What to Ask a Painting Contractor Before Hiring Them
Considering hiring a painting contractor to paint your house doesn’t have to be a daunting task. Knowing what to ask can make the process a whole lot easier and provide you with valuable information you will need to feel confident in choosing the right contractor for your home.
- Do you have references I can speak to?
Contractors are very familiar with this request. They should be able to provide you with at least a handful of customers that can speak to their work. In addition, contact information should be readily available to you. Be sure that the homes are in a variety of areas. Feel free to contact one or all of these previous clients to learn about your painter.
No painter is going to provide you with references from customers who had problematic jobs or less than stellar opinions of their work. To get a more realistic picture of the painter’s work, also visit online review websites like Google My Business, Yelp, Angie’s List, and others. Because these sites allow both glowing and less than stellar reviews, you’ll get a more unbiased view of the painter’s work.
- Do you have Workman’s Compensation Insurance and General Liability Insurance?
These policies protect you and your property from any damages or injuries incurred over the course of a job. Any contractor doing work within your home should be able to provide you with both of the policy numbers that they are covered under. If they cannot, and something goes wrong while working at your home, you could be on the hook to cover medical bills and repair costs.
- How will my house be prepped for painting?
Proper preparation is crucial to a good paint job that lasts. While some companies will let you contribute to the preparation efforts for your painting job, others will not. Trimming the costs of preparation is one area where homeowners are typically happy to help. Items could include cutting shrubbery and bushes, repairing small damages, or other preparation work. Get a comprehensive list of the preparations that the company is providing for your paint job.
- What grade of paint will be used?
Most painting crews will have a paint manufacturer that they lean on for their jobs. This is due to past experience with the product and warranties. Typically, this is a premium-grade paint product. Painters choose these providers for their ability to hide previous colors, stand up to the elements, and ease of use. As the homeowner, you are welcome to discuss the paint being used on your home but take the painter’s recommendations into consideration.
- How many painters will be on the job and how long will the job take?
Usually, your painting job will be completed by several painters over the course of a few days. There are reasons a painting job can be slowed down. These include unplanned repairs, weather delays, or product availability. Your estimator should be able to give you an idea of the timeline and crew that is expected to be on-site for your work. Barring any unforeseen circumstances, hold the crew to this plan.
- How much will the job cost?
Do not choose your painting contractor solely based on the lowest costs. You should plan to get several estimates and assume they are close to the same prices. Any stand-out high or low prices should automatically be eliminated. Too high and too low prices are a sign that the estimator doesn’t understand what’s involved in the job. It can also mean that the crew won’t be covered by proper insurance policies in order to offer low-cost jobs.
Remember that the estimates are just estimates. Painters will give you their best guess cost for your job. Further information for the estimate is necessary to give a hard and fast cost. Any changes to paint or colors can also change the costs of a job.
- Is the contractor licensed?
Licensing is issued by local governments. This ensures that the provider meets basic qualifications in their field. It also means if a job is not adequately completed, the provider has something to lose. This gives the homeowner leverage to make sure a contractor shows up, provides professional consideration on your job, and will not take your deposit and run.
- Does the work come with a warranty?
Painters doing quality work with premium-grade paint should be able to make their exteriors last around 10 years depending on the geographic location. While painters won’t typically offer decade-long warranties, they will offer some sort of guarantee on their work and it should be spelled out. This won’t cover dings and nicks but should be called into play if there are paint failures like bubbling, peeling, or chipping.
- What will be cleaned up after the job is finished?
It could seem obvious that clean-up should be done by the crew at the end of the job. That doesn’t mean it is included. To keep everyone honest, it’s best to get these items in writing. Contractors are used to including clean-up expectations in their estimates or contracts.
- Will there be someone to answer phone calls to answer any questions?
Be sure you get a point of contact that will be familiar with your job. If questions come up before booking or during the job, you want to have a place to go. This person should be identified before you sign on any dotted lines.
When you’re ready to get your next painting project started why not give CertaPro of La Jolla a call, we are happy to provide you with a free estimate and answer all your questions. Get in touch today!