Things You Need to Know Before Hiring a Painting Contractor
When you’re cash-strapped but short of DIY painting skills, the best decision is still to hire a painting contractor. You might think that doing so could leave you spread out too thinly since professional services are quite expensive, which account for around 20% of normal painting costs. While DIY is a stellar idea, proceeding on such a project without the knowledge, skills, and passion for painting might do you more harm than good. You might incur more costs if you force your way into home repainting and end up in disaster or job unfinished.
Since hiring a contractor isn’t cheap, you need to take note of some important things before eventually signing a contract with your prospect.
Are They Good listeners? Do They Appear to Have Good Work Ethics?
This may seem obtrusive and some may have a hard time doing an interview with the contractor but it’s better to be safe than sorry. It’s your house that will suffer the blow if you don’t do your homework. Talk to the contractor and take note of how they carry a conversation. Do they exude a sense of respect and professionalism? Are they business-like and courteous? Are they the type who talks a lot but never listen? Stay away from these types because there’s a big risk that he won’t do as told. Worse, they could force you to think their way. Doing interviews and background checks should be a customary procedure that you as a paying client should be entitled to, and you need not feel the least bit uncomfortable about it.
Are They Credible? What Do Previous Clients Say About Them?
Doing a background check of past projects, affiliations, and previous clients will give you an indication of how trustworthy they are, how much they charge, how efficient and good they are at their jobs. Of course, you need to ask for a website address or a portfolio that contain contact information of past clients and the company they represent so you can verify if what they are yapping about is indeed true. Anybody can pull a good interview, but contractors that have produced actual great results are hard to find. Ask for at least 5 references from each contractor in your short list. Call or better yet, ask for a meeting where you can discuss the project, the quality of work, and his work attitude. If the client permits, you can also do an ocular of the finished project to personally see if the work rendered is at par with your expectations.
Do They Have a License, Carry Liability and Worker’s Compensation Insurance? If so, How Much?
These are extremely important because these can protect you and your family against fraudulent contractors, substandard projects, and help facilitate claims in case of unforeseen accidents or unfavorable situations. But still, homeowners still make a mistake of signing with a non-licensed contractor because some offer cheaper services compared to those who do.
Ask the contractor if he and the company he represents are insured against claims covering worker’s compensation, personal liability, and property damage should accidents happen. You should also ask for a copy of the original insurance certificate and contact details of the issuer of the certificate so you can compare and verify if the certificate is authentic. These days, you can no longer just easily give out your trust since there are a lot of posers anywhere you go. And since you’re paying a premium for these services, it’s your right to know these things.
Can You Afford Them? Do They Formally Provide a Contract?
Cost is the main stumbling block for projects. Of course, you should sign up with a contractor you can afford but do not go for a contractor just because he’s the cheapest one on the block. Quality of work should outweigh cost issues. Ask for a written contract that stipulates the scope of work, cost per item, timeline, indemnifications, return policy, and warranties. Make sure what’s written in the contract is in accordance to your requirements. Read the contract thoroughly before signing. If there are vague items, don’t be afraid or shy to clarify it with the contractor.
Do They Have Their Own Regular Crew or Do They Work With Subcontractors?
It would be best if you can find a contractor that has his own regular team of experts who have been with each other for a significant amount of time fulfilling projects after project. There’s a certain dynamics built around a group who regularly work together. Compared to those contracted on a per-project basis, they are much more solid and more comfortable working with each other. Because they trust each other more, they are able to leverage on each others strength and compensate weaknesses, if there ever are any. This level of comfort, respect and trust often manifests in the work they produce.