Whether you are looking to paint the interior or exterior of your home, choosing a good painting contractor is important to get the job done the first time. First, you need to determine the scope of your project. This will allow you to look for the right professional to complete it.
If you have a small painting project (for example, one or two bedrooms to repaint), hiring a solo painter-operator could be the best choice. Because owner-operators carry virtually no business overhead (no staff, no office, no commercial vehicles, etc), they can get your small project done for relatively cheaper than a large painting company.
Larger projects, however, are a different story. These need to be done in a time efficient manner and single painter-operators simply do not have the labor or resources to complete such large projects to the industry standards and on time. Such large jobs require the use of a trained painting crew, proper painting equipment, and a good project leader, or foreman. Typically, large painting jobs include multi-room or whole interior painting and exterior painting jobs.
Once you have determined whether you should hire a solo-operator or a full painting conractor firm, there are other things you need to pay attention to.
First, when getting quotes for your house painting job, make sure that each contractor outlines the scope of the work. You want to be sure that the estimates include the same service items from each of the contractors. Things like the type of prep work that will be done, how many coats of paint will be applied, and what brand of products will be used, need to be consistent across all painting estimate that you get. This way, when you are later going over the proposed prices, you are comparing “apples to apples.”
Many times, inexperienced or non-professional painters will quote the same job for a substantially lower price than any of the legitimate contractors who gave you quotes. Homeowners often get very excited about the immediate savings they would incur, and rightly so. However, as the old saying goes, “you get what you pay for.” More often than not, these extremely low bidding painters – in order to save money – skip crucial steps in the prep process, use the cheapest products they can find, and perform shoddy work. In the end, the paint job will not last and the homeowner will have to get their place repainted prematurely.
To determine whether or not you are hiring a legitimate painting company or someone who will ruin a paint job, make sure to check for the following items:
1) Business registration. Is this is a real company and will I be able to hold them responsible in a few months time if the paint job fails? Unregistered individuals can take you money and virtually disappear and you would have no recourse options and no one to hold responsible for shoddy workmanship.
2) Insurance. Does this company carry insurance? In case of unfortunate events, you want to be sure that your home is protected. If a ladder accidentally falls on your car or breaks your window, you need to be sure that the company has liability coverage to cover for these unfortunate events.
3) Examples of past work and customer testimonials. Don’t just take the painters’ word for it, find out for yourself what others have been saying about their painting and look at pictures of work they have done in the past.
4) Lastly, a legitimate painting contractor should never ask you for a substantial amount of money upfront. Typically, 10-15% upfront is considered the norm to cover material costs, but if the painter asks you for anything over that amount, you should be wary.