While it may be tempting to undertake a painting project yourself, the likelihood of you fervently wishing that you’d hired a professional contractor almost immediately is actually pretty high! Whether you decide to paint your own home simply because you think it will be fun or you are looking to save money, chances are that the novelty will quickly wear off, and your project may even end up costing you more than you expected through your lack of experience.
Choosing to hire a painting contractor is almost certainly guaranteed to save you not only money, but a great deal of time and hassle too. But before you take that step and find someone who fully understands and meets your needs, there are a few things to consider.
- First of all, how long have the contractors you are considering working with been in business? Virtually anyone can set themselves up as a painter and, to avoid hiring a fly-by-night cowboy who will not only do a shoddy job but may very well overcharge, you need to take a good look at their credentials. Have they been operating for a minimum of three years? Do they have a good reputation in your local area? Don’t be afraid to ask around – especially if you see the company is displaying their sign outside a home or workplace where there is work in progress.
- Are they industry certified? Do they hold a license issued by your state to say that they are a legal operation? How about workers’ compensation and general liability insurance? If your contractor doesn’t hold the correct documentation, don’t even consider working with them. If they care about you, your home or property, their reputation and their workers, they will have taken the necessary measures to prove it.
- Do they employ their own people or do they sub-contract? Does the subcontractor outsource work too? If the company you are entrusting your paint job to can’t vouch for each and every one of the team members working on your project, are you really sure you want to place your home in their hands? Not only that but how can you be sure that every worker is certified and has the correct insurance?
- What kind of quote do they give you? You are well within your rights to receive a formal, accurate estimate that includes all aspects of your project – from start to finish. Is the quote detailed? Do you suspect there may be hidden extras that will be added on once the job is completed? Watch how your contractor behaves and how they undertake the quote process. A scrawled ‘guestimate’ pencilled on the back of an old envelope is a warning sign that they’re probably not so reliable. A detailed, computer-generated quote delivered in a timely fashion indicates the contractor is serious about their business – and the work they produce for you.
- Does your contractor appear to know what they’re talking about? Can they offer you advice on the types of paint needed for different surfaces or climates? Do they appear up-to-date and knowledgeable about the latest techniques and trends? Are they happy to offer you some great advice about color combinations that you may not have thought of? If your contractor is switched on and engaged, it’s a good sign. Vague answers and advice to paint everything in the same shade of purple suggests they don’t know what they’re talking about and/or they have a job lot of lilac paint to get rid of!
- References and affiliations. If your contractor can’t provide references from happy customers, a portfolio of work or ‘before and after’ pictures, it’s time to start looking elsewhere. If they are accredited by painting and decorating organizations or the Better Business Bureau, you know you are likely to be in safe hands. And if they follow green initiatives and use environmentally responsible paint and other materials, so much the better!
- Does your contractor offer a guarantee or warranty? Reputable paint manufacturers offer warranties but so too do painting contractors who are happy and proud to stand by their finished work. A first-rate contractor will offer you a written warranty as a mark of confidence in their abilities.
Finally, it all comes down to what is often the deciding factor: cold hard cash. Of course you want to know that you are getting value for money, but opting for the absolute rock bottom quote is not the right approach. Not if you want to be sure of hiring someone with the right skills, a depth of experience, the correct licensing and insurance, and a commitment to delivering an end result you will be delighted with. It’s probable that this company will not be the one with the lowest bid but likewise, they do not have to be the firm coming in with the highest price either.
Don’t let price be your only guiding light but take a look at the overall picture: do you get a good vibe from the company representative you are talking to? Have you seen samples of earlier work? Are they forthcoming with references? Take into consideration all the above pointers and you should have no problem finding a local painting contractor who will do your home or commercial project proud.
Whether you’d like more advice about finding a professional painting contractor in your area, or you’re interested in getting a quote for an interior or exterior paint job, talk to the team at Sharper Impressions Painting today.