Choosing a painting contractor could actually begin with your friends, neighbors, or relatives experiences with their painting contractor. If you speak to one who was inordinately pleased with their painting contractor, ask to see their house. Look carefully at how well the trim work was handled around windows and doors, and ask questions about how the contractor prepared the work surface. Were areas, that were not to receive paint, adequately protected? Areas around your home such as concrete walks, landscaping, and the roof? Did the contractor stay on schedule or were there days when the contractor only worked a half a day, or not at all? Was a written warranty supplied? If so, ask if you might see it.
Your local paint store should be able to give you good leads to a reputable, reliable painting contractor who does quality work. Most painters buy their paint from a paint store, and thus you can ask about the painters who seem to pay their bills on time. Most of the time this means that they have done reliable work, and thus are getting paid on time. The same paint store will speak to you about what kinds of preparation you should expect, since the quality of the paint job usually is reflected by the preparation.
You have all seen houses that start to peel about 45 days after they are painted. It is not the paint itself that was poor, but rather the lack of adhesion that failed, due to the surface below not having been prepared properly. Commercial painters call this substrate. If the surface that was painted was loose, wet or dirty, the paint will not adhere or bond to it properly. A good paint surface needs to be free from previous loose or flaking paint, dirt, grease, and oils, as well as clean and dry.
The time to really ask questions is during the consultation, prior to any contract agreements. Really examine your house with the salesperson. Make sure to question there preparation processes, pressure washing and caulking, whether or not to replace any bad wood to prevent future issues, how they plan on preventing over spray to the items and areas you do not want painted, and if you can get references from others that have used their service. Ask yourself if you feel comfortable with this company, and does this person seem knowledgeable and professional? The quote should cover in detail the approximate time involved, preparation details, brand and type being used, and how many coats to be applied
It would be wise to work with a painter who is a part of a trade or local business group. Though being a part of such associations is not a guarantee of quality, it is a good indicator that the company is reliable and dedicated to following the industry’s standards. If licensing for such businesses is required in your state, check if the painting contractor you would like to use has one. In addition to proper licensing, check if the painting contractor has liability and workers compensation insurance. If they can’t provide you proof of insurance, choose another contractor. Local consumer affairs bureaus can also provide valuable information about the contractor such as if it has a reputation of unresolved or recurrent complaints.
Your written contract needs to have all of the above included, and also have expanded details like start date, material specifics, colors, and an estimated completion date. There should also be a clause for how any changes, payments, or cancellations are handled. Ensuring that the workers on your property are insured is very important. One way to handle this with minimal stress is to hire a company that has its own employees. If you have uninsured subcontractors on your property, and they get injured, you, not the contractor are liable. Plus if the contractor doesn’t pay them after completion, you could have a lien placed against your home.
If you follow these few tips, get a written warranty, and insist on a company with a longstanding record of reliability, quality, and great workmanship, you are almost guaranteed a job you can be proud of that will last for years to come.