1. Get 3 Bids Minimum: Get bids from three different painting contractors for your job. Friends and family are good reference sources. Be home for the initial meeting with them. That way, you will know how much time each contractor took to assess the condition of your home. The more you communicate what you want painted, the more accurate the quote you’ll receive. Even an experienced painter will need more than a quick walk around your house. Also ask each contractor about the size of his crew and the painters experience level.
2. State Expectations: When the different painting companies come to your home it is important that you state your expectations. Having a written list of what you want painted is also helpful. The number of coats a painter applies isn’t the only factor in determining the quality and price of the project. Preparation is key; make sure they are going to take the time to properly prepare the surfaces before they paint them. If previously painted areas are in bad condition and you want them repaired, be prepared to pay a hire price. Time is money in the painting world!
3. Check References: It is important to check references and past work. Get a list of references from each contractor and call them to find out about their experience with the professional. A history of positive references is a good sign. If possible, it is also a good idea to drive by and look at some of the past work the contractor has done. Ask for a list of neighbors that he may have painted for.
Another thing to question is do they have good credentials in your community. Ask if they are a member of the local BBB (Better Business Bureau)? Do they have any unresolved issues? You can also check them out on other consumer affair sites, like the local chamber of commerce.
4. Insurance: The last thing you should check into with your contractor is to make sure they are properly insured. Reputable companies will always carry copies of their general liability insurance and worker’s compensation insurance. If they don’t have proper insurance and have an accident you could end up responsible. Not a risk you want to take!
5. The Estimate/Quote: You should then receive a complete and accurate estimate/contract in writing. The contract should include all of the contractor’s key information: name, address, phone number, etc. It should then include whatever surfaces are going to get painted and exactly how the preparation and paint will be applied. Make sure the contract clearly states what is and is not included in the job. It should specify what material is going to be used, the number of coats applied, the preparation that is going to be done, a payment schedule and a written guarantee.
Finally, once you have done all of your research on your contractor and are sure you have an accurate quote and the right contractor for the job, sign up and set a schedule to begin work. When choosing a contractor make sure everything is always clearly spelled out before the work is scheduled to begin and your projects should always go smoothly. The contractor will make all the difference in the world. A good paint contractor can make your home look great and last a long time!