Finding Reputable South Shore Exterior Painters.

Chapter 2

Ready to make a change?

Schedule an Estimate

Chapter 2: How to find a trustworthy South Shore exterior painting company.

Check out local painter reviews online.

Google reviews of 4.9 out of 5 for 125 reviewers of CertaPro Painters of the South ShoreGoogle “Online reviews for South Shore Painters” and see what comes up. You are looking for recent and decent reviews. Look also for online posting consistency – many companies might have many reviews from March 2017 and no reviews after that date. Still, you want to see customers consistently posting reviews month after month, so you get a sense that the business is consistently making its customers happy.

Once you have a few painting companies, call them to get a quote and watch closely how easy or difficult they make doing business with them.

CertaPro Painters Salesperson in front of exterior of homeLook at each painting company’s process to arrange an appointment with an estimator. The ease of doing business with them at this stage often foreshadows how the entire painting job will be handled if you hire them. For example:

-Does the office staff call you back right away?

-Do they communicate by email, phone, and text?

-Is someone in the office, or are painters on the job site taking your call from a ladder (a safety no-no)?

-Is scheduling a quote easy?

-Do you have to wait weeks for an estimator to quote your project?

-Do they give you a specific date and time they’ll meet with you?

-Do you have to chase the estimator to get them to email you a quote?

-Does the painting company have a full-service suite of services like a carpenter to replace your rotted wood, or designer on staff?  Or will you be in charge of finding your own separate carpenter or designer?

When you call the office to set up an appointment, ensure the painter is sophisticated enough to handle your project.  Things like access to high spots often require lifts and scaffolding, which some painters won’t undertake.

Get quotes from 3 different South Shore painting companies.

There are many great painting companies on the South Shore – we at CertaPro are friendly with most of them.

Look for professionalism in the painter because the quoting process often foreshadows how the entire process of painting your home will be handled if you hire that company.  For example:

inspection after paintingWas the estimator on time?

Did the estimator have good product knowledge for your type of home and climate? For example, a home directly on the coast in Cohasset would likely need a different paint product than a more inland home in Hanover, even though both houses are only 15 miles apart!

Did the estimator listen?  Sometimes listening for things “beyond painting” can make a project go more smoothly.  If a painting crew can steer clear of your baby’s room during naptime, imagine the happy parent!  This kind of listening skill has nothing to do with the technical aspects of exterior painting but makes a huge difference in the customer experience.

Did the estimator talk about color?  Painters often shy away from talking color, but a good painting company has estimators that know some color theory and designers that can take the color selection process to the finish line.

Is the quote typewritten and detailed, and does it include photos? Photos are a good indication that the painting company is meticulous about delivering on the details of the project. Photos and videos are a good way to communicate the details to the painters doing the painting on your home.

It is important to understand that the estimator is the only person who has seen your painting project before the painters’ arrival. Be sure they capture all of the details in writing to ensure the painting crew understands what you’d like done.

Does the quote include lifestyle details like questions about letting the dog out, or not parking behind the garage. Better companies will ensure they capture these household details, so the homeowner’s process is as smooth as possible (and dogs don’t go missing!).

Questions to ask an exterior painter about your South Shore home:

Make sure the answers to these questions are in writing on your exterior quote even if the painter tells you you can trust them.

What kind of paint do you recommend for my type of home? The brand and grade of paint should be spelled out in writing.

If a contractor only writes “Benjamin Moore” paint, you don’t know which grade of Benjamin Moore Paint they plan on using. Because Benjamin Moore has a range of paints from very cheap to very expensive, you want the grade of paint specified in writing along with the brand name (for example, “Benjamin Moore Aura Paint.”)

What work is included in the quote? (again, this should be written out on your quote, so there are no surprises)

What work is excluded from the quote? (i.e., “shutters will not be painted”)

Is there a written warranty? Get a copy of the written warranty at this stage.

Is carpentry and wood replacement included in the price of the quote?

Is the South Shore painting contractor licensed and insured? If a contractor works on your home and is not insured, you, the homeowner, are liable if someone gets hurt on the job.

Hint:  A way to ensure you are working with an insured contractor is to have them add you to their insurance policy as “additional insured” – this ensures that their insurance policy is in full force and paid up.

When can this exterior painting project start, and how long will it take to finish? Remember, if there is a little bit of a wait for the painter, this is a good sign that they are in demand.  Also weather can snag the best of painting schedules and put the painting company behind.  Good painting companies will work longer (sunny) days and weekends to make up for rainy weather during the week.

Can you meet my deadline? If you’re having a party, you may need to have the painting done by a specific time. While this cannot be 100% guaranteed because the weather in the Boston area is so inconsistent, and exterior painting can’t be done in the rain. Most of the time, deadlines can be met if you let the painting company know and give them about a month’s notice.

Other considerations about the exterior estimating process:

Did the estimator pressure you to buy? Since you are just in the quoting phase, you should look to be educated at this point, not pressured into signing a contract.  Take your time deciding and ensuring you have enough information from each contractor to compare quotes.

Some people want to hire a local painter so jobs stay in their community. Ensure you understand what the painting company does to give back to the Boston area and the South Shore towns where they work.

Can the painting company quote your exterior project without you being home if you work outside the home or need to take precautions for Covid? While it’s always better to meet for a quote in person, a good estimator can talk to you over the phone to get the scope of the work you’d like done, walk around your exterior without you, and email you a quote.

Carpenter's hands in gloves measuring wood with green pencil and tape measure
Painting companies should be able to handle replacing rotted wood on your home without you having to hire a separate carpenter.

Does the painting company offer all of the exterior services you need?
Some painting contractors only paint. Other South Shore painters offer one-stop shopping for power washing, carpentry, rotted wood replacement, and exterior color consultation. Ensure you’re getting bids from South Shore painting companies that will provide the breadth of services required to do your exterior painting project, so you don’t need to hire multiple contractors.


Some additional considerations for South Shore homes:

Woodpeckers are a problem on the South Shore – they consistently drill holes in our wooden siding and trim. If this is the case for you, ensure that your painter has a carpenter who can fix the holes or replace the wood.

Should your home be painted or stained?  A knowledgeable painting company can tell you if your home is currently coated with paint or stain and the best formula to protect it in the future.

Rotted wood is a problem on South Shore homes because most homes are mostly made of wood. Again, if your window sill and trim boards contain rotted wood, you’ll need a painter with carpenters on staff to handle the wood replacement before they paint.

Bulkheads in the Boston area are often an eyesore. Does the painter include the bulkhead in the price to help protect and beautify it?  Make sure they specify direct-to-metal (DTM) paint for the bulkhead.

Mahogany decks common to the South Shore need constant maintenance to stay protected and look good. Does your painter offer deck staining services with the know-how to handle your beautiful mahogany deck?

Rotting trim boards are common on the wood homes on the South Shore – does your painter have a carpenter that can replace them with PVC trim boards so they never rot again?

Does your home contain brick that you’re considering painting? Ensure the painter is experienced in painting it with the correct products and techniques specifically for brick homes.





color design packet
Ask the estimator to provide a free computer rendering of your home before it’s painted.  CertaPro Painters offers this on every project – just ask your estimator to snap some photos when you meet.

If you are thinking of changing your exterior color, look for a company with a complimentary in-home designer  who can work with you at your home to get your exterior color palette just right. Working with a designer at your house to choose exterior colors is time well spent. The hour or two you take with a designer upfront will pay dividends for years each time you drive up your driveway and still love the colors.

Blue home with white painted trim in Abington, MAIf you want to change your exterior color to something that fits with the South Shore’s traditional look or want someone who works on historic homes, look for a painter with historic home experience and knowledge of Boston’s historic colors.

Ask if the painting contractor offers free computer renderings of your South Shore home in different paint colors so you can see what your home will look like before the painters even pick up a brush.

Painters often specialize in different homes they paint – ensure you see photos of your home on the painter’s website. For example, if you have a Cape Cod, Colonial, or brick home, how much experience does the painter have painting this style of home?

Go to Chapter 3 – Services offered by exterior painting companies

Go back to the table of contents of this guide