Painting an interior room is a popular do-it-yourself project. However, most of us choose to go with a professional for painting the exterior of the house or painting the entire interior. This is usually a sound investment if you want to get professional results and not have to redo jobs because of major mistakes. The hard part is finding a good professional painter who won’t charge an arm and a leg for the job, while delivering quality work within deadlines. Here are 4 tips for hiring the best painting contractor for your home.
Determine Your Scope of Work
There are several factors that go into the price quote. One is the amount of paint they need to apply. Using two coats is the norm, but more may be required in some cases. The other factor is the scope of work. Before you start getting price quotes, determine the scope of work. Are you asking for one room repainted, or do you want them to remove the old paint and apply a new wall covering? Do you want them to repair the drywall in addition to painting the wall? Will they be painting the wall or the wall, trim and molding?
Another issue is the type of finish you want. If you want a perfectly smooth surface on already uneven walls, the prep work will dramatically increase the price tag. You’ll want to state your expectations to each person you call for a quote so that you are comparing similar quotes to each other.
Get Multiple Quotes
If you want to find the absolute best contractor in your area, you have to get as many quotes as you can. First, you can use a directory to search for things like, “painting companies near me” and ask them if they can come over for an estimate. Don’t focus on the cost they quote you for the work, however. Instead, pay attention to their tone and demeanor as this will give you valuable insight on them as a person.
For example, the longer they spend assessing the house, the more accurate the quote. Take the time to ask questions, and make certain they answer yours. Vet their credentials while you interview them, and then research their reputation online if you are still considering hiring them. You could get an idea of this from business directories like contractor license reference sites. Another great resource is the Better Business Bureau, or BBB. Check their directory to see if they’re registered and if there are any complaints against them.
Do Your Homework
Don’t just sign a contract with the first contractor to give you a reasonable price for your desired scope of work. Do your homework so you can make sure you don’t make a mistake. For example, you should research the contractor’s name and business with the local consumer affairs agency and the state attorney general’s office. If there are a lot of complaints about them, strike them off your list. If you’re still considering hiring them, ask them to come back to hammer out a contract agreement.
Ask whether or not they guarantee their work. If they won’t offer a guarantee that the paint won’t flake, fade, chip or peel, this is a major red flag. They might say that the paint itself has a warranty, but this wouldn’t include the labor to repair the paint job or cover poor workmanship.
This is a good time to get a copy of their worker’s compensation and liability insurance certificates. If they don’t have insurance, you’ll be on the hook for the bill if they fall off a ladder or drop a bucket on your neighbor’s car. In these cases, you can’t afford to take the risk of doing business with them. End the conversation and call the next contractor on your list.
Get a Complete Contract
A contract is a legally binding document. The price listed here is what you’re obligated to pay, not the number written on the initial price quote. It must also include the scope of work and the contractor’s key information, such as business name, address, contact information, and license number. Always review the contract before signing it, verifying that the desired scope of work is covered by the contract and that the price is acceptable.
Painting is harder than it looks, and mistakes could end up being costly. This is why you should go with a pro, but only one who you know will do a good job for a reasonable rate.
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