In my thirty-year career as a professional painter, I have heard dozens of stories about customers’ bad experiences with contractors. The most common horror stories I hear are about painting contractors, who took the down payment and left without returning. They were actually crooks. This is just one of many typical customer stories. We will discuss in this article what to look out for when choosing a contractor to paint your home.
There are many ways to locate a good painting contractor, such as on the Internet, in yellow pages, or the local paper. However, it is best to ask friends, coworkers, and relatives who they’ve used before and what their experience was with that particular contractor. You should ask them if they are satisfied with the work done, how much it cost and the time taken to finish. Also, you can ask your local store for their recommendation. Ask your Better Business Bureau if it can recommend a painter if none of these options work. First, ask for the certificate of insurance from your contractor. You will find that quality contracting firms are happy to give you copies of their insurance certificates. Although not all municipalities and states require licensing, registering with the locality and state is a good minimum.
You should ask for referrals from those contractors who you consider most serious. Discuss the service they received with them honestly. Ask questions regarding money and services. If you want to be sure that the painting contractor you hire is a pro, you should ask about price and quality. The importance of obtaining a contract in writing cannot be overstated. Contractors who are reputable will always encourage the use of written contracts. It should be clear what the contract covers. This contract must also include items such as the surface to be painted and how it will be prepared, the time frame for the project, payment procedure, etc. The cost of different contractors can be determined more accurately if the entire scope of work is documented. You and the contractor both benefit from the contract.
You should also ask how long the company has been in operation. In the painting business, there is a lot of turnover. Make sure you hire someone that has worked in the business at least for five years. You should ask about the level of experience the company’s workers have, as some firms will hire employees with no or little experience to save on costs. You should also ask the painting contractor about the preparation that will be done on the job. This is important because preparation is a crucial step in the process of painting. The painting contractor can make suggestions on the best materials to use for your job. Painting contractors are able to recommend specific paints and colours.
The next thing you need to do is find out whether a paint guarantee was included. Ask the contractor how long he will warranty his work. It isn’t enough to simply state a warranty. The warranty must be in writing, and include any limitations. Many contractors ask for an initial payment when signing the contract. Before you give a contractor a downpayment, make sure to check all references. You should be wary of contractors who request a significant down payment. Do not give them more than 20% up front.
Take time to carefully compare all the quotes. It may not always be the best option to go with the lowest cost. You can ask contractors to explain the difference in bids if you notice a large range. All contractors are using the exact same materials and colors? It’s possible that the lowest bidder is cutting corners on quality. The lowest bidder should not be the first thing you consider. If you want someone to paint your house, make sure they are experienced, skilled, insured, and have a crew with experience. You will get what you paid for, just like in most industries. The best professional painting contractors will want to win your business. They’ll provide references, insurance certificates and offer advice on color and finish. Step back once you make your decision and let the professional painter complete the work you asked him to. To get a professional and high-quality service, it is necessary to be prepared to pay for the cost.