The Million Dollar House and the Ten Dollar Paint Job

One of the things that drives me the most crazy in the painting industry is seeing subpar work. I especially hate it in new home construction. I would love to be able to call out all the companies that I come across that are so willing to set the bar so low in our industry.

Since I obviously can’t do that, my next best solution is to educate homeowners and homebuyers so they can demand these builders and contractors pick up their socks and produce a decent quality product for the money they are charging.

Case in point is a house I saw yesterday in the new community of Burke Mountain in Coquitlam, about a half hour drive from downtown Vancouver. This brand new house is on the market for $928,000 plus tax, which by the time you get the keys is going to put you very close to this being a million dollar house.

Here is what caught my eye.

I had to take a closer look. Here are some photos I took of a just a few of the paint deficiencies I immediately noticed.

Left: You know how I feel about paint where there shouldn’t be paint.  Paint on the concrete is not okay.  This is bad.

Right: Really? This is brutal

Left: Paint drips from the trim all over the siding.  I mean all over.

Right: It’s bad enough that this trim has been faced off. It’s worse that it was been done this badly.

I could go on. There are at least 20 more things I noticed right away. I never even walked around the back or side of the house.

All I could think of when I saw this paint job was “can you imagine what it looks like inside?”


If a builder is going to care so little about the exterior painting of a house he is building (something that everyone can see), how much does he care about the stuff that no one can see? I mean the stuff behind the walls. The stuff that a homebuyer has to trust has been done by a contractor that isn’t sloppy, doesn’t cut corners or do subpar work.

I mentioned above that I thought it was bad that the trim on this house was faced off instead of wrapped around. As far as I am concerned on a $928,000 home, the trim should be wrapped around. This was just another way that the painter cut corners.

You tell me, which one looks better?

Left: Trim that has been faced off – badly.

Right: Wrapped around painting on trim.

Painting is one of the visual finishing features of your home. It usually covers the most square footage of a house. Yet often it is a area where corners are cut and quality workmanship is lacking.

Here is some advice for homebuyers. Before you get all excited about the fancy chandelier, the media room, the gas range and the other finishings meant to capture your attention, take the time to walk around a house and inspect the paint job. It can tell you a lot about the quality of the home you are considering buying. If you don’t like what you see, start asking questions or looking at other houses.



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