My old neighbor is a really nice guy, and he used to be a painter of
early days. How much should I pay him to paint my house, excluding all
the costs of paint and equipment? My house is a contemporary, 3300 sq
feet, wooden panelling in good condition. I've never had a house
painted before and don't know what to offer, on a per-day basis or for
the whole job.
You just tell him you won't let him do it if he doesn't give you an
honest price. If you think it's too low, just add what you think is fair
at the end of the deal, which he will no doubt refuse, and then go buy
him something you know he can use. He can turn down money, but not
something already bought.
That's what friends are for.
I would think twice before getting your neighbor to paint your house.
If something goes wrong either on his part or on yours it is bound to
cause a problem between you two. What is more important, keeping good
relations with him or taking a chance on destroying it because of a
Examples of things that are likely to go wrong are:
1. How long it takes to finish the job.
2. Hidden damage that he will have to repair.
3. Disagreement over the finished product.
4. Him falling off a ladder and getting hurt.
5. Types and shades of paint used.
With a stranger there are no emotional ties and there is a contract to
abide by. With friends many things can go wrong where money is
Another option is opt to do the work yourself and have him supervise
you. If he has the experience of painting houses he can give you much
information to make it easier and faster. He'll also feel useful and
your friendship bond will become stronger.
Talk about a couple of "stick-in-the-mud" types... :)
The guy was a profesional painter, for Pete's sake---give him at least
a little slack.
My only real concern other than that of the "how do you treat a
neighbor/friend" question and what the actual relationship is between
the two might be from the original question that the old fella' might
be getting a little too long in years to be up to the task physically
-- don't know that, obviously, but is a consideration I think...
If he was a real pro then he's got more skills and tips than I've come
across in decades. And I'm sure he'll tell ya shit happens to everybody,
good shit & bad shit, and it's not necessairly anyone's fault.
Although maybe not commonplace, when it comes to money in some form or
other, immediate family members have been at opposite tables in court.
I really hope it goes uneventful and the words of Al Bundy once again
fall into the "asshole" category :-)
Don't know -- is this a for hire arrangement or has he volunteered to
just do it or has he asked if you would like for him to do it (as in
fishing for some work)? Are you going to be working side by side w/
him or are you off at your day job and he's painting for you? If you
are helping, are you help or hindrance? I'd want to know the
circumstances far more thoroughly before positing a response,
If you're basically hiring him, I'd think he ought to get going rate
in your area and then he can refuse it. If he's volunteered, you
might cause more hard feelings by trying to tie payment to the work
level of effort than just letting him do the work w/ you supplying
material. In that case, of course, you treat him royally w/ a sizable
gift of whatever seems appropriate for his interests, etc., probably
helped along w/ a nice little check to go with it.
Anywhere in between starts w/ the going rate in your area and I've no
way on knowing that (nor anyone else here since I don't believe it was
If he is retired, he probably no longer has insurance coverage, which
could expose you to a lot of liability if you are paying him. Also,
I've never seen a solo painter; they always seem to work in crews, so
I'm thinking that, he no doubt being older, he would need at least one
Around here, we all just work together, with experienced people (such as
retired painters) showing others how to do their share. No money is
exchanged, but expenses, such as paint and consumables, are paid for by
the owner. Its worked well, but it requires people who are willing to
make a continued commitment; i.e., we'll do my house this year, and his
As difficult as it is, you MUST come to a fixed price for the job and
let him make all the decisions about how to do the job you have
spelled out in your written contract.
That makes him an independent contractor and thus releaves you of
virtually all liability issues.
Get him to bid the job and you either reject or accept his bid.
In other words, keep it an arms length transaction.
Never pay anyone an hourly or daily price for working on your
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