So you've purchased your +$1 million home or +$500000 condo during BC's insane housing costs and maybe there's not much money left for renovations. Here's some sneakiness to get the painting less than 0.005% of the property value.
Caveat: Many tips to save on painting require your time. Some painters are nuts and don't react well when they detect shenanigans. ⚠ Disclaimer: These tips are not guaranteed. Use at your own risk.
Clever Ways to Reduce Painting Prices :P
Hide the Ferrari, Lamborghini, speed boat and private helicopter during quote time. Park the crappiest cars you can in your driveway.
Arrange all the painting companies to show up at the same time. Competitors that see each other may drop their prices to beat each other. This also saves time by announcing the job details once to a group.
Act normal. Fake it if worthy. Any strange behavior could result in being evaluated as a risky client. Often price is proportional to risk.
Act friendly (not far from normal). "Dan, my buddy! How are you? You're the best. Like some tea? How much to paint this?"
Legally you can hold back 10% for 55 days just in case the contractor doesn't pay the painters (ie contractor skips the province) and the
workers file builders liens. Perhaps the contractor doesn't collect the 10% after 55 days due to forgetfulness. Research Builders Lien Act.
Try to get an agreement for payment 7 to 60 days after invoice date. Maybe the painter might forget to collect
Tip the painter after one job and then ask for a quotation on another job.
Offer donuts, pizza, cookies, muffins or coffee before any and all quotations. This is why some painters are fat.
Before the quote say 'I can refer you to my many friends, relatives and acquaintances.' or 'You can charge more on the next job.'.
Get 2 quotes. Get a quote for a small project and a larger project (whole house.). Be uncertain about the larger project. The bid for the smaller project maybe lowered as bait for the larger project.
Let your supermodel get the quotation. Most painters (are men) get stupefied by attractive women. See the psychological research data on this topic. If you have a large project, it maybe worthy to hire a knockout flirtatious model/actress to get your quotation. "Oh Sweetie, you're handsome but the other company was charging $3000 less than you. What can you do for me?"
Ask for a quote late in the day when people are more tired. There's a chance the quote may error on the low side.
Hire a painter for 1/2 the project and while it's being painted call the competition to walk around to quote on the rest.
Get 1/2 the project painted then get another estimate for the rest for a chance at getting a repeat customer discount.
Ask for requotations from everybody repeatedly. Eventually you'll get a sweet deal.
It might be that painters that are neither Canadian citizens nor permanent residents can be cheaper. If you hear an accent, you could be saving money.
After painting has started, disappear! Reappear when you think the painters are done. There's a chance the painters may proceed with stuff requiring charges in addition to the quotation. When it takes too long to contact you to get your consent on the additional costs there is a lack of agreement and the obligation to pay falls into a grey area. The situation gets easy to dispute. "I'm not paying extra for cleaning. If I had known, I would have done that myself!"
Did you say cash?
Ask for a discount if the painting company wants to leave their sign on your property.
Simply don't pay. Not a nice thing to do but if you have a dispute, (for ex. claim something is damaged, unimproved, incomplete), not paying falls under civil law not criminal law.
The painting company may not want the hassle of filling paperwork and spending the $156 small claims filing fee and maybe spending thousands of dollars on a lawyer. There are drawbacks such as owing an additional $156 + court ordered interest if judge orders payment. Check with a lawyer first.
Shady Ways to Reduce Painting Prices
Hire a contractor with a crew of painters to paint some of the house. For the rest of the house, talk to the painters and try to hire them directly (cut out the boss). Sometimes painters are working for contractors at very low rates. Make sure the contractor isn't around when you do this.
Exploit lack of detail on a quote. For example, "I thought painting the
doors was included?" The contractor may think he goofed up and may not change the total price. Try misunderstanding the quote such as "I thought walls only painted meant the baseboards also get painted. Baseboards are part of the wall."
You leverage online reviews to get a lower rate. What would your painter need to do for that great online review?
Say you can help with the prep work and then be unable to help with the prep work.
Distract the painter (ie talk about cats) during the quote to reduce attention on details and/or keep the painter from looking for a long time at the job.
Say that you had work done before. Maybe you'll get a repeat customer discount. Doesn't have to be true.
Say you lost your quote and ask for a requote. There's a chance the painting company will send somebody different that will quote different. Then pick lower priced quote.
During the quote talk about personal tragedies. Maybe the sympathy will lower the painting price.
If there's no detail on the contract about the extent of drywall repairs then ask the painter to keep fixing the walls until it's like new drywall.
Attempt to get free painting by claiming the painter didn't use a primer sealer coat first. "You're supposed to do a sealer coat first!" This may still work if you didn't ask for a primer/sealer coat and/or the primer sealer coat is of no benefit.
If the painting business is operating without a license, try to get a discount not to report. City fine is $500/day in Surrey.
Do partial payment and then resist doing final payment. Maybe the painter won't go through the trouble to try to collect or sue for a few hundred dollars. Painters are not knowledgable on law. It might be illegal to hold money after 55 days. I don't know if this breaks criminal or civil law. Perhaps check Builders Lien Act.