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DIY vs Professional Painting: What's Best for Your Home?

Rhino Trade Insurance 20 February 2024

Home Painting in Leicester

Whether it’s down to the rise of Instagram, the WFH boom or simply the Great British Weather limiting outdoor activities for much of the year, the UK has an obsession with picture-perfect homes. 

Leicester is no different. Leicester painting trends follow the rest of the UK, and the people of Leicester love a good home décor makeover and a new lick of paint. But there is a question which keeps Leicester’s homeowners up at night, and that is, “Should I hire a painting contractor, or do it myself?”

Costs of DIY Painting vs Hiring a Professional

It isn’t always cheap to hire a professional painter to transform your walls, but could doing it yourself end up costing you just as much? 

  • The cost of hiring a professional

Like with any trade quote, there are many different variables which affect the final price of the job. The size of your house is the most obvious thing affecting the cost, the quality of the paint used, your location (London and the Southeast are always more expensive), as well as the level of experience your painting and decorating professional has. 

Let’s say for a three-bedroomed house, you’re looking at a cost of between £1,500 - £3,500 for a professional to do it. For this price, you’d expect everything to be taken care of, including protecting your furnishings from paint and a thorough clean-up at the end. If you’re one of those nice people who feeds and waters your contractors, add on around £10 in brews and posh biscuits throughout the week. 

Cost: £1,500 - £3,500 (plus £10 for snacks)

  • The cost of DIY

You can expect to pay around £15-£30 for 1 litre of your chosen paint. If you choose a ‘designer’ paint (think Farrow & Ball), this number can almost double. As a very rough estimate, you might be looking at a total of £450-£900 to buy regular paint for a 3-bed house, and around £1,500 for a fancy high-end choice. Most paint jobs require undercoat and two coats, so double the price to £900 - £1,800, or £3,000 for the good stuff. 

Remember, that’s just the walls. You’ll have to budget extra for ceilings, doors and skirting, foam rollers and a tray, a set of brushes, protective sheets, masking tape, sandpaper and Polyfilla. You may even need to buy a ladder. You get the picture – the list of extras is endless.

It could take around a week to get the job done, so you should also factor in time. If you’re self-employed, that’s a week’s wages you’re missing out on (there’s a reason they say a contractor never finishes their own house!). And if you’re employed by someone else, that’s a week of annual leave spent on top of a ladder wearing overalls when you could be out there enjoying yourself.

One more thing to consider – injuries and property damage. You could put your back out lifting a paint tin, take a tumble from a ladder or get paint in your eyes, you will have to take time off work and leisure activities to recover. Plus, if you spill a litre of emulsion all over your new carpet, you’ll have to pay for the cleanup. Remember, your painting and decorating professional will be insured, so these costs will be taken care of if you choose to go pro.

Cost: £1,000 - £3,000 (not counting the cost of your time, the cost of repairing any damage, nor factoring in any injuries you incur during the job). 

Advantages of DIY Home Painting

The main advantage of taking on a painting job yourself is the personal satisfaction involved in sitting back and saying, “I did that!”. It feels good to use our hands and create a positive difference to our environments. There may also be a marginal cost saving compared with getting a contractor in.

Challenges and Risks of DIY Painting

Less-than-crisp lines, drips, weird light patches and those dreaded brush marks. One of the main disadvantages of a DIY paint job is that it could turn out badly… very badly. Even if you don’t fall off the ladder and break a bone, you could still end up with a less-than-professional result. Some walls need a primer, a watered-down undercoat or even plasterwork before you can even start your painting job – something many people don’t realise.

The other main disadvantage is the time it takes. We’re talking about a week’s back-breaking work, so serious stamina is needed.

The Role of Painter Insurance in Professional Painting

As we mentioned, one of the great benefits of getting a painter and decorator in is that they’ll be covered by a painter insurance policy

This is key, as it means that you’re also protected by your contractor’s Public Liability Insurance policy while they’re in your home. This basically means that if anything goes wrong while they’re working, their insurer will pay to put things right. This could be you slipping on a dustsheet, or a tin of paint ending up all over your sofa. They will simply make a claim on their policy and their insurer will pick up the pieces. 

In Leicester and across the whole of the UK, smart painters and decorators choose Rhino for their trade insurance. Rhino offer low-cost policies which pay out quickly and without fuss, leaving contractors relaxed and ready to work on your home with confidence.

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