What is Included in a Painting Estimate?

Painting Services | November 15, 2023

Are you considering giving your home a new coat of paint? A painting estimate is essential to help you determine the scope of work needed and the budget for your painting project. Dunbar Painting, a reputable provider of painting services in Vancouver, breaks down what is included in a painting estimate and the factors that impact the cost.

Areas Included in the Painting Estimate

A painting estimate should outline all areas included in the project and clearly define them. In practice, that means that, if you want to have the interior of your house painted but only want the walls to be done, it should be clear that trim or ceilings will not be painted within the estimate. Anything left unsaid can make it difficult to compare quotes, or difficult to manage customer expectations.

Another example is if an estimate is being prepared for a house exterior you might include sidings and trim and mention that gutters or downspouts are not included. The overall estimate should provide customers with a clear picture of what is included and what could be an additional cost.

The Scope of Work

The painting estimate should describe the exact scope of work needed to complete the job. This means outlining how every surface included in the offer will be prepared and painted, as well as the specific work needed for each one. Different companies may have different approaches, so insuring the estimate explains how your house will be handled is essential.

The scope of work information should determine exactly what needs to be done and what does no. For example, on an exterior painting project the scope of work may include cleaning, sanding failing paint, scuffing and sanding shiny areas, caulking gaps where moisture can get in, or priming bare wood. It may not include all these items depending on the surfaces covered and the scope of work required.


The choice of paint and type of finish are also vital for an accurate painting. There are many choices of paint from different vendors and many options that work for a given situation. It is up to the painting contractor to detail the best possible option in the estimate. Different surfaces require different paints and different sheens perform better in some circumstances. Your estimate should include details regarding product, sheen and where & how it will be applied. One example is choosing products for painting over old interior paint.

Pricing Details

The cost of a painting job is a result of the areas covered, the scope of work required, and the products used. This price can vary house to house since most jobs are not identical in their exact requirements. Most contractors provide a price inclusive of all labour, materials, rentals etc. Some contractors break this price down into smaller sections.

Pricing should include all expected costs and any indication about what is not expected. For example, the cost to prepare and paint a house, including materials, should be provided in the offer.

If there is an unknown amount of carpentry work, it should be mentioned that the price for that is not determined yet. Any access equipment the customer may need to pay for, such as scaffolding, should be indicated in the pricing details. It is always best to include an estimate that encompasses all of these things but, sometimes, they can be broken down per the customer’s request.

Payment Terms and Conditions

The estimate should define the payment options, warranty period, and terms and conditions under which all these are valid.

Payment Options

Every painting estimate should include the payment dynamic and payment options. Some contractors may ask for a deposit upfront to cover the initial material costs and secure the job. Knowing the payment terms and conditions will help you budget accordingly and avoid surprises during the project.

Warranty Information

A painting estimate should specify the warranties offered, if any. Most reputable painting contractors offer some form of warranty on their work, whether for a specified period or the paint’s lifespan. This warranty can provide peace of mind during and after the project.

A detailed and transparent painting estimate is a convenience, but it is also a necessity. It helps effectively plan, budget, and execute successful painting projects for your home. It also provides insights into factors that can influence the final price. By hiring reputable professional painters like Dunbar Painting, you can move forward with the project confidently. Contact us today via phone or email.