Hiring a painting contractor can be a serious decision; due to the cost of house painting there is a lot of money at stake, and of course you want a beautiful paint job. Which contractor do you pick? How do you weigh your options? This is a daunting task even for the most stoic out there. We’ve already touched on this subject some; see our companion posts here. Here are a few things to consider making the task of hiring a painting contractor less risky.
- Look online for reviews of their work. Google Places is a good resource; professional local painting contractors will always have a website. There are other resources as well including Yelp, Houzz, and Angies list. This is also a good sign that you’re hiring a painting contractor that really cares about their business and is planning for longevity. The fact that they’ve invested in a website is one indication that they’re a true professional.
- Stay away from marketplaces like Facebook, Craigslist, etc. While it may be that some reputable painting contractors make use of Craigslist to advertise the likelihood that you’ll find a quality contractor is much less using these sorts of free advertising services. Craigslist is notorious for cheap contractors which means contractors with little or no overhead, which means painters who aren’t invested in their company the way a true professional should be. This is a generalization of course but if you want to increase your chances of hiring a painting contractor with high standards I advise you to look elsewhere, even Kijiji will prove a better resource than Craigslist because of this.
- Check references. This should go without saying; it’s a must that you check all references that your painter provides you so you can make the best decision. Some good questions to ask their references include:
- Did they show up on time?
- Did they complete the work on time?
- Did the total come to within the estimated price range?
- Were the employees courteous, friendly and professional?
- Were there any problems or issues they experienced with the contractor?
If you’re really very curious you may even ask the painter if there is any of their work you can go and see for yourself. This will also be telling as you can see the contractors reaction to you wanting to see their previous work, Are they open and telling? Or, are they reserved and cagey. Given the time, stress, and cost of house painting you’ll fare best hiring a painting contractor that is open with you. This indicates that they’re better communicators and that means you’ll get the job you want.
- Consider referrals from friends. Referrals are a great way to find a quality painting company. Many painters rely on word of mouth as a way of gaining clients and this is for a reason, when someone refers a service or contractor they’re basically putting themselves on the line at the same time. It’s for this reason that your chances of finding a quality painting contractor via word of mouth are pretty high.
- Ask your local paint store. Talking to the employees are your local paint store is always a good idea if you’re thinking about doing some painting work and hiring a painting contractors as they can recommend products and also usually recommend a professional painter that can take care of your paint job. This is also a good way to find a worth painter because it’s basically another word of mouth recommendation and they’re putting their reputation on the line somewhat.
- Check online resources. With the advent of the internet there are now a huge amount of resources available out there. There exist now services that will save you time when you’re interesting in hiring a painting contractor – you fill out a form and describe what work you want completed and it will be automatically sent to a multitude of pre-approved contractors. This can really help you to save time as you don’t have to research various painters in order to get a few different quotes.
- Check with the Better Business Bureau. Think you’ve found them? Before hiring that perfect painting contractor stop by your local BBB website and do a check first. The Better Business Bureau can reveal some useful information such as their track record and if there are any outstanding complaints and whether or not they are accredited by the BBB. If nothing shows up for the company in question don’t take this as a bad sign but if you see negative information remember buyer beware.
- Get a detailed written proposal stating materials and all painting work to be completed. Before hiring a painting contractor it’s important that you both have a full understanding of what work to be completed, including what materials will be used. This affects the cost of house painting, duration, and quality of your finished painted home. One mistake I’ve seen a few times is with closets in the bedroom; let’s say you thought the painting contractor was going to paint the closets but the estimate didn’t specifically state it but they didn’t quote it and it didn’t get painted. Well now it’s going to cost more!If it’s not listed on the painting estimate double-check with the painter before moving ahead on the job as it may drastically affect the price or time to complete the job. Also, make sure you and the painter clearly understand the quality and brand of paint that is going to be used as this is another area where cost can sky rocket if terms are not clear. After discussing these items the best way to make sure you both know exactly what work is going to be performed is to have all of these items written down!
There are a variety of things you should pay attention to when hiring a painting contractor. This brief list here should really get you off the right start though, for more info you can see our other post on finding local painters that will surely help you in your venture!