Finding a Painting Contractor
Checklist for Finding Good Painting Contractors
The following checklist will help you sort through the process of finding a qualified house painting contractor.
If you see a house thats been freshly painted, it’s a good opportunity to find out who did the painting. Sometimes you shall see a sign in the front yard advertising for the painting contractor. This is an indication that the customer is very happy and is willing to allow advertising in the front yard.
Successful word-of-mouth advertising doesn’t happen unless a painting contractor has satisfied customers. You can learn a lot about a painter from past clients. You’ll also discover the customers that are not shy about telling you who to stay away from. One disgruntled customer may not be enough to warn you off of a company, but if you keep hearing horror stories about the same company, steer clear!
Ask for references.
This step is slightly different from asking around. Now you’re speaking with a specific contractor. You want a list of references. If a painting contractor cannot give you references, it’s a good reason to check that contractor off your list. Ask for a minimum of at least three references, and follow through with contacting each person the contractor claims to have worked with.
Ask the right house painting questions.
How long ago did you hire the painter?
A reference for a recent paint job isn’t as valuable as a reference for a paint job that was completed several years ago. A customer is more likely to give you valuable information if the job has stood the test of time, and the customer is still happy.
Did the contractor do quality work?
It’s important to understand what quality work looks like. Even if your friend is happy with the results, you might want to take a look at the finished paint job. Give special focus to areas such as windows, doors and trim. Careful work in these areas is a positive indication of a good painting contractor.
Was the painter polite and pleasant to work with?
This is more important than it might seem on the surface. It’s important to find a contractor you communicate well with and feel comfortable around. A courteous demeanor is a hallmark of professionalism and will save you unnecessary stress. Also, a painter who is enthusiastic about his job is more likely to do a good job than one who is burned out and just in it for the paycheck.
Did the work start (and finish) in a timely fashion?
Good contractors let their customers know their planned schedule in advance. And professionals do their best to stick to it. Look for a painting contractor who arrived at a reasonable time every morning. Just remember that exterior paint jobs can be affected by the weather, so watch for customers who hold a bad rainstorm or unseasonably cold temperatures against the contractor!
Was a warranty included?
A contractor that stands behind his/her work is a sign of a professional. Look for a three-year warranty and see what limitations or exclusions were explicitly spelled out in the warranty policy. Remember a warranty only has value if it is in writing and extends for a reasonable period. If the painting contractor only guarantees work for one year, it could be a sign that some aspect of the painting work could be low-quality.