I have a 70+ year-old house with cedar shake siding that is in pretty bad shape and is in desperate need of a paint job. I know nothing about house painting, so I've gotten a few quotes for the job.
Usually when you need a contractor, there's a ball park range of what you'd generally expect to pay for a particular job, and then you adjust your expectations when you get bids that are higher or lower than your budget.
In this case, however, I've received 3 wildly different quotes for the job. I had a $4500 budget in mind, but the bids range from $3200 by an independent carpenter, to $7500 by a professional painting company.
Why is there such a huge disparity between the quotes I've gotten? All have included power washing, scraping, paint, and materials in their quotes. I want the job done right and for the paint to last 15 years or more.
I'm hesitant to go with the low bid because it's just a guy, but I don't think it's worth literally 2.5 times the cost just for the implicit guarantees that come with dealing with a bona-fide painting company.
How can I know how much something like this is supposed to cost?
I did get a bid for $5000, which is closer to what I had in mind, but he can't start work until the fall.