Everything needs a touch up now and again to help keep things fresh. Is it time to put a fresh coat of paint on your home or building, but you dread hiring a painter?
With over 323,000 companies in the painting industry, you have a lot of options available to you. How are you supposed to figure out who’s best?
Before you start your search, you need to know what to look for in a painting company. This post will help you narrow down your choice.
Keep reading to learn the five things to look for when you are thinking of hiring a painter.
1. Check the Credentials of Your Painters
There are a lot of people out there that are willing to take advantage of people who don’t know better. There are several different credentials and certifications a painting company can receive to prove that they are good at what they do.
Business reputation sites such as Yelp Google, and Angie’s List can help by showing you customer reviews and ratings for the business. Accountability services like the Better Business Bureau will have a record of complaints or “strikes” against a company and can help highlight any potential red flags.
Checking business filings with the Texas Secretary of State can show when a business was established or shut down. Be especially wary of businesses that are newly established, or have changed names multiple times.
Before hiring a painter, you need to verify that the company has the proper insurance for their company. Working with someone who isn’t insured is asking for trouble! A reputable painter won’t hesitate to send you their proof of insurance, usually in the form of a Certificate of Liability. Double check the liability coverage, and make sure it covers the type of work they will be performing.
2. Meet Your Painters
The human connection is important when hiring a painter. We are talking about someone that you will have to work with in person. You need to know if you can get along with them.
You will have to interact with someone eventually, whether the project manager or the painters themselves. The best time to make the introduction is during the estimate, and another reason we don’t do estimates sight-unseen. We want to get to know you!
This is not just a chance for them to show us what needs to be done, but also for us to meet the homeowner and vice versa. Establishing a level of trust and comfort is always important when strangers will be working in your home.
Before you make your final decision, take the time to meet with your choices to see if you will get along with them. You can discuss budgets, deliverables, and expectations before you get things started.
3. Check References First
Online reviews don’t always tell the whole truth. If you can, find someone who has had first-hand experience with the companies that you are researching.
When you talk to someone that you know about their experience you can learn the ins and outs of working with specific companies and get a more honest assessment.
Read reviews of the company in multiple places. They might have glowing reviews on one site, then a 1-start rating and lots of red flags on another. The more information you can find, the better.
Always read the bad reviews to see why customers were unhappy. Was someone just displeased with the color they chose, or did the painting company do damage to their house or never complete the job?
Any solid company should be able to give at least five references along with a way to contact them. Ask what they had done, how their experience was, and if they would use that company again.
4. Know Your Entire Project Scope
Before you hire a painter you need to figure out everything that needs to be done for your project.
Make sure you figure out every wall, floor, and ceiling that needs to have work done. When you come to a pro with all of the details, they will be able to give you an accurate quote and timeline to finish. If you surprise them with new details in the middle of a project, then you will throw off the price and time to finish.
It’s best to have this list ready beforehand to give to any estimators. These details are what determines the cost of painting a house, an seemingly minor changes might have a big impact on price. You need to make sure you are comparing apples to apples, and that each company is bidding on the same thing.
Make sure the entire scope of the project is listed in detail on the contract before signing. If something isn’t listed, don’t expect the painter to do it. Be sure that no rooms are left off the scope of work, and that the details of the project are correct.
5. Be Clear on The Budget
This starts with the contract, and the key is to make sure there will be no surprises. Verify that the final price includes prep and cleanup. Find out if a sales tax will apply, or if the price shown is the final price.
It is normal for painters to request a deposit which ensures the materials are covered if a customer skips out on a job. Deposits are typically 10-25%, which large multi-week jobs sometimes having a draw or payment schedule.
Never completely pay for a job upfront. Let me repeat myself… never completely pay for a job upfront! There is sometimes abuse in the home improvement industry where a customer will hire a painter and make payment upfront, only for the shady contractor to never be seen again. Don’t let this happen. A deposit is standard… total pre-payment is not. If the painter insists, just move on to the next company.
Finally, make sure the contract is clear on payment terms. What forms of payment will they accept? Is there a surcharge for using a credit card? And make sure to get a receipt marked All-Paid when you pay off the final invoice.
Hiring a Painter: Final Thoughts
Hiring a painter doesn’t need to be complicated. If you do your research and find a company you can work well with, you’re going to get your project done and the process will go more smoothly. You don’t have to go at it alone.
Hiring a pro can save you time and help boost the value of your property you are improving as well as the aesthetics.
Are you ready to talk about your next painting project? Contact us today to schedule an appointment!