Vastly different quotes for wallpaper removal and painting job

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Calico
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Vastly different quotes for wallpaper removal and painting job

Post by Calico »

I am going to get peeling wallpaper in my house removed and the walls painted (it's 35 years old and I think with the wet summer, it gave up the ghost. It's peeling very badly). It's a big job as there is wallpaper in the foyer, hallway, kitchen, and two bathrooms (all of it's peeling). I am also adding in painting my daughter's bedroom because she's been asking me for years if she could change the color and I promised "next time we get something painted."

I am getting three quotes. The first quote is $5400 and the second is for $3400 (but he will give me a 15% discount if I contract the job for the winter... which I am fine with). So it's really $5400 for the first company vs $2890 for the second. The first company is nearly twice the cost of the other! The third company will be coming out next week to give me their estimate.

I have been comparing the two quotes and I can't find why the one is so much higher. They are both removing the wallpaper and preparing it for painting, they are both painting the walls, they are both filling in any cracks, both are fixing nail pops and painting the ceiling, both are doing 2 coats of paint.

The only real difference I can find is that the $5400 quote is more detailed in what they do to prepare the walls for painting (and references a level 4 finish to the walls). That company, when they heard I was getting more quotes, told me to call them back if any of the other quotes were lower, that they might be able to match.

The second company actually measured everything, the first company didn't measure anything. The second company also told me that I shouldn't paint the bathroom with the eggshell paint I wanted, that it needed to be satin or semi-gloss and explained why. That means buying more paint (as I was having everything painted the same nice, neutral color). But if it holds up better, it's worth it.

I reviewed the Yelp and Google reviews for both companies and both get nearly flawless reviews with 50+ reviews each. Mostly 5 stars.

I am hoping the third quote will give me some frame of reference (if it's closer to $3000 I know the one company is too high. If it's closer to $5000 the other is really low for some reason). But does anyone have any insight into this? Is this kind of job really that subjective, is one company just really over-priced, or should I be on alert for something I may be missing?
adamthesmythe
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Re: Vastly different quotes for wallpaper removal and painting job

Post by adamthesmythe »

My thinking is that interior painting is a job that I do myself. So if you are willing to pay someone a bunch of money to do the job you must be well off enough not to care too much what it costs.

The cost of painting is mostly in the preparation. So if I WERE willing to pay for painting, I would want to be sure the preparation was done well enough. Your first guy at least had some standard he was promising to meet.

Hard to say why they are that much different though. You're probably dealing with small operations. The bid might depend on how he likes your looks, his snap judgement of how likely you are to contract the job, how busy he is today, whether he has a boat payment coming up, or where you live. Exact size of the rooms is probably pretty far down in the factors.
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lthenderson
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Re: Vastly different quotes for wallpaper removal and painting job

Post by lthenderson »

Calico wrote: Wed Sep 16, 2020 7:55 pm I have been comparing the two quotes and I can't find why the one is so much higher.
One doesn't need the job or maybe want the job but if you are willing to pay them their high quote they will consider it. The other one might be desperate to keep guys busy especially during the winter months so is willing to ask just enough to keep them in paychecks. There are many other considerations but these are two common ones I see to account for quote disparity on small jobs like this one.
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Calico
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Re: Vastly different quotes for wallpaper removal and painting job

Post by Calico »

double post
Last edited by Calico on Wed Sep 16, 2020 8:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Calico
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Re: Vastly different quotes for wallpaper removal and painting job

Post by Calico »

lthenderson wrote: Wed Sep 16, 2020 8:17 pm
Calico wrote: Wed Sep 16, 2020 7:55 pm I have been comparing the two quotes and I can't find why the one is so much higher.
One doesn't need the job or maybe want the job but if you are willing to pay them their high quote they will consider it. The other one might be desperate to keep guys busy especially during the winter months so is willing to ask just enough to keep them in paychecks. There are many other considerations but these are two common ones I see to account for quote disparity on small jobs like this one.
Those are good points. The company was happy when I told him I wasn't in a rush. He immediately told me he could offer me a discount if I could wait until winter. He also put it in the estimate he emailed me.
jimmo
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Re: Vastly different quotes for wallpaper removal and painting job

Post by jimmo »

Removing wallpaper is not a fun job. Company A doesn't particularly want the gig, but for a juicy price will do it. Go with Company B and don't overthink it (assuming Company C doesn't come in lower).
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Calico
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Re: Vastly different quotes for wallpaper removal and painting job

Post by Calico »

adamthesmythe wrote: Wed Sep 16, 2020 8:07 pm My thinking is that interior painting is a job that I do myself. So if you are willing to pay someone a bunch of money to do the job you must be well off enough not to care too much what it costs.

The cost of painting is mostly in the preparation. So if I WERE willing to pay for painting, I would want to be sure the preparation was done well enough. Your first guy at least had some standard he was promising to meet.

Hard to say why they are that much different though. You're probably dealing with small operations. The bid might depend on how he likes your looks, his snap judgement of how likely you are to contract the job, how busy he is today, whether he has a boat payment coming up, or where you live. Exact size of the rooms is probably pretty far down in the factors.
Actually, no, I am not swimming in money. I am a single mom and while I make a decent salary, I live in a high cost of living area. The reason I am hiring someone is because I have a fear of climbing ladders and the foyer and hallways (the bulk of the work) will need ladders, on stairs. I would also need a ladder in the kitchen to remove the boarder at the ceiling. I have this fear because I fell from a ladder and hurt myself pretty badly years ago. I won't even climb on a step stool to change a light bulb unless someone is there with me, in case I fall. It's just not something I can do. I will fix electrical things in my house, fix drywall if it's in reach, refinish floors, I've even replaced a toilet and changed out all the plumbing fixtures... I just freeze up and then start shaking when I am on a ladder. That means I don't clean my own gutters, hang Christmas lights, or do any kind of work that requires me being near the ceiling. I can't even climb the ladder, let along climb the ladder with a steaming machine to get wallpaper off.

You have a point with the standard with the first company. But I still can't get over double the price.
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Calico
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Re: Vastly different quotes for wallpaper removal and painting job

Post by Calico »

jimmo wrote: Wed Sep 16, 2020 8:30 pm Removing wallpaper is not a fun job. Company A doesn't particularly want the gig, but for a juicy price will do it. Go with Company B and don't overthink it (assuming Company C doesn't come in lower).
Thanks! What's odd is company A said to call them if someone gave a lower estimate. Maybe they didn't realize how much lower.
runner540
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Re: Vastly different quotes for wallpaper removal and painting job

Post by runner540 »

Calico wrote: Wed Sep 16, 2020 8:33 pm
jimmo wrote: Wed Sep 16, 2020 8:30 pm Removing wallpaper is not a fun job. Company A doesn't particularly want the gig, but for a juicy price will do it. Go with Company B and don't overthink it (assuming Company C doesn't come in lower).
Thanks! What's odd is company A said to call them if someone gave a lower estimate. Maybe they didn't realize how much lower.
Did both quotes include paint and materials?
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unclescrooge
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Re: Vastly different quotes for wallpaper removal and painting job

Post by unclescrooge »

Calico wrote: Wed Sep 16, 2020 7:55 pm
I have been comparing the two quotes and I can't find why the one is so much higher.
This is why you get 3 quotes.

When doing my roof, I got 4 quotes. 3 were about $12,000 and the fourth was $60,000. :shock:
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Calico
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Re: Vastly different quotes for wallpaper removal and painting job

Post by Calico »

runner540 wrote: Wed Sep 16, 2020 9:03 pm
Did both quotes include paint and materials?
Neither include paint and materials.
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Calico
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Re: Vastly different quotes for wallpaper removal and painting job

Post by Calico »

unclescrooge wrote: Wed Sep 16, 2020 9:08 pm
Calico wrote: Wed Sep 16, 2020 7:55 pm
I have been comparing the two quotes and I can't find why the one is so much higher.
This is why you get 3 quotes.

When doing my roof, I got 4 quotes. 3 were about $12,000 and the fourth was $60,000. :shock:
Yikes! Maybe that's what I am seeing here. I will wait for quote #3 to come in.
BradJ
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Re: Vastly different quotes for wallpaper removal and painting job

Post by BradJ »

jimmo wrote: Wed Sep 16, 2020 8:30 pm Removing wallpaper is not a fun job. Company A doesn't particularly want the gig, but for a juicy price will do it. Go with Company B and don't overthink it (assuming Company C doesn't come in lower).
Bingo! I’ve removed wallpaper from three rooms, each scraped a bit of my sanity while I was scraping the paper. I would almost ask for an estimate on totally removing the sheet rock with the wallpaper and just adding new sheet rock plus paint. This would probably be a little more expensive, you never know. Remember, you may get what you pay for with a cheaper company, but this wallpaper and paint, not your cars emergency breaks.
Normchad
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Re: Vastly different quotes for wallpaper removal and painting job

Post by Normchad »

BradJ wrote: Wed Sep 16, 2020 9:59 pm
jimmo wrote: Wed Sep 16, 2020 8:30 pm Removing wallpaper is not a fun job. Company A doesn't particularly want the gig, but for a juicy price will do it. Go with Company B and don't overthink it (assuming Company C doesn't come in lower).
Bingo! I’ve removed wallpaper from three rooms, each scraped a bit of my sanity while I was scraping the paper. I would almost ask for an estimate on totally removing the sheet rock with the wallpaper and just adding new sheet rock plus paint. This would probably be a little more expensive, you never know. Remember, you may get what you pay for with a cheaper company, but this wallpaper and paint, not your cars emergency breaks.
Since they both get great reviews, I would go with "B".

Given that company A said "call us if you find a cheaper price"; they know they gave you a high price.... They took a shot at throwing out a high price and hoping you'd bite.

See what Company C says. Assuming it's in between somewhere, I'd skip the shenanigans and go with company B.
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Re: Vastly different quotes for wallpaper removal and painting job

Post by cheese_breath »

jimmo wrote: Wed Sep 16, 2020 8:30 pm Removing wallpaper is not a fun job...
Especially if the drywall (or do you call it sheetrock) wasn't sealed before the paper was put up. You could end up taking chunks out of the wall that have to be repaired before you can paint it.
The surest way to know the future is when it becomes the past.
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Calico
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Re: Vastly different quotes for wallpaper removal and painting job

Post by Calico »

cheese_breath wrote: Wed Sep 16, 2020 10:50 pm
jimmo wrote: Wed Sep 16, 2020 8:30 pm Removing wallpaper is not a fun job...
Especially if the drywall (or do you call it sheetrock) wasn't sealed before the paper was put up. You could end up taking chunks out of the wall that have to be repaired before you can paint it.
I am really hoping that won't be the case. Where I can reach the wallpaper (and it's peeling) I can lift it off more and the wall is still nice and smooth (but sticky) under. I am hoping they did the job right 35 years ago when they hung the stuff (it's original to the house).

I will have to ask if the one company is estimating assuming repairs to the drywall and if the other is assuming no repairs (that could explain the difference).
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Re: Vastly different quotes for wallpaper removal and painting job

Post by allones »

Contractors will bid high for jobs they don't want, or if they're a larger company with a lot of overhead like a big office space, administrative staff, advertising, etc.

If you got an estimate for removing the wallpaper and painting, it will include repairing the drywall (unless they're real scammers, which doesn't seem to be the case given their high ratings). A large part of any painter's job is surface preparation. The drywall will be dinged up in the removal process, even if the current paper is falling off the walls. There's likely old glue they have to skim over to get to a level 4 surface. (https://constructiondesignworks.net/lev ... -finishes/)

Also, the contractor that recommend semi-gloss in your bathroom is right. The hardener in the paint will help keep moisture from settling into the drywall.
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Re: Vastly different quotes for wallpaper removal and painting job

Post by anon3838 »

In my experience, residential contractors fall into 2 main categories:

1. Self-employed, focused on being the lowest cost. Generally (not always but usually) these contractors are so focused on giving the best price...they round down on estimating the finish details among other things. They might finish the whole job but for those with an eye for details...those clients might be pounding their head against a wall dealing with this contractor or paying someone else to come in and fix the details. There’s a market for this type of contractor. Homeowners who value price over craftsmanship come to mind here. If you’re the type who never notices a crooked picture hanging on a wall (for example) save the money and hire this contractor. Contractors who I know IRL who are running this type of business are usually exhausted and frustrated with being a business owner. And the ones I’ve talked to at length about this can’t figure out why they’re barely getting by.

2. Business-minded, focused on creating and keeping a customer base through reputation. Generally (not always but usually) these contractors have thought through all/most details on how to quote jobs to run a profitable business, maintain long-term employees and have repeat clients.

I’ve found that talking to people I know with similar expectations usually have good referrals that align with what I hope to get as the end result vs. price shopping quotes.

Good luck with your project.
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Re: Vastly different quotes for wallpaper removal and painting job

Post by four7s »

This is the most timely post I’ve ever posted. Just yesterday our bathroom project was completed. The job was to remove 18 year old wallpaper and prepare the walls for repainting. The first ‘handyman’ tried his best to get the wallpaper off. It took him all day, he couldn’t do the job completely, and I actually felt sorry for him even though he left us with a right mess. We thanked him and paid him for his time but told him he didn’t have to proceed....uncomfortable......then we contacted a professional painter who against his instincts followed the work of an amateur. He and his helper did the job in 3 afternoon sessions of prepping, sanding, priming,masking and painting. The job was completed yesterday and we are very happy with the final result. Now my wife and I are asking ourselves,’when are we EVER going to learn we should always pay people to do what they are proficient and experienced at? Put simply, if you can’t affford the right person to do it the right way, then don’t do it at all.
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Re: Vastly different quotes for wallpaper removal and painting job

Post by BogleFan510 »

Be careful with this. We paid a handyman and instructed him to properly wash off the wallpaper removal goop with TSP. He cut corners with washing and drying walls and a year later the paint curled in small flakes and is pealing off. We will need to have the walls sanded, primed and repainted.
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Re: Vastly different quotes for wallpaper removal and painting job

Post by Luke Duke »

Given what you've said, I'd probably go with Option B. I would ask them what brand of paint they intend to use. If it isn't to your liking then ask how much more for a better paint.

Note the wide range in $/gal from the same paint manufacturer:
https://www.sherwin-williams.com/homeow ... rior-paint

(SW gives big discounts to professionals)
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Re: Vastly different quotes for wallpaper removal and painting job

Post by carolinaman »

jimmo wrote: Wed Sep 16, 2020 8:30 pm Removing wallpaper is not a fun job. Company A doesn't particularly want the gig, but for a juicy price will do it. Go with Company B and don't overthink it (assuming Company C doesn't come in lower).
You may be right about company B but they may also be planning a quick and dirty approach to wallpaper removal which may result in damage to the sheetrock and negatively affecting the finished paint job. Understanding how each company does the removal is important to understand the quality of their wallpaper removal and ultimately the quality of the finished paint job. Wallpaper removal is not always easy and depends upon the preparation of the sheetrock before handing the paper as well as the quality of the paper. Wallpaper removal will likely make or break the end result.
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Re: Vastly different quotes for wallpaper removal and painting job

Post by treesinthewind »

Be sure you ask what the company will do if (when) they remove the first layer of wallpaper and there is foil wallpaper or anything else unexpected underneath. It's fair if they want to charge more, but on what basis do they charge? We've removed wallpaper from a few rooms now and there's always been something else underneath. So best to get that conversation out of the way up front. Also ask how they are removing the wallpaper. Maybe they are using different methods. Also see if they will include paint; the few times we've not had paint included, it seems like they are drinking it or something because they end up needing so much "extra." And paint is pricey. If they do include paint, be sure they specify brand and specific type; all the big names have different tiers and you don't want the cheapest one.
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Calico
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Re: Vastly different quotes for wallpaper removal and painting job

Post by Calico »

Thanks for the advice.

Both of these are professional painting companies that say on their websites that they do wallpaper removal and painting. They are both licensed and insured and guarantee their work for 2 (company A) and 3 (Company B) years respectively. The third company is the same. All three are highly rated on Yelp and Google with a lot of reviews. I am not hiring a handyman. Not that I didn't try, the one I know of turned me down and said it's best to get a painting company to do it.

I am pretty sure this is the only layer of paper. It's peeling so badly you can see the drywall under it. I can put my whole hand under the paper and feel the wall too. It's smooth, but sticky though. When I peek under the paper, it's just plain drywall. But I will get clarification on what happens if there are problems discovered (whether that's more paper or the drywall starts coming up in chunks). That's a good thing to ask, thanks!

I am leaning towards option B so far (but I am waiting for C to give me their estimate as well). It kind of rubs me wrong if A is playing games with price. I am not sure that's what they are doing, but it feels that way because they've come back and told me to follow up and let them know what my other quotes were because they might be able to match or beat them. It's like they know they are going to be high.
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Re: Vastly different quotes for wallpaper removal and painting job

Post by michaeljc70 »

jimmo wrote: Wed Sep 16, 2020 8:30 pm Removing wallpaper is not a fun job. Company A doesn't particularly want the gig, but for a juicy price will do it. Go with Company B and don't overthink it (assuming Company C doesn't come in lower).
That's what I was thinking. Companies give high quotes when they don't need/want the job. They also sometimes give high quotes if they think you are rich. Painting 3 rooms of the exact same size and condition in a dump of a house can get lower quotes than the same rooms in a nice house. Some contractors quote what they think you will pay.
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Re: Vastly different quotes for wallpaper removal and painting job

Post by JBTX »

adamthesmythe wrote: Wed Sep 16, 2020 8:07 pm My thinking is that interior painting is a job that I do myself. So if you are willing to pay someone a bunch of money to do the job you must be well off enough not to care too much what it costs.

The cost of painting is mostly in the preparation. So if I WERE willing to pay for painting, I would want to be sure the preparation was done well enough. Your first guy at least had some standard he was promising to meet.

Hard to say why they are that much different though. You're probably dealing with small operations. The bid might depend on how he likes your looks, his snap judgement of how likely you are to contract the job, how busy he is today, whether he has a boat payment coming up, or where you live. Exact size of the rooms is probably pretty far down in the factors.
We have painted rooms here and there on our own (Actually DW did it) but when we remodeled the house we had painters come and do. Ceiling and everything. It was a big job and took 3 people most of a week between prep and painting.

Interestingly they painted over wallpaper and textured in an extra office bathroom. I asked and they said it was fairly common. It turned out fine and nobody ever sees it anyway. They may have done the same thing in certain spots in kitchen.
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Re: Vastly different quotes for wallpaper removal and painting job

Post by Sandtrap »

anon3838 wrote: Thu Sep 17, 2020 10:38 am In my experience, residential contractors fall into 2 main categories:

1. Self-employed, focused on being the lowest cost. Generally (not always but usually) these contractors are so focused on giving the best price...they round down on estimating the finish details among other things. They might finish the whole job but for those with an eye for details...those clients might be pounding their head against a wall dealing with this contractor or paying someone else to come in and fix the details. There’s a market for this type of contractor. Homeowners who value price over craftsmanship come to mind here. If you’re the type who never notices a crooked picture hanging on a wall (for example) save the money and hire this contractor. Contractors who I know IRL who are running this type of business are usually exhausted and frustrated with being a business owner. And the ones I’ve talked to at length about this can’t figure out why they’re barely getting by.

2. Business-minded, focused on creating and keeping a customer base through reputation. Generally (not always but usually) these contractors have thought through all/most details on how to quote jobs to run a profitable business, maintain long-term employees and have repeat clients.

I’ve found that talking to people I know with similar expectations usually have good referrals that align with what I hope to get as the end result vs. price shopping quotes.

Good luck with your project.
Outstanding points and well said!

This is rarely pointed out.

Contractors #2 are rare. Maybe 1 out of 20 or more. If it the outfit is owned and operated by a senior or older fellow who is a craftsman and experienced lifetime tradesman who had grown over the years and expects outstanding professionalism and workmanship from his supervisors and employees, and rights a very tight well run company without compromise, then this is the person for the project no matter the cost, IMHO.

Hire someone between the following per your budget and realistic expectations per your budget?
IE: Beer budget and beer taste or fine wine budget and fine wine taste.

Between the following:

1
Licensed and insured Contractor #2 (OCD, highly professional, extremely in demand, no compromise, great communications, everything in writing and detail) :D :D

2
Contractor #1 maybe licensed and insured, very busy because of lower prices, workmanship is "okay" for the price. :happy

3
Unlicensed contractor, says he's a "contractor", get's things done, eventually, no employees, maybe a helper, friend. Some do great work on their time, some are "okay", some may have "issues". :shock:

4
Local "handyman with a van" 8-)

5
or. . . . part time handyman/carpenter with a pickup truck and a dog and great stories of what he used to do and is great at everything from riding a horse to drilling oil wells to . . . . . :oops:

*Wallpaper removal or any surface removal and restoration to a "paint grade" surface can be unpredictable. From simple removing the paper and doing several skim coats to restore surface to level and smooth (an art), or removing and chunks of drywall keep falling out to the point where it might even be easier to install thin sheets of drywall over the damaged wall, or repeated skim coats to restore it, etc. Sometimes it goes easy, sometimes it is a can of worms, often it is at least a half can of worms. Thus, some quotes are high to cover these unknowns.

*It makes a difference what your final finish is going to be. Spatter knockdown, santa fe finish, smooth skim. What?

When I lst started out with a small company, I did a number of these, also on some "flippers". They were not fun and rarely went smoothly and to a high standard. Why? Because by the time the wallpaper is that degraded, the underlying drywall and plaster is also old and degraded. And, who knows how many layers of wallpaper, paint, patching, etc, is under what is seen. Thus, the "can of worms factor".

j :happy
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ClevrChico
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Re: Vastly different quotes for wallpaper removal and painting job

Post by ClevrChico »

I've had painting quotes all over the spectrum for the same job. Since they were all professional painting companies, I went with the cheaper quote (at half the cost), and it turned out great. It's been years and no problems.

If ladders are involved, I'd make sure they are insured.
protagonist
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Re: Vastly different quotes for wallpaper removal and painting job

Post by protagonist »

I'm currently having my exterior painted and the few estimates I received were all over the map (varying by over 100%).
Some contractors have a hard time estimating jobs for bids....even those with a lot of experience (as I have been told by two contractor friends).
The estimate may not correlate well with the quality of the job.

I would want to know all the details of what the painters will do, what paints they will use, how they will prime and scrape and repair, what primer they will use, how many coats, etc etc. I would want all that in writing. Also check experience, reputation, bonding/insurance, references. That will hopefully give you a much better idea of what kind of job to expect than how much they charge.

Then you can decide how much you are willing to pay.

I removed many layers of wallpaper by hand years ago in my mom's condo...she was a smoker. It was a very difficult and awful job (compared with, for example, large plaster wall repairs with no wallpaper and painting rooms in the 1880s Victorian I currently live in- that was way easier). I would never do it again.
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Re: Vastly different quotes for wallpaper removal and painting job

Post by ralph124cf »

I frequently prefer to pay time and materials, if I can be home to watch. I know how to do most of these jobs, but at 71 I am no longer capable of doing it myself, but I know if the job is being done right. Also, if the actual boss is not around, workers have a tendency to slack off a bit, but if the homeowner is around they won't do so as much.

If problems are found, there does not need to be any negotiations about cost to fix, that has already been agreed to in the time and materials contract. The homeowner can choose what type of fix he wants, if there are multiple quality/price choices.

Ralph
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Re: Vastly different quotes for wallpaper removal and painting job

Post by Lalamimi »

We hate it when we get a high bid, then they say they will match etc. Just give us the best price to start with. We had a local guy remove wall paper, texture and paint our bathroom, and paint our kitchen island and french doors (one side) for $1200 after a local company wanted $5K. Said local company was used a year before to paint almost our entire interior (painted over wallpaper in Laundry room after first saying they would remove it) for $2900. He did a great job on removal, but apparently could not see well when texturing and painting. Ended up using 5 gallons of paint in the bathroom before we said STOP.
Paid a second painter $800 to retexture and re-paint. I need to repaint the Island as its is peeling in spots. Good luck. Get a 3rd bid.
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Re: Vastly different quotes for wallpaper removal and painting job

Post by Sandi_k »

ClevrChico wrote: Fri Sep 18, 2020 10:51 am I've had painting quotes all over the spectrum for the same job. Since they were all professional painting companies, I went with the cheaper quote (at half the cost), and it turned out great. It's been years and no problems.

If ladders are involved, I'd make sure they are insured.
Not just insured - licensed, bonded, insured, and WITH CURRENT WORKERS' COMPENSATION REGISTERED WITH YOUR STATE. Also, make sure their company name and license number match, and if they note that they have employees registered with the state.

Ahem. We went through this when we were getting our house stuccoed. It was absolutely insane how many of the folks had a license, had good Yelp/Nextdoor reviews, but who didn't have the required WC insurance. Given we wanted scaffolding (not ladders) and we have a two story house, the lack of WC insurance was a deal-breaker for me.

We also came across a guy who was using someone else's License # in quotes. When I noted the mis-match, he told me that his "friend" allowed him to use the license # so he could get the contractor's discount at Home Dept.

Here in CA, you can go to the Contractor's State License Board to check.

https://www.cslb.ca.gov/Consumer.aspx
Topic Author
Calico
Posts: 524
Joined: Thu Jan 01, 2015 5:45 pm

Re: Vastly different quotes for wallpaper removal and painting job

Post by Calico »

Well, I think I have my answer on the price.

I waited for a third quote, but after two weeks of waiting on the third company, I gave up on them and decided the two were all I would get and went with the lower quote. I signed a contract for the work and it will be done after November, during their slow period for the extra discount.

I contact the first company, with the more expensive quote, as a courtesy. I told them I was going with company B and their quote and added I didn't think they could match it and I didn't expect them to. It took a few days, but they replied, asking me if I was sure it was for all "seven" rooms. As I count them, there are only five rooms with wall paper (I count the foyer/entrance hall as one and the staircase going up as another and then I have a kitchen and two bathrooms with wallpaper to be removed and painted)

The first company never measured anything. They walked around and took notes when I showed them the work. I think they are charging me by the room. But I live in a small townhouse, the rooms are not big. The two bathrooms (powder rooms really) for example are 4'x4'. I joke they are airplane toilets. The second company measured every wallpapered room or wall with paper. They are charging me by the square foot.

I don't know if anyone else really cared, but I thought it would be polite to follow up.
j9j
Posts: 59
Joined: Sat Oct 24, 2015 1:46 pm

Re: Vastly different quotes for wallpaper removal and painting job

Post by j9j »

Thank you for the follow-up. These contractor bid threads are always interestingly. I have the same questions and frustrations with wide varying quotes for similar work. Please do another follow-up and share the completed experience.
TheGiantess
Posts: 8
Joined: Sun May 07, 2017 5:27 pm

Re: Vastly different quotes for wallpaper removal and painting job

Post by TheGiantess »

As someone else said, that is why you get several bids. It has been our experience with projects that bids have a wide range. When we had tuckpointing done years ago top bid was $6000, mid bid $1700 and low bid $600. We chose the mid bid becuase we really thought the low bid was too low. We got outside painting bids, same thing, one was really high and the other two much lower. We went with the lowest because he had a lot of great recommendations from neighbors. And now looking for tree trimmers, first one $1700, second one $800. Both have been recommended but no way I am paying $1700 for tree trimming. We will see if we can get a third bid. Often the hardest part is getting someone to show up. Good Luck.
TG
andypanda
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Joined: Sun Nov 12, 2017 9:11 pm
Location: Richmond, Virginia

Re: Vastly different quotes for wallpaper removal and painting job

Post by andypanda »

As has been mentioned, some of the high bidders have all the work they can handle and know what their time is worth. I've known two brothers for 35 years and they have never advertised their painting company because they get all the work they want from word of mouth. I think their prices are borderline insane even for the country club and horsey set, but they do great work and the rich folks must like them a lot. Let's put it this way, they're booking jobs into next winter, so they must be doing something right. Not this winter, next winter. :)

I also know a roofer who used to run a roofing company specializing in copper and slate. Back in the day a couple of decades ago, he got $105/hour for him and his truck. Adding one or more of the three crews was extra as was scaffolding and heavy equipment. He didn't bid regular roofing jobs or bother with anyone looking for a deal.
michaeljc70
Posts: 7099
Joined: Thu Oct 15, 2015 3:53 pm

Re: Vastly different quotes for wallpaper removal and painting job

Post by michaeljc70 »

andypanda wrote: Fri Oct 02, 2020 5:26 pm As has been mentioned, some of the high bidders have all the work they can handle and know what their time is worth. I've known two brothers for 35 years and they have never advertised their painting company because they get all the work they want from word of mouth. I think their prices are borderline insane even for the country club and horsey set, but they do great work and the rich folks must like them a lot. Let's put it this way, they're booking jobs into next winter, so they must be doing something right. Not this winter, next winter. :)

I also know a roofer who used to run a roofing company specializing in copper and slate. Back in the day a couple of decades ago, he got $105/hour for him and his truck. Adding one or more of the three crews was extra as was scaffolding and heavy equipment. He didn't bid regular roofing jobs or bother with anyone looking for a deal.
One thing I didn't see mentioned is business acuity and respectfulness of your home. I don't want to be disparaging to tradespeople, but many are great at their specialty but not great at running a business. That is essentially what they are doing (unless working for someone else). I've experienced a lot of things over the years that would cause me to not hire someone again: late on start date/times, bad at returning calls, bad on getting quotes out,not respectful of home (banging tool belts into walls, dragging equipment around hardwood floors, not taking shoes off when appropriate, etc.) and things like that. I once had an HVAC guy with sheet metal tubes all over my hardwood dining table with nothing under them :oops: Good workers protect the stuff around what they are doing as needed.

I think some people are willing to pay more for someone that acts like a concerned/knowledgeable/engaged business owner rather than just a guy that can lay tile or paint or whatever.
tibbitts
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Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2007 6:50 pm

Re: Vastly different quotes for wallpaper removal and painting job

Post by tibbitts »

The quotes aren't vastly different given the scope of the job. Price and quality aren't necessarily related for this kind of work. Maybe start with a small project to see how that goes. I had one room done and it was okay but not what I'd hoped, so moved on and tried again. This was for patching, texturing and painting over wallpaper; I didn't think it was worth removing it. It's lasted fine, no issues. I do some painting myself but not so much matching texture to what I already have. Given the prep and texturing the painting was a pretty low extra cost so I had that done too - was finished faster than I would have.
egrets
Posts: 283
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Re: Vastly different quotes for wallpaper removal and painting job

Post by egrets »

michaeljc70 wrote: Fri Oct 02, 2020 5:45 pm
One thing I didn't see mentioned is business acuity and respectfulness of your home. I don't want to be disparaging to tradespeople, but many are great at their specialty but not great at running a business. That is essentially what they are doing (unless working for someone else). I've experienced a lot of things over the years that would cause me to not hire someone again: late on start date/times, bad at returning calls, bad on getting quotes out,not respectful of home (banging tool belts into walls, dragging equipment around hardwood floors, not taking shoes off when appropriate, etc.) and things like that. I once had an HVAC guy with sheet metal tubes all over my hardwood dining table with nothing under them :oops: Good workers protect the stuff around what they are doing as needed.

I think some people are willing to pay more for someone that acts like a concerned/knowledgeable/engaged business owner rather than just a guy that can lay tile or paint or whatever.
How about workmen who use your bathroom and can't aim, then the boss wants to know why they can't use the bathroom any more. I wonder what these guys do at home. Their wives must clean up after them or they live in hovels.
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celia
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Location: SoCal

Re: Vastly different quotes for wallpaper removal and painting job

Post by celia »

If they truly are a ‘professional’ painter, they would have liability insurance and be licensed by the state, if the state requires it. Since you mentioned working on a ladder (scaffolding???), you definitely want liability insurance. We are at the point that if we hire anyone to do anything and they are not standing on solid ground the whole time, they need liability insurance.

My siblings and I are getting an elderly relative’s house ready to sell. The bathrooms have 3 or 4 layers of wallpaper and we will have the walls re-painted. So far, my sister and I have spent 2 days removing hardware and wallpaper from the first bathroom. It is cramped in there and screws that hold grab bars, etc are stripped and will have to be drilled out. We are using a wallpaper removal solution diluted with warm water to remove the wallpaper but it is harder than we thought since the toilet and tub are in the way and corners are difficult to reach. Previous paint jobs covered some of the screws and brackets so they don’t come out easily. Since we are aware of construction ‘surprises’ that are often hidden behind large bathroom mirrors and there is a chance it will shatter if we remove it from the wall, we may just leave it as it is.

But we are having fun!
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