Tips For Hiring A Painting Contractor – Forbes Advisor

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Painting is one of the quickest ways to improve and increase the value of your home. A fresh coat of paint brightens a room and makes the exterior look newer. Although painting is a common DIY project for most homeowners, it may be more work than you are willing to do. If you lack the time and skill to paint yourself, you may consider hiring a pro. Professional painters have the staffing to finish a project correctly, on time and on budget.

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What Does a Painting Contractor Do?

Painting contractors do more than roll paint on your walls. The benefit of hiring a professional is that they can get the job done fast and prepare and clean up after it is done. Here are some tasks you can expect when hiring a contractor:

  • Moving furniture for access to the areas to be painted. The homeowner is typically responsible for moving small objects.
  • Coverage of all areas that will not be painted.
  • Surface preparation before painting can include filling in holes, evening out the surface, removal of future covers, light sanding and scraping away loose paint.
  • Priming the surface (not always included with base price).
  • Painting two coats of paint on walls and ceiling.
  • Painting the trim and molding.
  • Touch ups of missed spots.
  • Cleanup and removal of tarps/drop cloths
  • Final inspection with foreman and homeowner.

 1.  Start With a Plan

You will save time and money with a detailed plan. Some questions to consider when making your plan are:

Is it an interior or exterior job?

Some painting contractors have different crews to perform interior and exterior projects. In general, exterior painting is dependent on the weather. If the day you are scheduled for painting gets rained out, you will need flexibility in your schedule.

What time of year do you want the painting completed?

Depending on where you live, exterior painting may only be available during spring and summer. Additionally, inclement weather can push back your paint job.

How many rooms do you want to be painted?

You will probably get a better rate for interior painting if you have more than one room painted. Sending out a crew for one room isn’t cost-effective, so you may be shelling out more money for a small job.

How will it impact your work/home schedule?

Most reputable companies will require the homeowner or an adult to be present while the contractors are on the premises.

2.  Research Painting Contractors

Once you have your plan in place, it’s time to start researching contractors. A painting contractor should have, at a minimum, a license and current insurance coverage. You can start by researching companies online and reading reviews.The best contractor for the job should have extensive experience with painting projects and a long list of satisfied customers.

3.  Get Referrals

Most painting contractors are small, local companies. Services can vary; some only provide painting, and others can offer additional services such as plaster repairs, trim and molding and wallpapering. Personal referrals are the best leads for finding a painting contractor. Check out local community boards or ask around to find out if your neighbors, friends or family have hired
painting contractors recently.

4.  Interview Painting Contractors

In addition to online research and referrals, it’s best to conduct initial interviews on the phone.
Here are a few questions to ask:

  • Will you share a few references from similar projects you’ve completed recently?
  • Who will be working on the project? Are they employees or subcontractors?
  • Are you licensed and insured? Please provide your contractor license number and certificate of insurance.
  • What brand and type of paint do you use?
  • Is the price of the paint included in the estimate?
  • How many coats of paint are included?
  • Do you prefer for the residents not to be in the home during the job?
  • What are your payment expectations?

5.  Vet Your Top Prospects

Once you’ve narrowed down your choices, you can reach out to references for quick interviews. This process will help you create your shortlist of companies to contact for estimates. Some questions to ask references are:

  • Was the project completed on time?
  • Were you satisfied with their work?
  • Did your project run over budget?
  • Were the contractor and any subcontractors professional and courteous?
  • Would you hire them again?

6.  Get Estimates in Writing

Contact at least three painting contractors for estimates. The company will send a representative to your home. You will walk them through your house and discuss what rooms or outdoor space needs to be painted. The company will send you an estimate in writing. The estimate should include:

  • Contact information: Company name, address, telephone number and website.
  • Total cost including taxes.
  • Scope of the project: Should include the areas to be painted, details of the prep work that will be done and the application process.
  • Paint specifications: What paint and other materials will be used.
  • Start dates and completion dates.
  • Terms and conditions: Payment terms should be clear and easy to understand.

Although the project’s total price is a significant consideration, it shouldn’t be the sole deciding factor when hiring a painting contractor. Consider the company’s experience, the track record for completing jobs on time and budget and testimonials from their previous clients.

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