Hiring a home painting contractor is often more complicated than it seems because you want someone with the right experience while also finding someone who is within your budget. You also might need someone with specialized services like waterproofing or cabinet painting skills. If you want to learn how to hire the right home painting contractors, follow these nine steps.
Determine Required Skill Sets
Hiring a paint contractor can be a great way to get professional quality at an affordable price, whether you need an exterior or interior job. So that you get the right person for your situation, you need first to take the time to determine what skill sets you to require. That way, you will be able to let painting contractors know what you want to accomplish as well as the skills they need for each task. You will also get a reliable estimate as well.
Seek estimates from several contractors before scheduling meetings. That way, you will be able to speak with each one, meet their crew and get a better sense of what it will take to meet your paint requirements. There are also cost factors. Will your walls need to be primed, or are the rooms in your home larger than the average 800 square feet? Homeowners must agree on contract requirements before any of the painting begins.
Ask for Experience and References
Contractors are self-employed businesspeople, so you need to ask how long a painter has been practicing. If a business is new or has changed its name recently, assume there is a lack of experience or there were problems like poor quality of work or fraud that forced the owner to take on another identity. Choose someone who has a history.
It would be best if you also asked questions about painting protocol or work routine to gauge their experience. You want to weed out the weaker candidates and choose one of them who has the most experience. While cost is a significant factor, you will save a lot in the long run. It would help if you also asked for references to check out work history. Some of the best options are the Better Business Bureau, Consumer Affairs, and contractor site rating websites.
Employees or Subcontractors?
It is a little known fact in the contractor industry that some have employees and others subcontract to other painting professionals, which may not be so expert on your job. Never choose a person who subcontracts because you have no idea who will come or what type of job they will do. Your contractor will also be paying the other person less, which means you most likely won’t get the skills and paint requirements you asked for.
How can you tell the difference? Ask your contractor how many employees will be working with him or her. If they do not have a definitive answer, pass on the contractor because you have a right to know who will be in your home and how long they will be there. There are also legal issues. What if someone gets hurt? What if your property is damaged? You will want to have a clear idea of who is responsible for any mishaps.
Check for Licensing and Insurance
Regardless of if a painter is a full-fledged company or a self-employed contractor, each person must legally have a business license and insurance. Never choose a contractor that lacks either of these necessities because it establishes a reputation and proper contractual obligations. Ask each contractor to attach copies to the painting estimate.
Ask About Prep Work Requirements
Never assume a contractor will do the prep work. Ask about it during the bidding process. Who will move the furniture before and after the painting is done? Who will buy the paint supplies? Will the homeowner need to do any of the prep work? Will you save money if you do any of the prepping? Some contractors do everything because it is part of their systematic order when painting, but others will charge you or refuse to do it.
Scope of Industry Knowledge
You must never be an over-the-shoulder type of homeowner, but you should take advantage of a contractor’s wide range of industry knowledge. Tell your painter what you would like and ask for home improvement recommendations that will benefit you while you have the workers in your home. A professional contractor will make suggestions on techniques, unique or on-trend colors or primers and finishes that make your walls look like you paid an expert, which many contractors affordably live up to your expectations.
Always look over a contract before signing it and pay attention to contractual obligations. Does a contractor offer any guarantees on product usage, manufacturer’s warranties or the paint application process? Never assume anything. Take the time also to add any contractual requirements as it is a legally binding document that will determine liability.
An affordable contractor is not always the most logical choice, but it is a significant factor that you need to consider before you choose a painter. It would be best if you weighed the contractor’s cost against his or her work experience, skill sets, and business setup. Keep in mind that a cheaper painter might not have licensing, insurance or workers, which means any problems you encounter to save a few dollars might end up costing you a lot of money out-of-pocket. Go with the sure thing instead of the cheapest worker.
Ask for a Painter Portfolio
Excellent painters document their work, so don’t be afraid to ask for a contractor’s painting portfolio so that you can see first-hand what a person’s work looks like when finished. You will have an opportunity to set your expectations and look for inspiration. It also allows you to ask questions about practices or techniques that you couldn’t put into the right words otherwise. Imagery also adds a level of expertise to a contractor’s work.
When you take the time to learn about the hiring and contractor process, you will have the needed information to find the right person for the job. You will also get a qualified painter.