Tips For Choosing a Painter
Choosing a home painter or a professional experienced in commercial painting is an important process, especially if you have a large project.
Here are some tips on how to select a good contractor.
- Are they easy to talk to? Communication and understanding is vital to make sure your job is done the way you want.
- Do they return your calls? This is a good yardstick on how they would be if anything needed to be fixed later on. If they return your calls promptly now - that's a good sign.
- One of the best ways to select a good home painter is by checking their customer references. Call 2 to 3 past customers and see what they say. If you're having the exterior of your residence done, call a past exterior customer. Same for the interior.
- What if you need a large commercial job done? References are even more important. Ask for references that had similar work done.
- Price is a factor, but don't necessarily go with the cheapest bid. In construction, you get what you pay for and there are a lot of ways to cut corners. You don't want a bid that is so low they won't take the time to do a good job. Overall, the bid should be fair.
- Along those same lines, the bid is an excellent indication of how the job will go. A fast verbal bid with nothing is writing is not a good sign. A written thorough bid with enough detail in it is what you're looking for. If there's something that you want in the bid that isn't there . . . ask that it be included. Get it in writing. That way there's no room for debate later.
- Will the contractor himself be on the job overseeing the work? This is an important point. When you originally talk to the contractor during your bid, you go over details of specifically what you want. When that same person is on the job - your project has a much better chance of being carried out the way you wanted it to be. Sometimes the details can get lost in the translation when a crew is sent out to paint without the specifics being understood. My experience as a contractor has been that this is probably the most common cause of complaints. This is simply because the crew did not understand the fine points of what was needed and wanted by the customer. This is why for years I've been on the job myself. I want to make sure that we do exactly what the customer wanted in the first place. Another aspect of this is that I'm there in case something comes up along the way that the customer wants changed or added.
- Scheduling may be a factor, but not necessarily. During the busy seasons, most good home improvement contractors are somewhat booked up. If you find someone that you like and they have a waiting list - get on the list.
- Lastly, never pay the contractor in full until you've inspected the job and it's done to your complete satisfaction. It's much easier to get them to come back and fix or finishing something they might have missed if they haven't been fully paid yet. If you are a remote owner or landlord have a local friend do the final inspection for you.
Taking the time in your selection is worth it!