No one looks forward to painting their home, but everyone loves the look when it is freshly painted. The pitfalls and headaches often associated with painting a home are avoidable – or at least kept to a minimum – by selecting the right painting company.
The first step in a worry-free painting project is selecting a company. If you have never painted a home before, consider yourself lucky. The intensive effort necessary to paint a house on your own is not an experience that belongs to a bucket list. The money you might save by painting your own home will be lost in hair restoration products and anger management courses.
Once you have come to your senses and started looking for a professional painting contractor, there are some qualities that separate the men from the boys in this industry.
Perhaps more important to a painting contractor than paint brushes, insurance is a must-have for anyone doing work on your property. A legitimate paint contractor will carry, at minimum, a general liability policy. The purpose of this policy is to protect you and the contractor from any damages or injuries that could occur while the project is underway. Should one of the painters fall from a ladder, the lawsuit could be pointed at the homeowner if the contractor is not covered for this liability. Walk away quickly from any contractor who does not have some form of insurance.
If a painting company does not have a clear reputation available online or through references provided by the contractor, it is typically for one of two reasons: one, this is their first project, or two, they do not want you to speak to previous customers. Either one of these possibilities is reason enough to look elsewhere. A reputable painter will gladly supply references, as there are a few sales tools that are as effective as a glowing referral.
A painting contractor that can not arrive for an estimate on time is not likely to take punctuality very seriously during the project either. When someone is legally deferred for reasons outside of their control like traffic, alien abduction, etc … they will have the foresight and courtesy to call to explain the delay and provide a new estimated time of arrival. A painting contractor that is not punctual is not likely to complete a project in a reasonable amount of time either.
Aside from the protection of insurance as mentioned above, it is important to know who will be on your property. A fair question to ask is if the painters are employed by the painting contractor, or sub-contracted to do the work. Sub-contracted labor is less likely to have undergone a background check and is therefore a potential risk factor. There are exceptions, of course, and it is usually best for a homeowner to rely on instincts when assessing character.
Yes, for most of us price does matter. The painting contractor with the highest price is not necessarily the best, and the one with the lowest price may end up costing double if the quality is so poor it has to be done again. When evaluating references provided by contractors, there is nothing wrong with asking the other homeowners how they felt about the price. Many will volunteer what they paid right away and provide a great point of reference to be sure and secure a fair bid.