Get multiple painting quotes as you should for any work being done to your home and learn why there can be a wide price variance in painting estimates. Don’t focus solely on the price, read the quotes carefully to see what you are getting. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
Take the time to find out who you are letting into your home and around your family, pets and belongings. The company should be able to provide several references along with their contact information. Past clients should be able to vouch for the quality of the work and the professionalism of the company from the start of the job to the finish.
Why Hiring A Painting Contractor Can Be More Difficult Than Other Trades
Finding a reputable painting contractor can be a bit more challenging compared to other trades. There can be good and bad people in any profession, but painters seem to have a vast spectrum of work quality and ethics. Their professionalism can range from excellent to dreadful and unfortunately downright scandalous. The work can range from near perfection to careless. Another reason for the variance in quality and experience is because painting frequently turns into a temporary fall back job when someone finds themselves out of work.
Where To Start When Looking For A Painting Contractor?
Get a referral from someone you trust and more importantly who has the same quality expectations that you do. If your family or friends don’t know of anyone ask another trades person, building contractors, interior designers or a realtor. Paint stores are another good source for referrals.
Once you have a few contacts make arrangements for the painter to meet with you at your home or job site. They should take the time to look at the work space, listen to your concerns and questions and go over the details of the project.
Important Considerations To Make When Choosing A Painting Company
Who will be doing the painting and what experience do they have? You might like the person who comes out to do your estimate and feel confident in them, but will they be doing the actual work? Do they have their own long term employees, how much experience do they have? Do they use temporary, seasonal or subcontracted workers? Will there be a supervisor or owner of the company present at the job site? While there are companies who have skilled and trustworthy employees, there are some that have a constant rotation of staff. The exterior painting season is when you’re most likely have companies with temporary or seasonal workers. They book large volumes of work starting in the winter or early spring and then hire extra people based on the bookings.
Scheduling For The Job
What is the schedule for the job, will it be started and finished on time? Will it be continuously worked on until it is done or intermittently worked on in between other jobs? The last thing you want is a company that overbooks work, doesn’t stick to schedules or show up when they say they will. These things drag the job on for much longer than it should be.
A Checklist Of Questions For The Painter
- Is the company licensed and do they have WCB coverage and adequate liability insurance?
- Are references with contact information available and are there examples of their work?
- What is done to protect your home and belongings during the work?
- Is any money to be paid up front or in installments during the work? What form of payment is accepted and when is the final amount due?
- Is the quote price a fixed amount or is it subject to change or have add-ons?
- What type of preparation work do you do?
- What type of paint will be used and how many coats will be applied?
- What is the time schedule for starting and finishing?
- Who will be doing the painting and how much experience do they have?
- Is there anything that I need to do or prepare before the painting starts?
What Traits To Expect From A Professional Painter
A professional painter is committed to providing consistent high quality work. They have a passion for what they are doing and take pride in all the details of their craft. Other traits of a professional painter include:
- Good communicator and willing to answer questions
- Manages customer expectations, let’s them know what can and can’t be done
- Strives for consistent excellence in their work
- Cares about the customer being satisfied with the work and overall experience
- Honesty, lets the customer know if a particular job is not for them
- Up to date with changing technology and products and current trends
- Organized and efficient
Things To Watch Out For When Hiring A Painting Contractor
- Does the person seem professional and are they courteous and easy to talk to? Did they arrive on time for the estimate or at least call you if they were running late? Did they provide the estimate or return your phone calls in a timely manner?
- Don’t accept a verbal quote or a quote with very little detail about the work to be done.
- Be wary of a painter that is asking for a large sum of money up front or has to get you to purchase the paint.
- Be cautious about an estimate that appears much too low or too high.
- Don’t be afraid to ask specific questions. If the painter gets defensive or won’t answer the questions don’t hire them.
- Watch for fly by night companies that won’t care about the end results or be around to deal with any issues that may arise after the job is completed.