Getting a painting estimate for your project might seem like a pretty straight forward task; call a couple of painting contractors, have them all come out and give you a quote, choose one, right? Well, in theory that’s how it would work, but there’s a few critical things you need to know before you just pick the one your dog didn’t bark at or the one who actually smiled when he stopped by.
Hiring a professional painter may seem like you’re just hiring someone to do something you don’t want to do. In other words, many people don’t realize just how much of a skill and profession it really is and don’t realize there are many tricks of the trade and hard won knowledge that can go a long way toward a beautiful paint job in the end as opposed to a nightmare.
There are many, many things to consider before hiring someone, but there are three questions you really must ask when you get your painting estimates.
- Are you licensed and insured? This may seem like common sense, but sometimes the lure of a lower price can hook people into accepting “under the table” work. Having the proper licensing and insurance is part of doing business the right way and it is part of the cost of doing business. Not only is it the mark of a professional, but it also protects you from the possibility of being sued if someone were to get injured on your property. This will be reflected in a slightly higher cost than those who aren’t, but you can rest assured that you are dealing with someone who is devoted to his or her trade. Don’t overlook this important element.
- Does your work conform to the PDCA standards? The PDCA is the Painting and Decorating Contractors of America, the trade association for painters. They outline specific standards for completed work and a quality painter will not only adhere to these standards, he will be involved with the local chapter of the PDCA. This shows his devotion to quality work and dedication to continued education in the field and staying on top of trends and products that could drastically improve the outcome of your project.
- Do you protect all surfaces? Again, this may seem obvious but a lot of homeowners come home after the painters have left only to find tiny little specks of paint on the hardwood floors or the granite countertops. It may not even be something you notice right away, but looking closely will reveal the splatters and specks that tell you the surfaces of your home weren’t protected while they were painting. Make sure they use drop cloths, plastic or some sort of protection for your valuables that don’t need to be painted.
Getting good answers to these questions will get you started and will give you a good idea that you are dealing with someone who is trustworthy and will do a quality job. Of course, there are other factors that come in to play and using some common sense will help you a great deal.
Remember that painting is a skill and there is so much more to it that brushing or rolling on some paint and calling it a day. A good painter will come out and talk to you about your needs, the use of the space to be painted and about different products that will be appropriate for your project. This will have a very positive impact on your painting estimate and your finished project.