Contractor Selection Guidelines
A Few Guidelines to Help You Make the Right Choice
Planning to have an interior or exterior painting project done soon? Selecting the right painter for your project can seem a little daunting. Here are a few guidelines to make the process a little easier. There are three main areas you should consider when evaluating painting contractors for your project: company reputation, the written proposal, and professionalism.
Evaluating Contractor Reputation
To begin with, ask yourself these questions about each company that bid on your project:
- Did you receive a list of references and/or addresses to drive by as examples of completed work?
- Did you speak with any references or view completed work?
- Were you able to find unbiased, unedited customer reviews or testimonials on Angie’s List, Yelp! or another online review site? Were they positive?
- Did the estimator provide copies of each company’s business license, proof of insurance, and workers’ compensation?
- Did you receive a written warranty?
The Written Proposal
It’s more than a scribbled price on the back of a business card. Make sure the scope of work and pricing is clear before choosing a company.
- Does each proposal accurately describe the work you want done, which you discussed with the estimator?
- Does each proposal clearly and separately list ALL the items to be painted, as well as any items to be excluded?
- Do the different proposals clearly list or describe the surface preparation (washing, scraping, sanding, caulking) that is included?
- Are the paint systems to be used clearly spelled out in the proposal – not just the brand of paint, but the specific line of paint? And the number of coats?
- Does the proposal explicitly state the quoted price is for ALL LABOR, PAINT, and MATERIALS?
- Are “line items” or “options” clearly listed, explained, and priced? Is it clear whether or not they are included in the total price?
- Does the estimate include any applicable sales tax?
- Are payment terms clear?
- Considering all the different prices, are they fairly close, (+/- 15%) or are there big differences? Low prices usually indicate something is missing or misunderstood in the scope of work. High price differences often indicate additional preparation or the number of coats of paint is off.
Professionalism of the Estimator – an indicator of things to come
- Did each estimator confirm the appointment prior to arrival?
- Did each estimator arrive at the appointed time?
- Was each estimator cheerful and offer a business card?
- Did each estimator seek to uncover any special circumstances your project may include (working around other trades, hitting a specific timeline, help with color selection, etc.)?
- Was each estimator knowledgeable and explained technical items in a easily understood way?
- Did each estimator explain the details of the painting process (wash, prep, prime, paint, inspect, cleanup) they would perform?
- Did each estimator explain what it is like to work with the company (how the schedule is set, daily updates on progress, crew size and experience, expected duration of the project, notifying neighbors, etc.)?
- Have the different estimators offered to go over the proposal in detail with you?
- Did each estimator answer all of your questions?
- At the end of the appointment, did you feel confident each estimator understood your needs and that their company is capable of delivering the painting project you desire?
CertaPro Painters® strives to meet all of the criteria above for every one of our customers. We’re sure you saw our passion for painting and customer service when we met. In the end we hope you choose us, but ultimately we just want you to have a great experience with whomever you choose!