9 Mistakes to Avoid When Hiring a Painting Contractor

hire painting contractor

Over time, our homes and businesses need to be refreshed and updated. Whatever the issue, one of the least expensive ways to do that is to apply a new coat of paint. Walls get scuffed and stained, siding gets beat up from the weather, or you need to change the color. Whether it’s the exterior or interior, paint can instantly change the look of a home or commercial building and improve its appeal.

If you are considering having your home or business repainted by a professional, you want to hire the best. A painting contractor is an efficient and reliable way to get a high-quality finish that lasts. Finding the best painting contractor is when your work begins. The process involves more than a Google search or making a few phone calls.

Choose A Painting Contractor Wisely

It can sometimes be difficult to find the time to research to get the best contractor for your paint project. It’s tempting to cut corners; however, taking the necessary steps and doing due diligence can prevent you from making mistakes when hiring a painting contractor. Here are some of the most common mistakes made when choosing a painting contractor.

1. Overlooking Insurance 

If the painting contractor you hire does not have general business liability insurance and workman’s compensation policies, you are responsible if an accident happens.  Professional painters who have insurance can cover repairs, replacement, and compensation for any damages to your property during the project.

Workman’s compensation protects you against paying additional charges should any of the paint crew get injured while working on your property. Don’t miss this vital information. A reputable painting contractor will gladly show you a copy of their insurance policies.

2. Hiring an Inexperienced Painter

While every new business deserves a chance, it’s risky going with a painting contractor who recently opened. You want to make sure the painter you hire has ample experience painting different types of buildings and surfaces.  They may have prior experience with another company to compensate for the newly formed business. 

3. Hiring the Cheapest Contractor

We all like to save money, especially on home improvement projects. You don’t necessarily have to hire the most expensive painting contractor but be wary of those who offer unrealistically low-priced estimates. These businesses typically use inferior paint products and take shortcuts. 

Bargain deals do not mean good quality. Choose a contractor that offers the best value for your money. Remember, cheap contractors are costly in the long run. You get what you pay for.

4. Lack of Communication

If it’s difficult to get in touch with the painting contractor, you have a problem.  That doesn’t mean they need to answer every phone call, but they should respond to inquiries within 24 hours.

Professional painters should communicate details of their process and steps that will be taken to paint your home or business.  A start date, estimated completion, and paint being used should not only be in the contract but should also be communicated to the client up front.

No contractor should show up unannounced. Good communication saves time and aggravation. Even after the paint job, if you need a touch-up or want information about the warranty, a good painting contractor will always be responsive.

5. Not Researching Ratings and Reviews

Ensure that painting contractors are accredited and in good standing with the Better Business Bureau. It helps to have a third party check out a painting contractor to help with any disputes. Most reputable painting contractors are also members of the Painting Contractors Association, where they receive training and updates on painting techniques.

6. Not Checking References

Once you are given a list of references, follow up.  Take the time to ask about their work, professionalism. timeliness, and cleanliness. You may want to ask to speak with the contractor's last three clients. Also, ask for references from clients who have had the same type of work done. Questions to ask include:

  • Would you work with this contractor again? If not, why not?
  • Did you have any cost overruns?
  • How long did the job take? Did they meet their projected deadline?
  • Did they clean up thoroughly?
7. Not Getting a Written Contract

A painting contract provides an itemized list of expectations and specifics of a painting job. Before you hire a painting contractor, get it in writing. The contract should include all of the particular aspects of the painting job as well as the expectations and responsibilities of both the painter and the customer.

Some of the most important things you should see in a written contract are:

  • The client and contractor's name and information.
  • The scope of work, which will detail all of the services that will be provided.
  • A firm price for labor and materials.
  • The location of the project and the estimated work schedule, which should include a completion date for the project. This time frame will also help determine the overall labor cost on the estimate.
  • The types of paint that will be used. This will help ensure that the right quality of paints will be used to ensure that the paint job will last as long as it's supposed to. This section should include brand names, finishes, and colors to make sure there is a clear plan. These details will help eliminate as many potential miscommunications as possible.
8. Making Full Payment before Job Completion

Beware of painting contractors who ask for the entire payment upfront or before the work is completed. You don’t want to be left with an empty wallet and the same chipped paint.

9. Not Demanding Clean-Up 

Part of any paint project includes cleaning up the mess made during the project. All professional painters should clean up after themselves. They should properly dispose of supplies and any hazardous waste. Confirm that this important step is written in the contract and your home is clear of debris when they leave.

Questions to Ask a Painting Contractor

Deciding to hire a professional painting company can be a big decision. Whether you’re looking for interior painting or exterior painting help, asking a few questions before you hire someone can make your project go a lot smoother.

painting questions
Do I need to do anything before you arrive?

Some companies don’t require you to do anything, while others may ask you to move your furniture or do your prep work. It’s good to know what’s expected so you can prepare if needed.

What sort of prep work will you do? 

Prep work is the most important step to any good paint job. Knowing what will be done by the crew is important. You want to make sure the company you hire isn’t cutting their costs by skipping over important steps. If you have rotten wood on your garage, for example, it’s important to know if the company will fix that for you, or just paint over it. 

How many people are assigned to my project? 

You should know how many people may or may not be coming into your home. Knowing if the people working on your project are employees or subcontractors is also important. Being an employee means that they have an established relationship with the company and are dedicated to your project and satisfaction.

Using a subcontractor is not necessarily a bad thing, but you want to make sure they maintain the same high principles as the main contractor.

When will you start every day? 

If you’re the type of person that likes to be present when a project is being completed, having a schedule of the time helps you organize your time. Also, knowing if they are working on any other projects at the same time can explain why they won’t be there every day, or only for a few hours a day. 

How will you keep my house clean?

Accidents happen. You need to make sure all messes are going to be taken care of by the painting contractor, not the homeowner. Follow through from start to finish is the sign of a professional paint company.

Can you explain what’s covered in your warranty?

Not every company offers warranties. Asking what kind, if any, will help give you some peace of mind.  Find out what is and what is not covered in the warranty.

Who do I contact if I have a question or problem?

Making sure you have one point of contact for your project is important in case an issue arises. It could be the foreman assigned to the job who is present during the project, or it could be someone in the main office.  Knowing this information will save you lots of time trying to track down the responsible party later on.

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Trust the True Painting Professionals

Making sure you find someone who is going to care about your project just as much as you do can offer peace of mind. That’s what you get when you hire The Painting Pros. We are experienced, knowledgeable, and trustworthy in all of our painting services, whether commercial or residential.

Schedule a service call with a professional painter today!

Expert services for interior and exterior painting.