Home Improvement

10 Essential Questions to Ask a Painting Contractor Before Hiring One

Painting your home can be fun. However, if you’re like most homeowners, you probably don’t have much experience with painting. Painting involves a lot more than simply spraying paint on a surface and applying it with a brush. It requires expertise to make the painted surface look professional and aesthetically pleasing. The professionals at Surepaint can help your house achieve this look.

Having your home professionally painted has several advantages. If you ever choose to sell your house, for example, prospective buyers are likely to pay close attention to the little details like the color of the eaves or the paint (or lack thereof) on your window sills. These little details, and many more, all add up to form a literal and figurative picture of your house in your prospective buyer’s mind—the so-called curb appeal. Therefore, before hiring anyone to paint your house, ensure that you are satisfied with their experience and reputation. The best way to do that is to ask a series of pertinent questions related to their job experience and their personality in general.

These questions include:

What area are you specialized in?

Painting can seem like a general field, but it has some specializations. There are painting contractors specializing in house exteriors, while others do only the house’s interior. Some contractors also offer additional services like wallpaper removal and some minor construction works. Asking this question gives you a complete idea of the painter’s experience and whether or not they have the necessary skills to perform your painting tasks satisfactorily.

Are you licensed and insured?

Anyone with some money and basic knowledge about painting can claim to be a professional and set up a painting business. Such individuals are usually shifty and unreliable, the so-called flight-by-night operators. Needless to say, dealing with such people can lead to losses. They may take your money and not show up to complete the job. Those not given to such dishonesty can still cause you losses if they sloppily do the job, meaning you’ll have to hire other contractors for repainting.

To avoid all such situations, ask about a painter’s work license. Many jurisdictions require such painting professionals to have work permits that allow them to offer painting services in a particular area. This helps to weed out the crooks. Besides proper licenses, good painting contractors should have insurance coverage, especially if they are part of a company. While rare, accidents do happen on painting work sites. Ensure that the painting contractors you hire have the right insurance coverage for everyone who’ll be working in your house. The last thing you want is to be embroiled in a civil lawsuit because someone got injured while painting your house.

What brand of paint will you use?

As someone likely unschooled in painting techniques, you may not know a great deal about paint brands. However, it never hurts to ask about the contractor’s brands to paint your house. This is because you may want a particular wall, for instance, to have a certain amount of reflectivity. Another issue is durability, and asking this question ensures that you know about the durability of the paint on your walls.

How will you prepare my house for painting?

A good paint job has several aspects to it. Preparation is key. Paint, even a high-quality brand, is unlikely to adhere properly to walls if such walls have dirt, holes, or other physically damaging features. In many cases, the walls need to be sandpapered and primed before any painting work is done. Ensure to ascertain how this will be done and how it will affect the overall budget.

What services are included in your estimate?

An estimate gives you a good idea of the cost of the painting work to be done. However, be careful about considering only the cost when choosing between different contractors. One contractor may give you a higher estimate because it includes all additional charges. Another contractor may offer a lower estimate that only covers basic things like purchasing paint and tools. Sometimes, both such estimates may not include the extra work needed to prepare the walls before painting. Be sure to know what the costs included in the estimate are.

How long will the work take?

If you’re renovating your house, then the paint job needed may be extensive, requiring several weeks of work. However, specific sections of a room may only need a day or two. Ensure to ask the contractor about the duration of time needed to complete the job. In most cases, a written contract can help to ensure that things move along smoothly. Of course, things like foul weather can mess up the schedule, especially for painting the exterior of a house. Ask for clarity on all such matters.

What guarantees do you offer?

As with most services, reputable professional painters offer guarantees when it comes to their work. Ensure to get this in writing. Barring unforeseen circumstances, a normal paint job done with high-quality paint should last at least a decade before needing repainting. Any good contractor will offer you guarantees because they are confident in the quality of their services.

Can you provide references?

This question is very relevant, especially because painting is a hands-on job. Any painting professional that has done a good job for their previous clients should not have a problem providing references. Always ask for at least three or more references. Painting contractors unwilling to provide references should be a warning sign. Sometimes, though, a painter may be new to the industry and is just starting out. In such cases, you’ll have to weigh the risk of hiring someone untested versus the potential cost if things go wrong.

 How do we keep in touch?

It can be exasperating when you can’t reach your painting contractor to get an update on the progress of your painting job. If the painting job involves a big house, there are usually several logistical issues to monitor. As the homeowner, you’ll want to know (and see) progress at every step. Keeping in touch with your contractor helps put your mind at ease. A painting contractor that refuses such an arrangement should make you wary of hiring them.

Should I be concerned about my belongings?

This question does not cross many homeowners’ minds even though it’s essential. When painters come to work in your home, you’re assuming that they are of good character by tacitly trusting them to be around your belongings. There have been cases of painters burglarizing a client’s home. Usually, it turned out that such painters had a criminal record unknown to their employer. Be insistent on this question. If you don’t get a satisfactory answer, don’t hire such painters.

All in all, you can rest assured that your painting job will go smoothly if you get the right answers to all the above questions.

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