We want to have our house painted and want to make sure it's done right!
April 27, 2016 9:19 AM   Subscribe

Our house was built in the late 60s, and has wood siding. It appears to have been painted in the last 15 years, though we can’t be sure. We’re going from a dark red to a light gray color, It’s likely some of the wood will need to be replaced/fixed/caulked and the windows will need to be re-glazed or caulked. There’s a lot of trim that will need to be painted a second color.

So far our estimates have ranged from $2300 (a guy who did our interiors and did a good job, but I doubt he is insured..) all the way up to $7900 (which includes a 5 year warranty and from the paperwork, a lot of attention to detail). We have two other estimates, at $4100 (would likely do a good job, though not with the same detail as the higher estimates) and $5700 (seems quite thorough, very detailed breakdown in the paperwork). All include pressure washing first.

What questions should we be asking before making our choice? Should windows this age be re-glazed or can we go with just caulk? It seems re-glazing is only done by the guys with the higher estimates, of course. If we don't expect to be in this house for more than 5 years, is it worth paying those higher prices?
posted by arm426 to Home & Garden (2 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I don't have time at the moment to try and provide a more complete answer, but if you have vintage 1960s windows I wouldn't bother having them re-glazed. Replacement windows or nothing. Modern windows are so much better than what was available in the 1960s it's not even funny, and you can get replacement sashes put in without having to replace the frames. (This is something my company does all the time.) Reglazing old windows is a waste of money, in my opinion. Save up for new ones, and if your current windows are really so bad you can't live with them in the meantime, just buy a couple tubes of silicone and give them a quick-and-dirty caulking job yourself as a stopgap measure. Having them professionally reglazed/recaulked is only a stopgap as well, just a much more expensive one than DIYing it.

As far as resale, replacing old windows with new ones returns a bit more than 70% of the cost on average. Those are national numbers, but if you follow that link you can get information that's more relevant to your region. It assumes you live in the US, of course.
posted by Anticipation Of A New Lover's Arrival, The at 12:39 PM on April 27, 2016 [1 favorite]

Painting is 90% prep work.
Pressure washing drives water into the wood. Many painters will wait a few days, then apply latex paint - over the remains of the old paint that didn't get knocked off, and the still damp (down inside) wood.
Then the sun hits it, the water wants out, and knocks the new paint off along with some of the old paint that it is attached to.
I am not a fan of paint jobs preceded by pressure washing. I bought my house as a forclosure, the bank painted it. 2 1/2 years ago, and the paint is falling off. I knew it would.

I have a friend that paints houses here in our 1920's-1930's historic neighborhood. If you hire him, you are in for a long job as he will NOT apply paint over old paint. It all comes off down to the wood - mechanical methods, no water blasting. He conditions the wood with linseed oil /mineral spirits, gives that a while to cure, and paints with oil based paints.

I've heard the average lifespan on a repaint job on a wood house is five years. His seem to be lasting a quite a bit longer than that...

And just FYI, my house still has the 90 year old wood windows with weights, other than a few sash I had to replace due to prior neglect. Keep wood windows up, reglaze, repaint, and they will last a long long time. Getting wood sashes made is really not that expensive looked at from a life-cycle cost. If I replaced the windows in this house I would drive my property value down, not up.
posted by rudd135 at 4:29 PM on April 27, 2016 [2 favorites]

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