There are so many factors going into how painting and renovation companies price their work. It can be a very confusing and frustrating process to even get an estimate for the price of your project. You call 12 different companies and are forced to sit through their pitch before they ever talk numbers. You have tried Angie’s list, craigslist, and thumbtack. Now, most of these companies want to schedule an in-person estimate and see the space first. You’re frustrated. You have spent all this time and now you have to take time away from your job or family to meet with another contractor, just to find out their prices are way over your price range. What is making the cost so high? How do you solve this problem? We will be answering all of your questions in this article. If you are simply looking for pricing check out our interior painting page or scroll to the interior painting pricing section of this article. 

how painters set their prices

If you’re in Southern New Hampshire check out our Interior Painting Price Guide.

Why do different companies have different prices?

If you were ever confused about why certain companies charge so much more or had a terrible experience with a cheaper company, then you may already know the answer. Different companies will have different skill sets, employees, overhead charges, and experience. Some companies will charge a premium to complete projects that are high priority (meaning they have a strict deadline and must be completed asap). Larger companies will also have more overhead such as lots of employees to pay, retail stores and software charges. This means that they have to charge more for their jobs, but they are able to provide a seamless experience for their customers. Other companies may not have a lot of experience or skill. Their jobs are rushed and not completed to industry standards. These companies may not be insured as well which is a huge red flag. It is important to do your research ahead of time to find a company that is right for you. 

Not all companies will give over-the-phone estimates but some will

There are both pros and cons to receiving an estimate over the phone. It can be more convenient, fitting into your schedule as a 15-minute phone or zoom call. Usually, these numbers are only estimates and may increase later on when you meet the contractor later on. Most of the time the contractor will still require to see the project in person beforehand. But, if you are able to provide floor plans, exact measurements, and detailed photos or videos they may not request to see the space first. Contractors are also human and may forget to ask a question or two, adding another phone call to your schedule. 

If you are able to schedule an in-person consultation with your painter, then you are more likely able to receive a complete project proposal on the spot. This number usually will not be tweaked later on since the project manager has had the ability to walk through, inspect the space, and think of any questions they may have missed over the phone. If you are happy with the price and the presentation of the company you are meeting with, then you also have the ability to sign a contract that day, minimizing back-and-forth emails and phone calls. 

If you are struggling to get the painting contractor to reveal their prices try adding details such as the timeline you would like your job done by, the square footage of your space, detailed photos and videos, or discussing the goals of your project. As a general rule of thumb, most projects fall into one of these categories. Keep in mind, it is difficult to expect all three in the results of your project.

  1. Fast and cheap (will not be quality)
  2. Cheap and quality (will not be fast)
  3. Quality and fast (will not be cheap)

How are interior painting projects actually priced?

Most interior renovation jobs are priced one of three ways. Square footage, set hourly rates or a combination of the two. Not all painting projects are the same either. Some houses are more complex than others. An empty house may be cheaper than a house full of clutter. Different neighborhoods will have different companies available to them. 

How much can I expect to pay to paint one room?

In general, anywhere from $100 to $2,000

Overall, it depends on the size of the room. Bathrooms will be priced lower than finished basements. It also depends on the complexity of the space and whether or not you are looking to have your trim and ceiling painted. If you need this job done by tomorrow, you can expect to pay more. If you can wait until the winter then the price may be cheaper. 

How much can I expect to pay to paint the interior of my house?

Somewhere between $5,000 and $20,000

Yes, we understand this is a large gap. It really depends on the same factors when painting a single room. How large is the house? Do you need ceilings and trim painted? How complicated is the job? Do you have really high ceilings? What about drywall patching?

How can you lower the cost of your paint job?

Any way that you can help your painters out may help lower the cost to repaint your home. Simply moving all the furniture into the middle of each room is a huge help. If you were looking to help speed up the process this would help as well as measuring your space ahead of time. 

Most of the time painters will expect to repaint the ceilings and trim in your house, as well as patch all the holes and dents in your drywall. If you are on a tighter budget, and the quality of the job isn’t as important to you, you don’t have to have any of these services done. 

Another way to lower the cost of your paint job is to choose the same color for the whole house. Painters will get discounts at the paint store for buying colors in bulk. 

The final way you may be able to get a cheaper paint job is by getting multiple bids. Now, it depends on company policy, but sometimes painters are willing to negotiate during slower seasons (such as the winter when exterior jobs are no longer possible). Sometimes contractors will lower their bids or match bids from other companies to avoid losing jobs. 


Hiring a painter doesn’t have to be confusing and tedious. It doesn’t have to be expensive either. There are so many ways to lower the cost of painting your house. If you know another way to lower the cost of painting your house, comment below. It may just help someone save some money and headaches!

ALTOS Painting & Renovation
(603) 259-4350
309 Cilley Rd
Manchester, NH 03103

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