Frequently Asked Questions and Answers
We will always try to answer your questions honestly and simply.
At CertaPro Painters, we want to help you make an informed decision when it comes to choosing someone to work on your most valuable investment. We don't hide behind jargon or try to confuse you. We hope that the information on this page will answer many of your questions. If not, please call us anytime at 410-592-6006.
Q: How much will it cost to paint my house?
A: Contact us today for a free estimate. We do not give square foot prices or "guestimations." We will evaluate each job and determine what the labor and material costs will be to estimate the price.
Q: I have three estimates from three different painters. The prices are so different I have no idea what to think of them. How do I determine the difference?
A: It was a great decision to get more than one bid but now you need to ask the right questions. Does the estimate include materials? What kind of paint will be used? Does the painter carry worker's compensation and general liability insurance? Does the painter provide reference? A written warranty? What constitutes a change order or an additional charge? All of these factors can add considerable to the cost of the job. Make sure you are getting what you pay for.
Q: Will I save money if I buy the materials?
A: Not likely. In fact we get better discounts than the employees of most of the major paint manufacturers. If you want the best materials for the lowest price, then let us get them for you.
Q: How much money do we need to put down for a paint job?
A: We will give progress invoices periodically on big jobs and on smaller jobs we will ask for payment upon completion. Our invoices are due upon receipt and the we ask that you have the total estimated amount available before we begin the job.
Q: Oil or Latex?
A: Every job, no matter the age or condition deserves special consideration with choosing which products to use and how to apply them. Our painters are very knowledgeable and understand each step of the painting process. We will choose the products and the application methods that give the best results.
Q: Is there a difference between hand-brushed and sprayed paint?
A: Basically, both spraying and brushing are fine, so long as the paint is put on at the proper spread rate (sq. ft./gallon). Spraying will provide a smoother appearance, and less chance for mildew to get into brush marks and grow. As long as the surface has been properly prepared, sprayed paint will adhere as well as if brushed.
Q: Is it true that I won't be able to buy oil-based paints in the future?
A: A lot depends on the VOC limits the federal government sets when it implements a national VOC regulation. Based on the latest information you should be able to use oil-based paints for some time. The oil-based products you'll use in years to come will be different than the ones you use now. They'll contain more solids and less solvent, and may apply and dry differently than current products. You might be surprised just how different oil-based product are from the ones being sold 10 years ago. Waterborne products that are being developed dry to a hard film like an alkyd; but they're non-yellowing, clean up with soap and water, and cause less odor.
Q: What does VOC mean?
A: VOC refers to "volatile organic compound"; some examples are paint thinner, mineral spirits, alcohol, gasoline, ethylene glycol, acetone and xylol. VOCs are harmful to both people and the environment. Most architectural paints contain some VOCs. The EPA is limiting the level of VOCs in paints, because when they evaporate into the air when the paint dries, they can contribute to low-level smog generation.
Q: Are more expensive paints better?
A: Yes. More expensive paints contain more durable pigments and resins. The resins along with the binders give you the quality of finish. The way the product is produced can also impact the quality. Better pigments mean less coats of paint. If you really want to save money, spend a little more on quality materials.
Q: A contractor comes to paint my house and his employee falls off a ladder and gets hurt. Who pays for his injuries?
A: Contractor such as builders, painters or other tradespeople who work on or around your home are required by Maryland law to provide worker's compensation insurance and any injury would be covered under that policy. If the contractor does not have coverage or has discontinued his policy to save on premiums, you would be next in line to pay for a worker's injuries and/or disabilities that occurred on your property.
Q: I was told by a contractor that he would have to charge a lot more if he purchased worker's compensation. He has assured me that my homeowner's insurance policy would cover me in the event of an accident. It this true?
A: Absolutely not! Your homeowner's insurance is not likely to offer ANY coverage in this event. It is more likely that your policy specifically excludes it. Contact your insurance agent for more information.
Q: I was told by a contractor that he is not required to carry worker's compensation insurance because he only has one employee. Is this true?
A: There are some cases where this may be true but ultimately you could be left with the bill for injuries that happen on your property. Protect yourself and your assets by only hiring contractors that are adequately insured.
Q: How do I know for sure if a contractor carries worker's compensation insurance?
A: Ask for a certificate of insurance and check with the carrier before work begins to ensure that the policy is still in force.
Q: Does CertaPro Painters carry worker's compensation and general liability insurance policies?
A: Yes, and at your request we can provide insurance certificates that name you as the certificate holder.