Once the decision is made to hire a professional painter, you face a another decision. Professional painting companies can vary greatly. It is important to choose the correct professional painting company for your project. First, determine your own needs, then check references and make a fully informed decision.
Step 1: Planning your Project
Determining your own needs might seem simple, but you do not want to overlook any aspect of the job. Be sure that you have a clear understanding of your painting project before you start looking for a professional painter.
Understand your Project
First, take some time to decide what the work you need to be done. Consider the scope of work as well as any unique requirements.
Step 2: Vetting the Painters
Next, you want to begin the hunt for a professional painter. Go with your gut and ask your friends. When you have narrowed your search, begin the interview process and ask about insurance first. You do not want to be held liable for their crew. Be sure they are fully insured! The list below outlines helpful questions you want to ask when hiring a professional painter.
Interview each possible painting company
- How long have you been in the painting business?
- How long have you been painting?
- Where did you learn how to paint?
- How long have you been in business?
- Do you have the proper/required licenses?
- Do you have insurance and bonding?
- Can you provide references?
- Do you offer a written guarantee of your work?
- What products do you use?
- What is the quality level of your results?
- Will there be on-site supervision?
- What kind of prep work will be done?
- How will the paint be applied?
- How many men will work at the house and for how many days?
- What brand of paint will be used?
- What specific grade level of paint will be used?
- Will you be priming the surface before you paint?
- How many coats will you be applying?
- Have you included everything in your estimate or could there be additional charges for work?
- How will they dispose of the trash and the old paint?
- What type of paint is currently on my house? Will the new paint stick to it?
- How will you clean the house prior to painting?
- What are the payment arrangements?
- Is there anything else I haven’t asked that I should know?
- Are they LEAD Certified by the EPA?
Word of mouth is a strong tool when it comes to choosing someone to work on your house. There is a good chance that one of your friends or neighbors have used a professional painting company. Learn from their experiences and ask as many people as you can, because their painting projects may not be the same as your own.
Insurance is a Must
You do not want to be liable for anything that happens when you have painters working in your house. Be sure the company you choose is fully insured.
General Liability: Protects your personal property from damage. Repair and replacement is provided if necessary.
Workers Compensation: Protects you from being held liable if painters injure themselves while they are in your home. These policies are more expensive for legitimate contractors but they protect the customer.
Some contractors may offer lower bud prices because they do not have current insurance. – Do not put yourself at risk to save a few bucks!
Who is doing the work?
Do you have professional employees or do they contact the work? Sometimes companies hire students, handymen, retirees and low wage workers to cut cost. This is a red flag because not only are you compromising the quality of work but also these subcontractors may not be fully insured.
Step 3: Make your Decision
Now it is time to make your decision. Have the painting prospects provide at least three recent references and check them all. Call each reference; ask about their experience and any questions pertaining to your own project. Once you have checked their references compare the estimates you have received.
Get at least three references and make sure they are current. Do not trust a reference that is five years old or older. Try to get the contact information of a recent customer. Ask open-ended questions that are specific to the job that you need to be done.
Step 4: Review your Decision
Before you sign or accept any contract review all of the details for accuracy.
Review the Contract
Before accepting a contract, review the details and make sure you are on the same page.
- What exactly is being painted?
- Details on preparation and clean up
- How the contractor will protect plants, patios, furniture and other items?
- How much time will it take to complete the project from start to finish?
- When and how will the contractor be paid?
Follow the steps we have outlined for choosing the right professional painting company for your project. Cover all of your bases and you will find the right painting company for your project.