Want to know the fastest, easiest way to add value to your home? Change the look with a new coat of paint.

If itPainting The Exterior Of Your Home … Do It Yourself Or Hire It Done?s been a while, your house may be fading or even looking like it belongs in a time gone by. Fresh new colors can bring it into today’s time, and make it the most impressive house on the block.

Once you decide to paint your house, your first choice will be to decide whether to do it yourself, or hire a professional painting company to do it for you. Let’s look at the pros and cons of each.

Do it yourselfers tend to forget one of the most important aspects of the paint job … the prep work. The first step in any quality exterior painting job is to start with a clean surface. That means powerwashing the area, scraping away old bits of paint, and making repairs to make sure the surface is as good as new. Powerwashing using an extreme water pressure to remove chalk, dust, debris and old paint chips, as well as killing and preventing mildew and mold. If you do decide to do it yourself, you can rent the machine, buy the proper chemicals for the job, and even rent ladders if needed. But don’t forget, it will add into your final cost, and you should plan to do it well before you start applying paint – it needs time to dry.

Once the surface is dry, you can begin preparing the work surface for the paint. All gaps in the wood and joints should be filled in with a high quality siliconized latex caulk. It comes in colors to match your paint, or you can use white if you play to apply two or more coats of paint to your home. Make sure the caulk is paintable.

From there, its time to go over every inch of the surface and make sure all loose paint has been removed and you are down to a clean wood source. You should then begin taping up windows, landscaping, exterior items that can’t be moved, such as decks and grills, and anything else that should remain paint-free during the process. Remember tarps can kill bushes, plants and landscaping. Work quickly and remove the tarps as you finish an area, especially if its extremely hot and you’re working in the sun.

Paint brush or spraying? As a do it yourselfer, the paint brush may seem like the best choice. Its cheaper after all. Professionals can go both ways. A sprayer can provide a perfect finish, which fills in all cracks and holes and provides a nice, even coat of paint. It will also speed up the painting process by as much as four times. A professional also is an expert when it comes to operating a sprayer – yes there is a knack to it. If you don’t know how to operate it correctly, you run the risk of overpainting everything around you, including the roof, decks and patios, the fence, the cars in your immediate location, and more. Yes, your neighbors might not be happy with you if they find paint all over – and it could be a costly mistake for repair purposes.

Do do you really save by doing it yourself? When comparing a few cans of paint from your local hardware store to the quote you receive from the professional, it may seem like a tremendous savings. But studies show the do it yourselfer actually underestimates costs by as much as 6 times the amount. Sure, the paint seems like a bargain. But then you’re back and forth to the store for more tape, more tarps, more paint brushes, a few rental items, and even more clean up items for the things that happen along the way.

Add in the countless hours you’ll spend on your “little” project, and the quoted price may seem like a bargain after all.