Some houses are easier to paint, others more difficult. How do you find out what your house is?

In this article, we lay out questions and guidelines to make your decision of painting the exterior of your home a DIY project or a job for the pros.

Type of House

This can play a big part of the ease of a DIY exterior paint project.  Straight exteriors on a simple, box-shaped house make for easier work. Irregularly shaped homes of two stories or more with dormers, gingerbread, or turrets will make for a more time-consuming and complicated project that may suggest a professional is needed.

Flat or Sloping ground?

Look at the ground around the house for ladder positioning. It’s a plus if all sides have flat ground up to the house. Walkouts with slopes make it difficult to safely position ladders. Also check to see if obstacles like trees, shrubs, decks, fences, vines, or electric wires will be in the way.

Tools & Materials

Each exterior paint project will vary. If you have listed out your needs and already own the equipment, your decision may be easier. If you do not own the equipment needed, price out the rental or purchase of tools and equipment. Then compare the price of everything you need to rent and buy to estimates from at least three local professional companies who include their own equipment in their projects.

Skills & Experience

Just like any job, there are techniques and tricks to learn along the way. Prep work is extremely important. Once problems are discovered, it’s vital to know or be able to find out how to go about them.

Ask yourself these questions:

  • Have you painted before? Knowledge of painting techniques is important.
  • Do you know your paint needs? Estimating paint needs will be more difficult for a DIYer.
  • Can you physically handle the job? Being able to physically handle the job is a consideration.
  • Will you have time for needed prep work? Expect to spend 30–50% of the time on proper prepping.
  • How much time do you have? If you will only be able to handle a project for a few hours a day, a longer timetable will be necessary.

Weigh your answers and consider whether this tasks is worth the risk of saving money versus time, experience and convenience with a pro.

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