Exterior House Painting Price Guide – Hiring a Pro vs. DIY in 2017

Adding a fresh coat, or two, of paint to the outside of your house can be a highly satisfying home improvement project. When done, the neighbors will be sure to notice it and hopefully complement you. With quality paint, you’ll rest assured your home is good to go for another decade or so, showing off its visual outer layer.

It can also be a fun home improvement project. Focusing on design, immersed in colors, hopefully getting help from a partner, or three — all add to the fun. Though, doing a high quality job will likely require hiring a pro.

Going the DIY route will save on labor costs. Yet, some parts of the overall job can be slow going, unless painting homes is your livelihood. But, who says, you have to do all the work yourself? Or that a pro has to do all the work for you? In other words, whatever part of the job doesn’t sound like your cup of tea, you can hire a painting contractor for those steps.

The DIY approach

Before grabbing a paint can and brush, there a few things to plan for. Actually, the planning stages can easily take longer than the application of paint. The basic steps are:

  1. Plan for a period of time when it will be dry – likely during warmer months, though above 50 degrees and dry is the key.
  2. Survey the house / work to be done – be sure you know where main color goes and where trim paint goes. Also be on the lookout for any obvious places that could use repair.
  3. Thoroughly clean the old paint – this means using a pressure washer, wet rag (for trim), sanding and scraping. Ideally, you get to a clean, smooth dry surface.
  4. Optional repairs – In the previous step, damaged/rotten wood may make itself visible when thorough cleaning is done. Now is the time to repair. Arguably, this is the most important part of this job as it deals with structure of the house.
  5. Visit your paint store – pick out the color scheme, get the materials. Don’t worry, we list some of the materials later on to help you out.
  6. Prime the house – some paints today are mixed with a primer. Most are not, and this is the first coat to ensure the outer layer has something it can adhere to.
  7. Paint the main color – one coat if on a budget, two coats to be like the pros
  8. Paint the trim – this is likely a different color than the main house color, and it may be more than one additional color. Up to you!
  9. Paint doors, porches, shutters and other items attached to the house. Generally this is the same as the main color, but how you color scheme is up to you.
  10. Cleaning up – do not forget this step. You’ll gain much more satisfaction once this step is done. Unattended to paint, left anywhere, can make for a bigger mess than you may think. Also, make sure all unused paint is properly sealed and stored. Touch ups down the road can be had at no cost if the paint is appropriately sealed.

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Slate Roof Cost, Colors, Pros & Cons, Installation, ROI in 2017

Slate roofs have a lot going for them in terms of longevity, durability, and classic beauty and style. Much of it is well known, some of it is not so well known. Yes, natural slate is among the most costly and alluring roofing options for homes, but it is certainly not intended to for every roof structure.


The high price of slate is perhaps one of its most significant drawbacks. Did you know? It may cost about the same to cover a roof square (100 sq. ft.) with high-end natural Slate, as it does to cover a small roof say 1,000 sq. ft. (or 10 squares) with Asphalt shingles. Yet, going strictly by price alone would be an entirely unfair comparison between the two. Slate holds significantly more value than Asphalt shingles.

Cost of Materials

On the low end, the cost of natural slate material alone is about $5 per sq. ft. While that makes it sound almost affordable, keep in mind that asphalt shingles, on the low end cost less than $1.00 per sq. ft. of material (based on buying 3-tab shingles by the bundle). On the high end, the cost for just material is around $15 per sq. ft. Probably a little lower, but we’re looking to be fair. A fair price range for materials designed for residential properties is $6 to $8 per sq. ft.

Total Cost of Slate Roof Installed

Installation costs vary, though it is fair to double the price within the material prices range from above. Such that it would be $12 to $16 per sq. ft. of slate roofing installed. For most roof types, a professional roofing contractor is your best bet for getting that quality installation, but with slate, it is best to go with a slater or a slate roofing specialist.

While, a non-specialist or a typical roofer may at first feel confident about their ability to install it, they would often be wrong. But, if you are really tempted to cut labor costs and go this route, be sure to ask them about their experience and for references or examples of their previous slate roof installations. As this page on Roofing Calc points out, a poorly installed slate roof is a like not having a roof at all.

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Concrete and Clay Tile Roof Costs and Pros and Cons: Concrete Vs. Clay Tiles in 2017

Tile roofs been going in and out of style, but they’re guaranteed to last for quite a while. Traditional tiles are made from either clay or concrete. The latter tends to be less expensive, but there is clearly more value in a clay tile roof.

Styles And Variety

In North America, tile roofing is often associated with the southwestern US feeling. Deep red, clay tiles on a home with stucco siding is what normally comes to mind when we picture roof tiles. Yet, that’s just one possibility.

Historically, Dutch and European immigrants have been in the business of importing clay tiles into the New World since about 1650. All the way through the end of the 1700’s, it was a very popular material which was viewed as superior to wood, because it was fireproof. By the mid 1700’s, America had established itself as a country able to manufacture glazed and unglazed tiles.

As the industrial age chugged along, metal roofing started to grow in popularity, which lead to the decline in the dominance of the clay tile market. Metal is as durable and in many cases, less expensive than tiles. Yet, there have been at least two revival periods in the last 200 years, which is why tile roofing has never lost its stature in the overall roofing industry.

Concrete vs. Clay Tiles and their Impact on Colors

While clay is the historic and predominant material, concrete is the other primary material option. Clay tiles normally come in two types: glazed (liquid glass baked onto the tile) or unglazed. They hold color much better than concrete, especially in the case of Terracotta clay. Regardless of the material, color is mixed in with the material during the production. With cement, color will fade somewhere between 30 and 50 years. With clay, the color will hold steady for 50 to 70 years. And with Terracotta, it is indefinite or for sure 100+ years.

Adding in tile shape and texture, provides a rather limitless variety of options. But generally, architects are going for a particular, established style. Multi-colored tiles on a roof is an option that goes somewhat against the historic norms. Accessories are part of the installation, such that tiles shaped and formed for ridges, hips and gable ends add even more opportunity for greater variety.

Cost and Value

Cost of Materials

Nailing down the exact cost can be a bit challenging. If tiles are plentiful in your region, then expect to pay anywhere from $5 to $9 per sq. ft. for materials alone. Note that concrete tiles can be made to be very light-weight and are available in a wide variety of colors and shapes. Though again, concrete doesn’t hold color as well as clay. Clay tiles will cost anywhere from $6 to $11 per sq. ft. for materials. Other research shows that clay tile will cost 30% more on average than concrete tiles.

Total Cost Installed

The 2017 data shows clay tiles cost between $12 and $17 per sq. ft. to install on a roof. If choosing a more sophisticated design of the tile, that range can go up to $20 to $30 per sq. ft. installed. — This would make it more expensive than natural Slate, or Copper roofing. For a home that has a roof size of about 2,000 sq. ft., the overall average installation cost can range from $25,000 to $40,000 depending on the choice of materials, roof complexity, and location. Should you decide to go for a high-end tile roof, a similarly-sized, premium clay tile roof could cost as much as $40,000 to $60,000 to install.

Structural Requirements

Before you can install clay or concrete tile roof, it is best to have your home inspected by an engineer to ensure it can hold the extra weight that comes with standard concrete and clay material. While, Asphalt shingles weigh about 250 to 400 lbs per square (100 sq. ft.), concrete tips the scale at 950 to 1200 pounds per square, so up to 10 times the weight. Thus, unless your roof was specifically designed to carry the weight of tiles, it will likely require structural reinforcement.


But the benefits are enormous. At the top is longevity. Clay and concrete will last a good 50 years minimum, and exceeding 100 years is certainly possible with proper installation. To get the kind of longevity tiles are capable of providing, you will need to hire an experienced tile roofer. Allowing a handyman to do the job will might help save some money upfront, but this might lead to problems later on. Furthermore, having anyone who is not experienced with how to properly traverse the roof can lead to broken tiles. While clay and concrete are undoubtedly durable over the long haul, the material itself is a bit fragile in terms of impact resistance from full body weight.

Clay and Concrete Tiles vs. Slate

Stone is rather impervious to water. Clay has water absorption of about 6%, while Concrete can absorb as much as 13%. Slate is a material that edges out clay, while wood is known to be rather poor in this regard. There are more benefits, and even disadvantages, which we’ll cover below.


  • longevity and durability – material will last 50+ years
  • virtually water proof, insect proof, fire proof, and resists rotting
  • low to almost no maintenance, though see Disadvantage with regards to underlayment
  • wonderful variety, very unique and beautiful appearance, color that will last (if going with Clay)


  • fragile when walked on, tiles can break rather easily
  • underlayment material won’t last as long as material, and so that underlayment needs to be replaced even while the roofing tiles will be fine. A roofer would remove all tiles, replace underlayment material and then re-install old tiles on the new underlayment.
  • one of the more expensive roofing materials
  • added weight is significant enough factor that it may not work for every home