are you capable of moving heavy objects, like furniture?
  • Do you have the coordination and balance to stand on a ladder?
  • Do you have foot or leg problems that will make standing for long periods uncomfortable?
  • Do you have shoulder or neck problems that make reaching overhead difficult?

Where is Your Head at?

Your mental state is important, too. Even if you’re physically capable of the work, you may not be mentally ready.

  • Are you comfortable with heights? Virtually all exterior jobs, and many interior ones, require you to be on a ladder at least some of the time. If you have vertigo or a phobia, it’s probably best to pass the job to someone else.
  • Do you enjoy painting? Your results will be better if you are passionate about doing the project yourself. If it’s a task you don’t enjoy, it can be tempting to cut corners and procrastinate. There’s no shame in hiring someone to do your dirty work, so you can focus on something you like better!
  • Are you likely to be distracted? If you have small children or sick parents to care for, their demands can take you away from your project, leading to frustrating delays.

Is Time on Your Side?

Consider how much time you have to devote to the project. Most painting projects (especially exterior ones!) take several days to complete. If you work full-time, you may only be able to work on the weekends. Can you live with an unfinished project for awhile? An exterior paint job can take a month or more to complete if you’re only painting part-time; an interior one can take a week.

What Experience Do You Have?

Each house has different assets and challenges. Professional painters with extensive experience have a better understanding of the preparation and products needed to produce lasting results. This doesn’t mean, necessarily, that your first painting job will be a total failure. What it DOES mean is that you’ll need to do some research and learn all you can about your project if you want to achieve a good finish.




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