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Question DetailsAsked on 3/28/2012

We are having the interior of our home painted. Is it normal for the painter to ask for 50% upfront?

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2 Answers


That's not unusual at all. In fact that's what I ask for when painting. Keep in mind that a painter usually spends about 25% of the total contract amount on paint and other supplies/materials. After a couple of days on the job, he's usually into it for more than the 50% downpayment. After that, if he doesn't get another draw before the end, he's basically financing the project for the property owner.

I would check references before giving somebody a check like that though.

Answered 8 years ago by JGHamm


As a gray haired homeowner, I would disagree with the previous answer. The response spoke of two things that "justified" a 50% front end payment. The first of these, the cost of paint and supplies, can be simply addressed by having the homeowner prepurchasing the paint. I have found that both sides tend to be more conscious of the coverage of a gallon of paint this way.

The second point made in the previous response had to do with the fact that the painter will do most of the work in the first few days. My life experience is that the painter will tend to stay focused and productive if the bulk of the payment is tied to completion.

I understand that weather delays on an exterior job are not the contractors responsibility and an extended weather delay can be provided for in the contract (which should be completed in advance), but I really don't want to rely on a contractor whose personal finances don't allow him/her to survive for a week or two without prepayments from me.

This may not be acceptable to all contractors, but I have to protect my family first. That is why I also ask for copies of the contractors' liability and workman's comp insurance, and I check them to make sure they are current. Thanks.

Answered 8 years ago by Rewind

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