Choosing A Painting Contractor

  • Out of a thousand painting contractors, there may be only fifty or so that are worth their salt. The odds are good that you’ll end up with one outside that fifty if you fail to ask the proper questions or do a little bit of research. The result of ending up with less than a qualified professional could be a disaster.I have seen paint on doors, woodwork, carpet, flooring,ceilings, wallpaper,furniture and other places it wasn’t meant to be. I have seen full exteriors of homes that were not properly prepped or the wrong product was used causing extensive peeling. All of these problems can be mitigated, but at great additional expense yo the homeowner.

The following are some simple things that you can do as the homeowner to avoid these nightmares before they take place.

Finding qualified candidates

In today’s world of mass information, there are several areas to search for potential painters. You could go on line, search the newspaper, look in the phone books, ask a friend, relative or coworker. All of these are potentially good sources. Another is  going to your local paint retailer and asking them for help in finding a contractor. They can tell the good from the not so good by the products the contractor uses, if their bills are paid, length of service and trustworthiness. They also have an incentive to set you up with a quality painter because they want their products applied properly and a satisfied customer that will return the next time.

It would be ideal to pick 4-6 from these sources to come out and give you an estimate.Try to make at least one a referral. To narrow down to the remaining four or five, look for the following  items in their adds.

  • Have they been in business for at least ten years?
  • Are they a member of the BBB?
  • Are they insured?

Pick 4-6 that can meet this criteria and you’re ready for the next step.

Schedule an estimate

  • Try to be flexible and plan ahead. Most contractors need to stay booked up to remain viable. Most also work during the weekday just like most of you. Evenings and weekends should be in play. Find a date and time that works for both of you. If one of these contractors does not return your inquiry within 48 hours, they could be telling you something about their reliability. Move on.

The estimate

When comparing estimates, you’ll want to make sure that you are comparing apples to apples. To do this accurately, you’ll want to have each contractor include the same specifications in their individual estimates.

  • What products will they be using?
  • What type of sheen?
  • How will they prep the job?(sanding,caulking,scraping,cleaning,patching,ect.)
  • Brush and roller application or spray and back roll?
  • Are the materials included?
  • Who will be doing the actual work?
  • One coat or two?
  • Is there a warrantee?

Even though you have them pretty much on the same page, their prices may still vary wildly. This is because bidding is not an exact science. Everyone has a formula that works for them. This is normal. Don’t let it throw you. Out of these five or six contractors, pick three that you are the most comfortable with, price wise and personally. Ask them for three references each and a certificate of insurance. Call on the references and read the certificate. If every thing passes with flying colors, then pick the one that impressed you the most and schedule a start date. If they ask for money down at this point, tell them you’ll give them money down when they start. If they are worth their salt, this will be just fine. If not, go to the number two choice.

I hope these tips help you when choosing a painting contractor. It’s really not as difficult as it seems and should give you a solid chance at a positive painting experience. Thanks for reading!

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