Spring has finally (hopefully) sprung and with it, so has the exterior painting season. Homeowners all throughout West Michigan are already starting to take a look around their properties, trying to decide what jobs need to be tackled and which ones can wait until next year.
Well, with the economic situation being what it is, chances are most of us who are looking to do some exterior painting are also looking for ways to cut back on the expense. And typically, when it comes to painting, the most obvious place to cut expenses is by buying a cheaper paint. After all, if you buy 3 gallons of paint at RepcoLite for $40 a gallon, but can buy some paint at the hardware store down the street for $20 a gallon, you’ll save at least $60 on the project, right?
Not exactly. In fact, chances are, you won’t be saving any money at all and, in fact, will likely be spending more in the long run.
According to a Press Release by the Paint Quality Institute, field tests show that “while ordinary exterior paint lasts about 4 years, top quality 100% acrylic latex paint can last 10 years or more when applied to a properly prepared surface”. What this means, is that while the initial cost of the paint is HIGHER, the overall cost of the paint will be much, much less.
For example, taking our situation where a homeowner purchases 3 gallons of ORDINARY paint to do some work on their home, we can see that the cost is $60. Add another $15 or so in for supplies and then, don’t forget to take into account your time. With all of that, you’ve got at least $75 in materials and some time invested. Now, according to the field tests conducting by the Paint Quality Institute, that ORDINARY paint is likely to give you 4 years of quality service. So, doing the math, the cost breaks down to about $18.95 a year.
Now, if you’d do that same job with QUALITY 100% ACRYLIC paint like RepcoLite’s Endura (formerly UltraShield), you’ll pay $37 per gallon. With 3 gallons needed, you’ll spend $111 on paint. Add to that the $15 in supplies and your time and you’ll have a total cost of about $126.
At first glance, that looks like a $50 savings by going to the cheaper paint. However, if the Endura lasts–as the field tests show it will–at least 10 years before it needs to be redone, you find that the average cost per year breaks down to about $12.60, which actually makes it cheaper in the long run than buying the cheaper paint.
Add to that savings the fact that your time isn’t cheap and that with the ORDINARY paint, you’ll have to do the project at least twice before you’ve reached that 10 year point that QUALITY paint will get you.
The savings get even greater if you decide to hire a contractor to do the work because labor costs don’t vary based on the paint. If you have your painter use a cheap paint, it’s not going to affect your LABOR costs. If he uses a QUALITY paint, your LABOR costs will not change. The only thing that changes is your PAINT costs. And if that paint lasts you 2 1/2 times as long as an ORDINARY paint, you’re going to be money ahead in the long run.
In the end, remember that saving money is about looking at the big picture. Saving money today, only to spend more money down the road doesn’t really do you any good. You’re net result is still a loss. So don’t let yourself get suckered by a low sticker price. Saving money is about more than just saving a few bucks today. Buy with the big picture in mind and you’ll be congratulating yourself for your smart decision 4 years from now!