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Negotiating Your Builder's Contract Regarding Interior Painting

April 20, 2010

   Not many people realize that negotiating THE CONTRACT for the building of your home also should include the timeline for when to paint the interior.  I spoke to a builder years back who enlightened me on their process for painting an interior.  These guys got the big jobs and knew how to remedy the issues that come up with painting.  In their contract, they come back 1 year later to paint the interior.  Reason 1:  A newly built house settles and after a year, they come back and fix the cracks that naturally happen as the house settles into it's new foundation and then paint.  Reason 2: The owners now have an idea of what their wall colors should be once they buy new furniture and get everything they own into it's place.  Reason 3:  Happier clients, more referrals, and a successful business!  

   I don't know how many times (and I'm sure my color colleagues will sympathize) I have walked into a newly built empty home with paint color fans in tow and the proud new owners are looking at me for inspiration!  Let's just say, many many times.  Ultimately, the last colorful decision for a room is the wall color that brings everything together.  Color also plays off of other colors and for instance, if you want a bright focus wall when nothing is yet in the room .... it will scare you off without the furniture there!  Focus colors are usually very saturated or just strong colors and flirt with contents of a room.   You may have a rich Caribbean blue wall that has driftwood furniture and grounded neutrals in the accessories and together it's sensational!  Alone, frighteningly bright.   Neutral colors throughout the main areas can even take on tones that are irritating when no furniture is there to ground them as a soft neutral.  Some neutral colors have green in them and the green can stand out and annoy without content around. 

   So, when buying a new home, look at your contract.  My best advice, negotiate the interior of the home to be painted 6 months to 1 year out.  I realize it's more of a pain to move your furniture around yet you will have a much better idea of what colors you want throughout the entire house.  With a color specialist and your contents as color inspiration, the interior colors will be best decided upon last!  Also, the settling cracks get fixed!  

   Remember, a contract is always negotiable!  Read it carefully before you sign on the dotted line.

An example of adding color to your walls that compliments the contents:  

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