SA Building & Remodeling
House Painting Could Be Your Least Expensive Investment
Rudy Niño (November 23)
Believe it or not, painting your house could be the least expensive improvement you do. Maybe it's not stocks or bonds, but a painting job could be a smart investment.

Painting you house can add years to its life, and painting with an acrylic latex exterior product can add years to the life of the paint job, possibly even saving you some money. Acrylic latex produces a "breathing" or "one-way" film that forms a barrier to keep moisture from penetrating the surface, but does not interfere with the escape of water vapor from within the walls.

Properly applied, acrylic latex paint can perform well and protect your exterior for years to come. Latex paints made with 100% acrylic binders can last twice as long as ordinary house paint, possibly even ten years or more as compared to a three or six year lifespan of ordinary exterior paint. Acrylic latex paints can cost three to five dollars per gallon, but the added cost could be as little as $60 to $100. Since most of the cost of repainting often goes to labor -- up to 85% in some cases -- the additional cost of the acrylic latex may not make much of a difference because the time between paint jobs can be much less.

A good way to understand the investment value of acrylic latex is to consider the life of the paint job and its related costs. To give you an idea, let's use an example of a 3,500 square foot home requiring 20 gallons of paint. Ordinary latex paint might cost $15 per gallon for a total cost of $300 with labor costing about $2,000. If this $2,300 paint job lasts for four years, the cost per year would come out to $575. If you use acrylic latex, however, you might spend $20 per gallon up front, or $400 for the paint. But, with the labor cost remaining at $2,000, your $2,400 paint job might last up to ten years, in which case you would be spending just $240 per year!

As you can see, acrylic latex could be the better investment in the long run, and you might consider it for your "pick" list as a way of protecting your home. To help you identify the paint that's right for you, ask your house painter or contractor, and make sure you talk about such things as preparation for the job, priming, cleaning, or any other question you might have. It might not be a bad idea to discuss colors that are "in" now, and the paints that are safe for applying in the cooler temperatures, which we have been seeing lately. Whatever color you decide upon, acrylic latex could be the least expensive improvement you do for your home, a smart investment for your biggest investment.

Call Rudy Niño for a quote at (210) 723-2616 or Request an Estimate online.
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