A great finish doesn’t come cheap, but it can make or break the look of a custom home.
Merlin Contracting has spent years finding, training and teaming up with talented painters whose finish product is worth their cost because many homeowners expect plumbers and electricians to be expensive but are surprised at the prices charged by other subcontractors including the professional painting company.
Although people tend to see painting as intuitive work, there’s a vast difference in appearance and durability between a do-it-yourself finish and one applied by a pro. A professional paint job may run as high as 5 percent of the total job cost (for example, $35,000 for a $700,000 home) but will produce lasting results that make your new home pop.
Professionals get these results by paying attention to details that most homeowners and casual painters miss. In fact, really good painters—the kind of people whose work meets the quality demands of an expensive luxury home— are nothing short of obsessive. They spend unbelievable amounts of time prepping surfaces, following a multi-step process that includes sanding, masking, caulking and filling, then priming, sanding, and caulking and filling again before they even think about applying the finish coats. The final appearance has as much to do with all this prep work as it does with the paint.
When it comes to paint, pros stick to products that have proven themselves over years in the field, and they have the experience to know which ones work best where. They understand the differences in sheen and coverage between different products, as well as what kind of surface each covers best and in what environmental conditions. They also know how to mix paints in the right quantities, what additives to use, how to make crisp lines at edges and intersections, and how to create even looks over multiple surfaces.
It’s no surprise that pros also invest in high-quality tools. There are an overwhelming number of choices in rollers, brushes and spraying equipment, and it takes experience to learn which ones will provide the exact look the homeowners want, whether that’s a traditional brushed finish or one with a glass-like sheen.
The payoff for all this work is a finish that looks great and stands the test of time. Due in part to the careful preparation and right materials, a finish applied by a skilled painter will last much longer before it needs painting again, which of course lowers the long-term cost.
But what if the homeowners have worked with a professional painting company in the past and want the builder to use that company? There are a couple of concerns with this.
Merlin is open to using subs referred by our homeowners and their design team. We vet all subcontractors using the same criteria. All our trade partners must be reputable companies with a track record of satisfied customers. They all must have the appropriate contractors’ licenses and adequate insurance coverage. And because they can get steady work from Merlin, they tend to show up on time, with the right number of workers and offer fair pricing. To ensure that a new subcontractor can meet these criteria, Merlin tries them out on a couple of small jobs prior to contracting them for major work.
The bottom line is that a big part of Merlin’s success is the result of zealously guarding our reputation for quality work, and the quality of the paint job can make or break the look of a fine custom home. The final finish is one area where you definitely get what you pay for.
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