If you’re thinking about painting your home’s exterior, you might be thinking, “Can I do this myself?” and “Do I really need to hire a professional for that?”
Painting the exterior of your home is vastly different than painting the interior. While you can cover your interior walls with a simple primer and topcoat or two, painting the exterior requires much more preparation and skill.
The outside of your home consists of layers of protection. You have your frame, substrate, siding, and paint. (Yes, even the paint acts as a layer of protection to your home.)
So, when you’re looking to paint the outside of your home, should you do it yourself or hire a professional contractor? We’re here to help.
Southwest Exteriors has been an exterior remodeling contractor in San Antonio since 1989. We specialize in James Hardie fiber cement siding replacements along with superior exterior painting services.
We use the highest quality paint, primer, and tools paired with a high-quality installation process we’ve perfected over the years. Even if you have the best products on the market, your paint will not last as it should if it isn’t applied properly.
Although we believe a professional contractor is the best option for a successful outcome, we know that hiring a professional house painter may not be what you’re looking for. We want to provide you with an honest comparison of a DIY and professional exterior paint project so that you can know the benefits and drawbacks of each and choose the best option for you.
This article will outline the pros and cons of a DIY and professional exterior paint project in categories like cost, installation, and more.
After reading, you will know the biggest differences between a do-it-yourself and a professional exterior paint job and can choose which is better for you.
What are the pros and cons of a DIY exterior paint project?
If you’re thinking about painting the exterior of your home yourself or hiring a neighborhood handyman, you want to know what you’re getting into.
Knowing the pros and cons of a DIY exterior paint project is crucial to understand what you gain and may risk if you decide to go this route.
Benefits of a DIY exterior paint project
There are three main benefits of painting your home yourself: it costs less, you can do it on your own timeline, and you don't have to worry about finding a contractor. Let’s dive deeper into these pros.
1. The cost of painting your home’s exterior yourself
How much a project will cost you is probably one of the first things that come to mind. The first benefit of a DIY paint project is the cost. You can buy a 5-gallon bucket of exterior house paint, rollers, and hand brushes for less than $300.
A paint sprayer ranges anywhere from $100 to $800, which is a large cost factor to consider.
When choosing the DIY route, you really only have to worry about the cost of materials. Unless you are hiring a neighborhood handyman, you don’t have to factor in the cost of installation and labor.
2. You can paint your home on your own timeline
When you’re doing your exterior paint project yourself, you are on your own timeline. You can work on small sections at a time or knock your whole house out in a week.
If you are an extremely busy person but want to do this project yourself, then this is another large benefit to consider. The only outside force that may skew your plans is any supply shortages if you are placing a special order.
3. You don’t have to stress about vetting and choosing the right contractor
The last benefit of a DIY exterior paint project is that you don’t have to worry about finding the best contractor to fit all your needs. Finding a contractor you trust with your home can be stressful and add unnecessary anxiety to your project.
It can be time consuming to research different contractors, schedule multiple consultations, and figure out if any of them are what you are looking for.
When you choose to paint your house yourself, you are your own boss for your project. You can decide when you work, what brand of paint you want to use, and all other aspects regarding your project.
If making decisions and micromanaging is a strong point for you, then this is a huge benefit to doing your project yourself.
Drawbacks of a DIY exterior painting project
Now that you know the pros of painting your home’s exterior yourself, what are some of the cons to it?
1. You have to buy the necessary tools for a high-quality outcome
The first drawback to consider when painting your home’s exterior is the tools needed for the best application. While you could paint your home with an extended roller and hand brushes, a sprayer will yield the best results.
A paint sprayer is an expensive tool that you probably wouldn’t consider worth purchasing unless you plan to paint many different surfaces.
When hiring a professional, they come with all the tools necessary to apply the paint properly and for the outcome to be successful.
Another part of having the right tools is buying the right paint. If you are looking for the cheapest option out there, then you can’t expect your paint to last.
2. You risk a poor quality application of the paint
Along with having the right tools for your project, you must have the right skills and knowledge for the outcome to be successful. Without knowing the proper application process and tools necessary, your paint application can turn out uneven and overall will not last as long.
Your home’s exterior must be properly prepared, cleaned, and primed before going in with any paint. This takes added effort you may not want to put in. However, if the surface is not prepared properly, the paint will not adhere to the surface properly. This will then cause the paint to fail by chipping, peeling, or blistering in a short amount of time.
3. You have no warranty against failure in products or installation
The final drawback of a DIY exterior paint project is that you have no warranty against any failure of the paint due to poor installation. This means that if you mess up, it is on you.
Professional contractors carry a warranty for their workmanship and labor, so if something were to go wrong or not up to your standards from a professional project, that contractor would (in most cases) fix it with no additional cost.
Some paint manufacturers offer a warranty on the paint against chipping, peeling, blistering, and fading for an amount of time. However, product defects are typically voided if they are not used properly or the necessary precautions are taken beforehand.
This is why having the proper knowledge of products and application processes is crucial for any DIY project.
Is a DIY exterior paint project right for me?
After learning about the potential benefits and drawbacks of a DIY exterior paint project, you can make an educated decision on whether this is the right option for you.
If you are looking for a quick fix under a tight budget to spruce up your home’s exterior, then painting it yourself might be right for you. Or, if you only want to paint one small section of your siding, then it might not be worth the hassle to hire a professional contractor.
If you have experience in the past painting your home’s exterior with success, then a DIY project may also be a good route for you to take.
Before making any decision, you need to know what the benefits and risks are of doing it yourself or hiring a professional.
What are the pros and cons of a high-quality, professional exterior paint project?
While hiring a professional to paint your home’s exterior has its many benefits, you want to know what some of the drawbacks could be.
Let’s take a look at some of the pros and cons of a professional exterior paint project so you can better understand if it is the right option for you.
Benefits of a professional exterior paint project
If you’re going to invest in hiring a professional contractor to paint your home’s exterior, you want to know what exactly you’re going to get.
1. Access to the highest-quality products and materials
The first benefit to a professional exterior paint project is the use of high-quality paint products and tools. Just like any other home remodeling project, contractors offer products that you can’t just buy off the shelves at a hardware store.
When you hire a professional paint company for your project, it’s important to ask about their products and processes to ensure they are using high-quality materials and know what they are doing.
For example, high-quality exterior painters will use a paint sprayer for the best application. As mentioned before, these sprayers are not a cheap tool, however, they are necessary for the best outcome. This is a benefit to hiring a professional rather than doing it yourself.
2. Longer lasting paint on your home
Pairing with the use of high-quality products and installation, hiring a high-quality professional painting contractor will ensure your paint will last on your home.
If you are looking for a long-term solution to painting your home, then you will want to hire a contractor that has a track record of excellence. Knowing the products your contractor uses and application processes is crucial to choosing the right contractor for you.
On the flip side, if you want to hire a contractor but are looking for the least expensive option, you cannot expect your paint to last as long on your home.
3. Your paint is backed by a warranty
The last benefit of a professional exterior paint project is having a warranty to ensure the paint. Say once your project is finished, you notice an area that looks patchy or a spot was missed. Depending on the bounds of the contractor's warranty, most will correct application mistakes.
If your paint is covered for 15 years and you notice a corner starting to peel in just five years, your contractor will repair the area under the warranty.
Of course, every contractor’s warranty is different, so it is important to familiarize yourself with your contractor’s warranty to know what exactly is covered for your paint.
Drawbacks of a professional exterior paint project
While you would expect to have only positives when hiring a professional to paint your home’s exterior, there are a couple of potential drawbacks you want to consider before signing a contract.
1. It is more expensive to hire a professional
The biggest drawback of hiring a professional contractor for your project is that it is more expensive than if you were to do it yourself. You must consider the cost of materials, service, and labor.
The cost of premium products and expert installation will also cost more than if you were to hire the least expensive option you can find.
When factoring in the cost of your paint project, it’s important to have realistic expectations for the outcome. If you want the highest quality product and installation, it is never going to be the least expensive.
2. It can be hard to find a contractor you can trust
One of the hardest parts of any home remodeling project is finding a contractor that will meet your needs for your project.
Although painting your exterior may not seem like a complicated project, you still need a contractor that will exceed your expectations and won’t take advantage of you. However, with so many options out there, it can be hard to find the right one for you.
Researching and asking specific questions are the best tactics to keep in your toolbelt to find a contractor that will give you the best outcome for your project and take care of your home.
Is a professional exterior paint project right for me?
If you are looking for a long-term solution to painting your home’s exterior, then you are going to want to hire a high-quality contractor with a proven history of success.
A professional exterior paint job will ensure your home is protected and will last. You won’t have to worry about repainting your exterior in a short amount of time.
With a professional contractor, you will receive a high-quality paint application to last and protect your home. However, it will be more expensive than if you were to paint your home yourself.
DIY vs. professional exterior paint project: Which is better for me?
Now that you know the pros and cons of both a DIY and professional exterior paint project, you can make a better decision for your project and your home.
If you are looking for a quick fix to spruce up your home’s exterior and aren’t concerned about the longevity of the paint, then a DIY project might be right for you.
If you want something that is going to last on your home and provide an added layer of protection to your siding, then hiring a professional, high-quality contractor for your project will align with your goals.
Before choosing the DIY or professional route, you must outline your wants, goals, and needs for your project. How long do you want it to last? What do you want the outcome to be? What kind of experience do you want to have if you choose a contractor?
It’s important to have realistic expectations when it comes to the cost, quality, and outcome of your project.
At Southwest Exteriors, we strive to offer the highest quality products paired with the best application processes. We know that without a proper installation, even the best products will fail. This is why we take pride in our quality of service and craftsmanship.
While we would love to be the right solution for everyone, we know that we are not. We want you to be educated on all your options so that you can make the best decision for you.
Whether you’re considering painting your home’s exterior yourself or hiring a contractor, it’s important to know what makes a high-quality paint job so you can get the best results possible.