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Hiring a Home Painter in Philadelphia

by Jon Nunan

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Hiring a contractor for any reason, in any city, can be a difficult task. It's hard to tell by looking at a website or an ad in the yellow pages who will do the best job. When looking for a Philadelphia home painter, you might have to talk with several companies in order to get a good deal on a job done well. Some websites will have reviews of local contractors that you can peruse; you may even want to speak to a few satisfied (or unsatisfied) customers before you make a decision.

Painting Brick Exteriors
The exterior of your Philadelphia home is subjected to some of the harshest conditions around. It's got to deal with wind, snow, and sleet in the winter, very high temperatures in the summer, and dirt, debris, and exhaust fumes all year round. Even though brick will often remain structurally sound for many decades, these environmental factors will eventually take their toll on a building's appearance.

Though some might argue that brick should be left as is, when done right, painted brick can look just as good as the brick's natural appearance. Brick requires good preparation before it can be successfully painted; Philadelphia house painters are generally well versed in the process that is required to make painted brick look its best.

Painting Interiors
In Philadelphia, home painters are hired much more often for interior jobs. This is probably because the most common materials for exteriors in the city (siding and the aforementioned brick) generally keep their appearances for long periods of time.

When it comes to interiors, a Philadelphia home painter needs to be prepared for anything. So many homes have what is nicely referred to as "character", which basically means that the property is old and contains some hard to work in spaces. In such spaces, it's easy to get sloppy; when choosing whom to hire, don't get just an estimate, but also a feel for the company you'll be working with. If you get the sense that this particular outfit might not be as professional as they claim to be, it could be worth a slightly higher price to avoid the hassle of cleaning up the left over dust and paint drips on your floor after the project is done.

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Philadelphia House Painter Prices
One of the best things about hiring a home painter in Philadelphia is that you'll have a lot of companies to choose from. If you start to get a bad feeling about the person you're working with, there are a lot of other fish in the sea.

For a small project, Philadelphia house painters usually charge between $350 and $500 (which is less than the national average of around $700). To paint a large portion of the interior or exterior of a house, Philadelphia home painters often charge between $1000 and $5000 (with some figures rising to $6000 or above). That makes this project a considerable investment, and one worthy of being specific about. If you're not sure of the color you want or which rooms need to be done, it's okay to take your time (though changing your mind once the work actually begins might become costly).

When choosing paint, it is often a good idea to pick a higher grade. Better paint usually requires fewer coats (which saves on labor costs) and will also hold up longer (which saves money over time). You may even be able to supply your own paint if you want something very specific.

Jon Nunan is a freelance writer who draws on his experience in construction, ranging from landscaping to log home building, for his articles on home improvement.