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Before You Accept a Low House Painting Estimate, Ask These 4 Questions

Before You Accept a Low House Painting Estimate, Ask These 4 Questions

Are you planning a home painting project, interior or exterior?

If so, you likely have at least a few estimates in front of you, each with a different number on it. Or, you will soon.

The temptation can be to simply grab the lowest bid. After all, as long as the paint gets applied, why pay more, right? Paint is paint.

In the world of professional painting, however, you truly do get what you pay for. And, while bargain bids may seem like a no-brainer, they can sometimes end up being the most expensive option when all is said and done.

Cheap Painting: When a Bargain Is No Longer a Bargain

Photo by MB Jessee


There are a lot of details woven in and through your painting estimate, and it’s important to know what isn’t being said just as much as what is.

To clarify what we mean, here are a few concrete questions you can ask your painter to better understand what is being sacrificed in order to make your low estimate possible.

What Should You Ask Your Painter?

  • What kind of surface prep does my estimate include? - Thorough preparation and making necessary repairs is an essential part of a quality painting project. Otherwise you’re building on a faulty foundation and your finish will suffer for it.

  • Are you using a high-quality product? - The ingredients in cheaper paint just don’t perform as they should, meaning that your paint will not last as long, look as good, or cover your surfaces as well during the application process.

  • Can you explain the details of my warranty? - Lengthy warranties look fantastic on paper, but often are full of loopholes that protect the painter but leave you out in the cold. Even if it’s a shorter duration, a clear, concise warranty that really offers peace of mind is much more valuable.

  • Do you work with subcontractors or employees? - While hiring a subcontractor for a specific task is not always a bad thing, your painter should rely primarily on their own dedicated, invested team. You want to be sure the painters are committed to quality, not just to finishing the job and moving on.

Paying more for a job well done is always more cost-effective than needing to pay extra to correct poor craftsmanship. It’s also more cost-effective to invest in a beautiful, longer-lasting finish (interior or exterior) than frequent, less satisfactory work.

Take the time to get to know your painter: their story,local commitment, examples of work, and reviews. Finding and partnering with a true pro is priceless!

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Our Credentials

Best of Oakland 2018 BBB American Society of Interior Designers ASID Leadsafe Certified Firm EPA NARI Member Nolan Summit Services Inc

Customer Reviews

“MB Jessee just finished our exterior and we couldn't be happier with our experience. The foreman (Pedro) and lead painter (Ricardo) were incredible to work with: they communicated scheduling clearly, Ricardo was a joy to be around every day, the showed up early every day, were incredibly tidy and did great paint work. The final walkthrough experience was incredible. Pedro pointed out items I missed demonstrating a clear desire to complete another quality project. I highly recommend them. As others have noted they definitely aren't the cheapest but you quickly realize that you're getting what you pay for. The 3-year guarantee is also a nice touch since there are likely touch-up items that will show up after the job is done.”

— Joshua J.
Oakland, CA

“MB Jessee painters are stellar! As a designer I've worked with numerous companies over the years, and MB Jessee is a top-notch firm. From the first phone call to the final clean up, every person is courteous, professional, and hard working. The owner, Matt, is a charitable leader who has instilled his team with integrity and honesty providing the customer with a first class experience at a fair price with a paint job that is guaranteed to last. I highly recommend MB Jessee. Thank you Matt and your STAR crew-Daniel, Rigoberto, Vicente, Edy, Pedro, and Mario, for a job well executed! Cynthia Brian, ASID, Starstyle® Productions, llc”

— Cynthia Brian
Morgan, CA

“Awesome work by highly experienced, professional painters. They were: Conscious about the amount of time it would take. Ours had a lot of pre-work and took 3 weeks. Accommodating when we added a few last-minute changes Understanding when a heatwave hit and we remove some of the plastic sheeting over windows, which they had to put back up the next day. Accessible, especially the on-site crew (Hi Jose & Victor!) -- always answering questions and checking in. The end result is a perfect paint job that makes our 94-year-old house look brand new. I would definitely hire MBJ again”

— Stacey R.
Oakland, CA

“Many thanks to Rigoberto and Damon and the extraordinary team who transformed my castle in the skies.They are magicians. I appreciate their work very much.”

— Kathleen A
San Francisco

“Julie,Just to let you know I am very appreciative of your crew catching the plumbing/mold problem. It was very astute of them. I wanted to let you know that again your crew has done excellent work here, please pass this along to Mr. Jessee. There are some bumps in the road here, but the painting and your crew has not been one of them. Their work is the only thing going right currently, and this crew is very nice and respectful. It is much appreciated. Thank you again.”

— Beth
Oakland

“Matt, We are very happy with how all of the painting worked out. We were extremely impressed with the quality of the work in the bathroom. I liked working with Victor, he and Marvin were extremely conscientious about doing a great job, not just the minimum. I know the front door took a lot longer than you'd expected. But they did it PERFECTLY. We never thought it could turn out like that! Thanks again for the great work. We'll be calling you again in the future!”

— Craig
Alameda, CA

“Very easy to work with, they did an outstanding job with our project of re-painting our painting our kitchen cabinets. Given the scope of the job and that our kitchen is roughly half of our upstairs living area they did a fantastic job of minimizing the mess. Workmanship was top notch, would definitely recommend.”

— Vince Scola

“Just wanted to let you know that the crew was great to have around the house for the past two weeks. All three of them were professional, courteous, and attentive to my thoughts/concerns and were extremely knowledgeable. They paid great attention to the detail and it shows.”

— Mark & Roberta Gross

“Just had MB Jessee paint the interior of our house and they did a wonderful job. They tackled some crazy wallpaper as well as painted some very high ceilings and walls. The whole process was quick and they did a great job! We are very pleased. I was also very impressed by the crew. They were very personable, kind and actually took pride in the work they were doing. In one of our conversations with the lead Ricardo, he actually told me he was very proud of how the rooms had turned out. I agree sir! It turned out great and it's not often you hear someone thinking of your home like they would theirs, and putting that level of work and quality into it. That made a huge difference in how I viewed this company. Ricardo, you were fantastic and thank you for the great job, we will be using you again.”

— Jeff M.
Danville, CA

“High quality work from a pleasant and qualified staff. Thank you!”

— Paul Markovich

“Richard and crew have been great, for sure. As much as I look forward to having the job done and my house back in order, I really enjoyed having them around. You should feel really good about how they represent your company.”

— Jessica Dodson

“The finish on my kitchen cabinets had failed, becoming tacky and grimy around the handles. M B Jessee gave me a reasonable quote, far below some others, and did an outstanding job, striping the original varnish and refinishing with a new lacquer finish. The cabinets look like new. Work was done 1 day faster than estimated. The crew was extremely hard-working, considerate, and neat. Highly recommend M B Jessee.”

— Thama B.
San Francisco, CA