Last week we gave you tips on how to save on exterior remodeling projects by taking a few shortcuts, and now we’d like to tell you about some areas where you definitely don’t want to skimp.


Lots of homeowners try to save money by buying cheap paint, but like cheap wine and cheap dates, little good will come out of it in the end.

The lion’s share of the cost of painting is for labor. The average cost of an exterior paint job in Salt Lake City ranges between $3,000 and $5,000, depending on the size and type of house you have.

Paint can cost anywhere from $25 to $50 a gallon (and actually up to $100 a gallon for the very best). Your price for cheap paint would be about $500, or around 10 to 15 percent of the cost of the job. 

A paint job should last a minimum of five years (hopefully more), but you might only get three or four from cheap paint. So you see, the extra $500 you spend on decent paint can end up saving you thousands in the long run.


We know, your parents told you not to go along with the crowd, but they were wrong, at least when it comes to blending in with neighbors’ homes. Yes, you want your home to be unique, but in a tasteful way

If you live on a block of split-levels with nicely manicured lawns, don’t turn your home into a McMansion with a waterfall and koi pond out front. Even if you choose a tasteful finish, like natural stone, your home may end up looking like a medieval castle if it’s in a neighborhood of staid brick colonials or modest ranches.

You also won’t get nearly as high a return on investment in these situations. If you are dead set on your castle — complete with turrets — when it comes time to sell, you won’t recoup nearly as much as you put in.

Unfortunately, the rules of buyer preference in real estate depend on the surroundings, and if you could pick up your house and put it in another neighborhood with similar houses, you could get more. But you can’t. So don’t waste your money, unless you are sure you’ll never move.


Even if you’re handy, if you plan to install your own exterior siding, you might be biting off more than you can chew. Unless you’ve done a similar project before from start to finish, this may not be the time to give it a whirl. Your mistakes can end up costing you more than you expected to save.

If you can’t be stopped, at least conceptualize the project as a road down which you are traveling without expecting to get to the end. See how far you can get before you call for help. Sometimes it ends up being more a matter of available time, not skill or mastery (as your wife can likely attest to).

If your home is in desperate need of a fresh covering, come down to Renovation by Burbach for a free consultation. We’ll listen to what you have in mind and give you feedback and maybe even some new ideas. Either way, our experience can help you avoid costly mistakes on your exterior renovation project.