Congratulations! You've made the smart decision to improve your home's appearance and value with a professional paint job. Now comes the daunting challenge of finding a paint contractor. Not to worry! These 10 secrets will help you find a GREAT paint contractor who'll deliver a top-quality job at an excellent price and leave you with a satisfying home improvement experience.1. A GREAT Paint Contractor Presents Proof of Insurance While a good paint contractor may tell you he's insured, a GREAT contractor presents a copy of his policy, proving the amount of coverage he carries for both property damage and bodily injury that may result from the contractor's work. By nature, paint materials are highly flammable and, should a tragedy occur, you need to know your contractor is sufficiently insured.2. A GREAT Paint Contractor NEVER Asks for a Deposit While some paint contractors may request a deposit before beginning the work, well-established, successful painting professionals have sufficient operating income and can easily afford to purchase materials and make payroll. BE WARY of a contractor who asks for a deposit! If he is unable to purchase materials, he's probably unable to pay his staff. Every year, too many homeowners fall victim to contractors who walk off the job - and out of town - with the deposit in their pockets.If you agree to advance payment of any kind, be sure materials have been purchased and are on your property, leaving you some kind of leverage should the contractor default on the work. Bottom Line: GREAT painting contractors NEVER request a deposit. 3. A GREAT Paint Contractor Offers Great Warranties You can tell a lot about a paint contractor by his warranty. Well-known contractors with established reputations are respected by paint suppliers who, in turn, pass on extended - even lifetime - warranties on their paints because they know the product will be applied right. For any number of reasons, less experienced contractors may not have valuable relationships with suppliers. On the labor side, a GREAT contractor works with solid, experienced painters whose work he knows he can stand behind with an extended labor warranty.4. GREAT Paint Contractors Go the Extra Mile Because GREAT contractors have learned the value of a satisfied customer, they're able to focus on service and offer extras that shows you how important your business is to the contractor. Check to see if your contractor offers the following: Professional color consulting FREE color try-ons FREE power washing Two coats of paint - as a standard offering! 5. GREAT Paint Contractors Give Professional, Detailed Quotes A GREAT painting quote includes a detailed list of ALL aspects of work to be done: FREE Power washing Caulking, sanding and priming Trim repair - GREAT contractors will know what needs to be done Details of products and application - GREAT contractors know the right products for every job Touch-ups and clean-up In addition to the quote's content and accuracy, is it presented professionally? Is the quote printed on company letterhead? Does the sheet show the contractor's license number? Does he use a local land line phone number? (beware if only a cellular phone number is listed) TAX I.D. number? Work guarantee and relevant product warranties? Inexperienced contractors, using standard business forms purchased at office supply stores suggests they haven't invested much in their business and may not be properly licensed. Also, they may not be paying income taxes.6. GREAT Paint Contractors Have an A or A+ Better Business Bureau RatingThe Better Business Bureau (BBB) is a trusted consumer rating body that grades businesses based on collective criteria. In addition to finding their grade, be sure to check how long the paint contractor has been a member. Also confirm that any complaints have been resolved. BBB will still afford a good rating if a business has addressed issues in a timely manner. Questionable painting contractors will have either no BBB affiliation at all or a grade of B or below.7. GREAT Paint Contractors Care about Their Communities and Industry Associations Being active in local Chambers of Commerce, committed to area charities and having a presence in the Painting and Decorating Contractors Association (PDCA) shows that GREAT paint contractors have professional integrity and care about their communities. Fly-by-night contractors avoid connections to civic or professional organizations.8. GREAT Paint Contractors Provide References in Your Area - Both Old and New Good paint contractors may have references from local work that was completed in the past few weeks. GREAT Paint Contractors will provide multiple local references from both recent and past work. References from a year ago or longer show the paint job's durability and confirm that any necessary follow-up or billing issues were handled correctly.9. GREAT Paint Contractors Invite You to See a Job in Progress If a contractor is confident about the way they work, they'll prove it by asking you to judge for yourself. Things to look for: Work vehicles - are they clean, organized and professional? The painters - are they neatly dressed and groomed? Materials - are ladders, scaffolding, drop cloths and electrical equipment in good condition? Is work being done carefully so as not to damage landscaping or property? Bottom Line: GREAT Paint Contractors treat a home - and its homeowner - with respect at all times.10. GREAT Paint Contractors Have a Professional Website While it is certainly possible to be a good paint contractor and not own a Website, GREAT contractors are also successful business people who understand that today's consumer is looking for instant information. A GREAT contractor's Website will include all the details homeowners are looking for - references, before & after photos, details of services, contact information and history of the company and its owner and staff.
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Hello, I have a sad situation to share -- a friend of mine who is a very good painter, experienced too, fell off a tall ladder that did not have "boots" on it. (I've never seen those.) Anyway, do you think he should have asked for boots before painting? Possibly it was a situation where he was shy to ask because he wanted the job... (I don't know all the details.)
I managed commercial construction projects for many years, have built and remodeled several properties, and never once have I encountered any of these scams. The tone of this article is deeply troubling. The author seems to be saying that ALL painting contractors are inherently dishonest, and that has not been my experience. The underlying advice here is sound: get it all in writing and cover as many contingencies as possible--so pointing out potential pitfalls like coat coverage is helpful. But do that in the spirit of clear communication of expectations, not with the expectation that the person you are hiring will try to cheat you at every turn. Not every contractor takes outrageous advantage of change orders; not every contractor will sneak past necessary preparation and/or repairs. Contractors of all sorts get a bad rap as it is; reinforcing a stereotype with articles written from this point of view just seems unproductive.
Thanks, all, for your time & efforts adding to the article & comments, especially Dave urging requesting both General Liability AND Worker Compensation insurance certificates to protect from real & fraudulent liability--from my experience especially in California, where insurance fraud is a popular income thief, even causing car collisions to collect.
I totally agree with this as well. I think every time I have read Angie's List reports, they are inaccurate and not researched enough. I had COMPLETE faith in Angie but lately I am hesitate on reports. I would check your local hardware store or even your neighbors to get a recommendation for painters. If you liked what you saw, you can be stress free with your results. I live in Texas and I have borrowed my hardware store opinion bc that seems to be the place most of the contractors or painters come to buy stuff for the jobs. If your neighbors painters, contractors, electricians and plumbers have shown good results, stress free you. I have been stress free with results, glad I asked for other opinions.Don't forget, the Hardware Store knows if that person is trustworthy and honest, their accounts would be shut down.
Lap marks are those ugly stripes caused by uneven layers of paint buildup. They occur when you roll over paint that’s already partly dry. (In warm, dry conditions, latex paint can begin to stiffen in less than a minute!) The key to avoiding lap marks when doing DIY wall painting is to maintain a “wet edge,” so each stroke of your roller overlaps the previous stroke before the paint can begin to dry.
This is an area that interior painters can easily cut short to save time. Most contracts don't state the extent of the wall repairs included, so it's up to the painter's discretion how much they will do. If it seems like too much work, they'll usually point out the repairs but don't include it in the bid. They'll then ask you if you'd like it fixed after they start your project and let you know how much more it will cost.
All Handy residential house painters are vetted and verified. They’ll also come with their own tools and equipment, so when they arrive at your home, they're ready to get to work. Handy offers friendly customer service, available to connect you with house painting services, whenever you need them. Book your painting contractors to arrive at the time that suits you best and rest assured that they'll take care of every aspect of the job. Your house painting job is backed by the Handy Happiness Guarantee because your satisfaction is important to us.
We had a bad experience with an interior painter years ago, with the crux of the problem being him overcharging us at the end for "extra work" he didn't anticipate. One thing I'd strongly recommend is making sure it's in the contract that any additional work or growth work is estimated and communicated to the owner as soon as it is identified, otherwise the owner is not liable to pay it at the end.
Based in the United Kingdom, Ian Linton has been a professional writer since 1990. His articles on marketing, technology and distance running have appeared in magazines such as “Marketing” and “Runner's World.” Linton has also authored more than 20 published books and is a copywriter for global companies. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in history and economics from Bristol University.