Is there a painting project that you don’t have the time to do? …or maybe you’re looking at the three stories in the back of the house or the two story foyer and you’re thinking to yourself, “there is no way that I’m going to do that myself!”
Well, then that means you will have to hire contractor to help you.
Everyone that has hired out a project has a nightmare story to tell. As soon as we have a forum on this site – we want to hear those stories!
It can be daunting to select a painting contractor. If you open the phone book – it will list 100’s of painting companies, and many great companies don’t even bother paying the yellow pages to list in them!
So how do you know who to use?
Hopefully this article will give you some ideas to think about, questions to ask, and resources to check before you hire a painting contractor.
First off, NEVER HIRE AN UNLICENSED CONTRACTOR!
Also, be sure to check that their license is in force, and that is sufficient to tackle your project.
It is easy to get the lowest grade license – there is no excuse that they do not have one!
Be sure that their license covers that work that you are going to do. For example, a contractor may only have a license to do landscaping – not painting!
Most states have a Recovery Fund to help homeowners when a contractor goes insolvent or a contract is breached.
Don’t just ask that they are licensed! Check the paperwork! Most states have a website, to check the status of contractor’s licensing.
Always get a WRITTEN contract! Make sure it details:
- DETAILED SCOPE OF WORK TO BE COMPLETED.
- CLEAR EXPLANATION OF HOW MUCH MONEY IS TO BE PAID, and WHEN
- CLEAR TIMELINES AND DEADLINES of WORK TO BE COMPLETED
Finally, you will need to try to get to know your contractor as well as possible before making a decision on who to go with – the best way to do this is by asking them good questions, and by checking some references of people that they have recently worked with(not just their friends and family).
Here are some helpful questions:
- What will be done to protect my house and property?
- Who is going to be doing the work? Is the person doing the estimate or someone else? If someone else, what will the saleperson do to ensure your satisfaction?
- If the same person doing the quote, will be doing the painting – will they have enough resources to finish the job in a timely manner?
- Are they a member of a national trade organization? Or can they at least name two?
- I like this question, because it can tell you whether or not the person you are dealing with spends time researching how to make themselves better at their trade.
- What manufacturer’s paint will you buy? More specifically, what ACTUAL PRODUCT will you use? Did you know that virtually every manufacturer carries high dollar and cheap paints? Yes, even high quality stores like Benjamin Moore sell cheapo paints!
- When will you start the work? PUT IT IN WRITING
- When will you finish the work? PUT IT IN WRITING
- What kind of warranty do you have? What does it cover? What does it not cover? PUT IT IN WRITING
- Tell me about your insurance policies?
- Tell me about your worker’s comp policies?
- Tell me about your bonding policies?
- What kind of issues have you run into on jobsites that you did not forsee – its ok, I understand nobody is perfect – but what did you do to remedy it?
- How long have you known the painters that will be working on my house?
Hopefully, there was something here that will help you to pick the right contractor!
Remember, cheaper is not always better! You often times get what you pay for. It is not unusualy that you end up paying more when you go with the cheapest bid.