UK | Exterior House Painting Cost » Price List | Update 2021

How much does exterior house painting cost?
Freshly painted exterior walls can give a building a new shine and increase its value. But how high is the average exterior house painting cost per square metre in the UK? Which factors influence the price? Plus: The best savings tips and where to get free exterior painting quotes!

How much to paint the exterior of a house in the UK?

The average exterior house painting cost will be around £25 – £40 per square metre in the UK. Prices may vary depending on the region, the qualification of the painter and the used materials. Also additional costs may arise, e.g. for an scaffolding approval.

Average: £25 – £40 per square metre

This is an example of a cost calculation for the painting of exterior walls of about 100 sqm. The 3-bedroom house is located in a small town near London and as the building is located in the city centre and the scaffolding has to stand on the sidewalk, there are additional costs for an appropriate permit.

Example: Cost to paint exterior of house – 100 m²

1 m²
100 m²
Scaffolding (assembly, dismantling, rental fee)
£14
£1,400
Preliminary work (cleaning, plastering, masking)
£3
£300
Priming
£3
£300
Painting (including paint)
£13
£1,300
Approval for scaffolding on sidewalk
flat
£100
Total cost
£3,300

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Service: Bark

  • Stop paying too much for your contractors.
    Get free quotes within minutes and find the best value for money in your region.
  • Professional regional contractors
  • Check profiles and reviews
  • Done in a few clicks
  • No obligations
  • Free of charge

What do the exterior house painting costs consist of?

On average, the cost of painting a house is around £25 – £40 per square metre, including the cost of scaffolding and the necessary preparatory work such as priming, masking the surfaces and cleaning and plastering the exterior walls. The detailed costs per square metre are as follows:
1. Scaffold: Assembling and dismantling as well as rental fee

For the scaffolding assembly and dismantling and the rental of the scaffolding for the painting of exterior walls should be calculated at approx. £13 – £20 per square metre.

2. Preliminary work: Cleaning, plastering and masking the exterior walls

Depending on the state of the exterior walls, it must be cleaned and plastered before priming and painting. Including the necessary masking work, about £2 – £4 per sqm can be planned.

3. Priming of exterior walls

The exterior walls must be primed before being painted. On average you can calculate here with approx. £2 – £4 per sqm.

4. Material and labour costs

These costs are usually calculated together by most painters. The average cost is approx. £11 – £20 per sqm, including paint. The quality of the paint and the region in which the building is located influence these costs. Regional price differences can be significant.

5. Approval for scaffold on sidewalk

If the scaffolding needs to be on a footpath, which is particularly common in city areas, additional costs of approx. £60 – £120 (for one month) must be paid for a permit from the local community.

All prices listed on this page serve as guideline values incl. VAT and may of course vary.

Note that scaffolding on footpaths must be approved

A scaffold on a footpath will increase the house painting cost.
If the scaffolding is on the footpath / sidewalk a licence from the local council is required. Especially in cities this is often the case.

The painter should take care of obtaining this licence before starting paintwork on outside walls. You are advised to check the documents for correctness.

The costs vary from council to council. As a rule, you can expect £60 – £120 for one month.

Which factors influence the cost of painting a house?

» How many windows? What type of surface?

In addition to the anticipated cost to paint a house, such as the cost of materials like paint, supplies and labour costs, there are several other factors that can influence the cost of painting exterior walls.

It is advisable to keep these points in mind so you can make a realistic assessment of the offers you have obtained, as to whether or not the cost estimates for the project are appropriate.

Another point to consider, two houses, which have the same number of square meters of exterior walls, can cost different amounts, even with the same painter.

A painter for example, may include some of the following in his offer:

» Preparatory works

» The height of the building

» The number of windows

» The type of surface to be painted

» Are the surfaces straight or sloping?

» The type and quality of the paint

The type and quality of the paint to be used will be another cost factor, but will not have such a significant impact in relative terms. A professional exterior wall painter will not start painting the outside of a house until he has completed all the preparatory work.

If anything, you will only have to clean the walls yourself or remove old paints. This will help to keep the new paint in place for as long as possible.

Necessary prepatory work and the condition of the exterior walls have an impact on costs

Screens and windows cost extra, regardless of colour selection. Window bars, screens and decorative elements must be painted with brushes, which makes work more time-consuming than painting the exterior walls. In addition, the painter has to be considerably more careful when painting these elements.

The type of surface is also a factor that an exterior wall painter will have to consider. There will also be a higher cost charged for a two-storey house than for a one-storey house, as scaffolding may be needed and work will be slower.
If a house is on a slope, it could cost more as it may be more difficult to paint the exterior walls. Exceptions are brick exterior walls. Even though bricks have an uneven surface, they usually require less preparatory work, therefore a brick exterior wall can be painted rather quickly and efficiently.

Due to the various number of factors that can affect the final cost of painting the exterior walls, it will not be possible to make a final estimate until the property has been inspected more closely.

Outside painter prices can vary by region, season and qualification

Region

In addition to the various cost factors, the location can also influence the average exterior painter prices in the UK.

In rural areas or small towns you can usually find cheaper offers than in big cities like London, Birmingham, Manchester or Liverpool. Also, prices in northern and north-eastern UK are usually lower than in southern and south-western parts.

The table gives you an overview of the average exterior house painting cost per square metre, sorted by location in the UK. The price includes scaffolding, preliminary work, priming and painting.

All prices listed on this page serve as guideline values incl. VAT and may of course vary.

Season

There may also be seasonal price fluctuations. Especially since exterior wall painters are much busier in summer and sometimes booked out for months, prices may also be higher in the warmer season.

Qualification of the painter

In addition, the qualification and reputation of the exterior wall painter can have an influence on the costs. It is definitely worth comparing customer ratings as well as prices.
Average cost per 1 m²

UK Average
£33
UK City Average
£35
UK Rural Average
£29
London
£40
Edinburgh
£37
Manchester
£36
Bristol
£36
Leeds
£35
Glasgow
£34
Nottingham
£34
Leicester
£34
Birmingham
£34
Southampton
£34
Sheffield
£34
Liverpool
£33
Cardiff
£32
Newcastle
£32
Belfast
£31

What to be aware of before painting the outside walls of a house?

There are some important decisions to make before you start painting the exterior walls of your house.

» What kind of completion work do you want?

These areas require special attention and increase the overall exterior house painting cost. Depending on the style of a house, using a contrasting colour for such details can be an attractive aesthetic choice.

» Which colour is desired?

If you need help, a colour consultation is usually offered by professional painters. Each colour creates a different impression and atmosphere. Which exterior wall colour might be the right choice is of course individual taste.

» Which exterior paint should be used?

The best exterior wall paint will certainly not be the cheapest. The price of the paint varies of course. It is worth paying a little more for quality paint that guarantees a longer lifespan.

The use of high-quality paint pays off because the coating lasts longer

A more expensive, high-quality exterior wall paint can also be worthwhile moneywise: With a high-quality paint, often only one coat instead of two is necessary.

This reduces labour costs and, despite the higher price paid for paint, the bottom line is that you still have lower costs overall.
There are many different and unusual exterior wall paint colours available, but white and beige are the most favoured choice.

Probably because a neutral colour doesn’t become ‘too much’ at some point and one gets tired of it. Textured paints are much easier to apply to smooth plaster, while smooth paints are best applied to rough pebble walls.

Note: Cities and municipalities are permitted by law to prohibit certain house colours. For more unusual colours, you should check in advance whether they are allowed.

How often do houses need to be painted?

» About every 10 years

There is no general rule as to how often a house should be painted. Depending on the weather, the quality of the paint and the condition of the walls, for smooth exterior walls it is generally said to be about 10 years.

It is not absolutely necessary to paint a house after this time, but doing so would achieve a great visual effect and brighten up the house significantly. Similar intervals are to be expected for houses with exterior brick walls, depending on whether the bricks had already been painted once.

5 savings tips: How to reduce your exterior painting cost

1. Painting the house together with the neighbours

If you are not the only one in your street who wants to paint your exterior walls, it can be very rewarding to combine these activities and hire an outside painter to do both.

In this way, both benefit from a reduced price while maintaining the same quality. The larger the area to be painted, the lower the price per square metre.

2. Check the house painting quote carefully – are there any hidden costs?

So that the costs do not skyrocket, there are some things you should pay attention to. Is VAT already included in the painter’s offer? If not, you should insist on a cost estimate with VAT.

3. Save money by using higher quality paint

It may sound a bit contradictory, but by choosing a particularly high-quality colour, costs can be saved. The reason is simple. Particularly high-quality paints often require only one coat of paint.

Although material costs are higher, the bottom line is that they would turn out to be cheaper due to lower labour costs (only one coat of paint is needed). Unfortunately, this point is often overlooked.

It is not a question of selecting the cheapest possible material, but rather of minimising the amount of work hours required. This will in the long run, significantly reduce the cost of painting exterior walls, simply because the high-quality paint lasts longer.

4. Schedule an appointment with the painter in good time

Between spring and autumn especially, when most outdoor painters are completely booked out, it can be very difficult to get an appointment for an exterior wall painting including scaffolding.

Due to weather-related restrictions for outdoor painting, it is best to commission an outdoor painter between late spring and mid to late autumn. In order to ensure that a painter has enough time to complete your project, it is also advisable to set a deadline well in advance.

5. Get free fixed price quotes and compare prices in your region

Since not all painters work equally fast, it is always an advantage to have your house painted at a fixed price rather than on an hourly or daily basis. This avoids unpleasant cost surprises and simply makes sense.

Even in the same city the exterior house painting cost can vary significantly from painter to painter.

To save time and effort and to find the best price-performance ratio, it is worthwhile to make a price comparison. You can use the free price comparison on this page.

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