Have you ever painted a room in your house only to find that you had taken on more than you could chew? I certainly have, and I quickly realized that I should have hired a residential painter to finish the job.
I learned the hard way that just putting a few coats of paint on the walls is not enough. A reputable painting contractor can help you choose the color, paint type, techniques, and other materials needed.
Don’t hire the cheapest contractor on the market, either. Your home is probably your most valuable asset, so you don’t want to pay someone to do cheap work.
So what should you look for when hiring a painter for your home?
Ask for a free, written estimate. This will help you avoid costly hidden expenses that go over budget. Some contractors require an upfront payment. This practice usually indicates that the contractor is unable to purchase the materials needed for the job in advance. This may be the case with a small neighborhood handyman where it is fairly safe to advance him the money, but this should never be required of a regular licensed and bonded painting contractor.
Insurance, licensing, and bonding – These are extremely important things to consider when hiring a contractor. Mainly because accidents happen, and if one occurs on your property, you could very likely be held liable for the medical expenses of the contractor or his helpers. A surety bond is also important in case something is stolen from your property. All three of these items protect both the contractor and you.
Before you sign a contract, read it carefully and ask questions if you don’t understand anything in it. It’s important to know in advance exactly what you’re getting into and what you can expect.
Does the painter have a warranty on his work? If not, you should not hire him. A warranty on painting work usually lasts for about five years. This is the norm in the construction industry. Make sure you know exactly what the warranty covers.
How long has the painting contractor been in business and can they provide a list of satisfied customers? It’s true that everyone has to start somewhere, but make sure you can see or hear a few testimonials from customers where the painter has worked before. You can also check with the Better Business Bureau for an evaluation.
You may think that hiring a residential painting contractor is easy, but you may be wrong. Don’t let yourself be misled. Muster up your courage and ask all the questions that come to mind. You will not regret not doing so later. Do your homework beforehand, because you certainly don’t want to have it done again, or worse, live with it if you are unhappy with the finished product.