Hiring a Wallpaper Hanger
Ask for recommendations. Family and friends will be eager to share their experiences (good or bad) with you. Learn from their experiences. Other contractors- like the guy who does your drywall- often know who does a good job and who doesn’t. And wallpaper stores and home improvement places can make good recommendations as well. Just be aware that stores sometimes collect a referral fee for sending business the contractor’s way; it might drive up the total cost of the project.
Search the National Guild of Professional Paperhangers’ database for members in your area. Only professionals who actually make a living hanging wallpaper can join- no hobbyists or moonlighters here!
Check references. Most contractors won’t give you the names of dissatisfied customers, so if you talk to one it’s a huge red flag.
Ask several questions:
- Was the installation finished on time?
- Did the project come in at, below, or over budget?
- Did the installer behave professionally and courteously?
- Were there any problems? If so, how did the contractor handle them?
- Were you satisfied with the overall result?
Check with the Better Business Bureau or another consumer reporting agency to see if there have been any complaints. Not all complaints are founded, but buyer beware if there seems to be a pattern of dissatisfied customers, or if the installer doesn’t respond to the BBB’s inquiries.
Make sure he or she has a contractor’s license, if required in your state, and insurance. This is very important for your own protection.
Once you’ve narrowed the list down to a few qualified candidates, it’s time to solicit bids. The lowest price isn’t necessarily the best deal. A more expensive contractor may use higher quality materials, for example. If a price seems surprisingly low or high- ask why.
Put everything in writing! Your contract should include:
- The name, address, and phone number of the of the contractor.
- Licensing and insurance information.
- Detailed estimated costs for supplies and labor.
- Start and completion dates.
- A detailed list of all materials that will be used, including measurements, specific measurements, brand names, and specific patterns and colors.
- Financial terms, including the total price, payment terms, and cancellation policies.
- Terms of any warranties or guarantees the contractor offers.
- Any clauses you feel are important, i.e., cleanup is to be completed daily, employees or assistants must pass a background check, etc.
Any changes made to a contract need to be in writing, and must be signed by both parties to be legally binding.
Finally, if your wallpaper hanger doesn’t seem to be sticking to the contract, address your concerns immediately. If, for example, he’s supposed to show up at 8 a.m., and doesn’t arrive until 11:30 most days, that’s a major cause for concern. If you notice off the bat that she’s using a different brand adhesive, ask why. Don’t just let it go, or you could be in for a lot of aggravation. Open communication and clear expectations are essential for the project to run smoothly.