For more than 30 years I am a professional painting contract and have heard literally hundreds horror stories the tingology. Customers tell me about their experiences hiring painting contractors. There are many stories which I have heard. Painting contractors have taken a customer’s down payment and not returned. In reality, they were crooks. They are some of the stories that customers tell me. You can take steps to protect your self when hiring a painting contractor.
While there are a number of places where you can locate quality painting contractors, like the Yellow Pages, local papers, or online, the most effective way is to speak to your friends, relatives, and coworkers. Find out what they thought about a specific painting contractor and how they felt. Do not forget to ask about the quality of the painter’s work, their price, and the length of time that it took them to complete the task. Your local paint store may also be able to provide a recommendation. The Better Business Bureau can help you if any of those sources do not lead you to a suitable painting contractor. Start by asking for an insurance certificate from the contractor. Most quality contractors will provide copies of the certificates. Licenses are not required by all states or localities, however registration is the minimum.
Check references with the most serious contractors. Speak to them openly and honestly about the services that they received. You shouldn’t be afraid to ask any questions you want about price or service. Ask questions about the price of the job and whether it is done well. Written contracts are very important. Most reputable contractors will insist on a written agreement. This contract will clearly outline the scope for the work that is to be completed. Also, it should address the types of surfaces to be coated, the methods and extents for surface preparation, timelines and payment processes. By putting the whole scope of your work into writing, it will help you to better compare costs. It protects you as well as the contractor.
Another question is how long have they been in business. It is common for the industry of painting to have a large turnover. If you are hiring someone, make sure they have been doing business for atleast five years. If you want to reduce costs, some companies may hire employees who lack experience. A good painting contractor should be able to tell you what they will do for preparation. It is essential that the surface being painted has been prepared properly. A painting contractor should be able to give you recommendations for materials. The professional painting contractor can suggest paint colors, textures and finishes.
Find out next if the contractor offers a guarantee on paint. The contractor should be able to tell you the duration of the warranty if one was provided. If a paint warranty was included, find out how long the contractor will guarantee his work. A lot of contractors will require an upfront payment at the time you sign the contract. As is the norm, it’s important to make sure your contractor has a good reputation and you trust him. Always be cautious of those who demand a big downpayment. And never pay more than 20 % of the cost up-front.
Then, compare them carefully. Although the lowest price might be attractive, it may not represent your best value. When you see a big difference between two bids, it is worth asking the contractor why. Have all the contractors used the same paint or materials? You may not be getting the best quality from the lowest bidder. You should never be primarily concerned with the price. To find the best painter, you need to look for someone skilled and experienced who is fully insured. They should also have an experienced crew. In most cases, what you spend on a painting project is exactly what you’ll get. A professional painting contractor who wants your business is one that will give you references, an insurance certificate, color advice, finish suggestions, as well as courtesy and professionalism. When you are satisfied with your final choice, you can step back to let the professional contractor finish the project you hired them to. The price of high quality, professional service is not cheap.