Paint is THE most important thing you can do to protect your home and embarking on a house painting project comes with a lot of decisions and even more questions. The key to a successful outcome lies in selecting the right painting contractor. This comprehensive guide aims to equip homeowners with the tools you need to make that decision including questions to ask, what should a good painting contract include and how to that you pick a true professional to perform your project.
Understanding Your Painting Project - Assessing Your Needs
Before you begin, clarity on your project's general scope is an important step.
- Are you looking to paint the interior or the exterior of your home?
- What is known in the industry as the “Scope of Work” meaning what have you identified that either need work or that you want to change.
- What areas are you concerned about or that are exposed to weather
- What areas have things like old wallpaper, texture, or are showing holes or damage
If you are thinking of painting anything red, blue or yellow, let the Painting Contractor know. These are saturated colors that may require more than the standard 2-coat application process. Color selection either before or just as the project starts will colors ensure that there are no interruptions once painting has begun.
Choosing the Right Painting Contractor
Suitable contractors will have the following:
- Licensed as per local regulations or State Licensing Boards
- Liability Insurance with the proper limits (ask that you be name additionally insured)
- Worker’s Compensation insurance (ask to see proof of insurance)
- Ask friends, family or neighbors and check online for positive reviews from verified customers
Estimating Best Practices utilized by Painting Contractors:
In person appointments allow you to that fully review the areas and surrounding conditions with the contractor.
Painting Contractor will identify items that may not have occurred to you such as areas of rotting wood, color placement questions, elements that may be included or not included, whether or not you need scaffolding for out of reach areas on the exterior of your home.
Be able to answer questions or get back to you with answers to your questions.
Provide you with a detailed proposal that includes:
- Scope of Work
- Description of Work
- Total cost of project
- Payment Schedule
- Notice of 3-day cancellation period
- Paint products to be used
- Safeguards and details of job production
- Limits of Liability
- Licensing and licensing board contact information
- Warranty information
- Contains an area for you to provide a signature showing agreement with the contents of the proposal
Most of the time, the initial jobsite visit is complementary. If additional time is spent in developing scope or meeting additional trades, the painting contractor may add that consultation cost into their proposal.
Checking the credentials and certifications of the Painting Contractor
Validate their insurance, licenses, and certifications. For pre-1978 homes, an EPA Lead-Safe certification is vital.
Additional Questions to ask
Crew Consistency: How are projects run, how are they supervised and what are the typical work hours.
References and Portfolio: Request a list of references and access to their portfolio to gauge their quality of work.
Materials Used: Discuss paint brands and finishes suitable for different areas of your home.
Preparation Process: Clarify the extent of prep work, including sanding, repairs, and furniture handling.
Warranty Provision: Paint Contractor must warranty work as specified by their state or local regulations.
Making the Final Decision
It is typical to get at least one or two other proposals from equally qualified Painting Contractors and comparing not just price but how the proposal is written, does it accurately reflect the scope of work you discussed, does it give you a good understanding of how your job will be performed and what time frame it will be performed in. You will weigh factors like the contractor's professionalism, previous work quality, and your comfort level with their team. Avoid making a decision based solely on price.