You’re staging your house for sale, painting the nursery, hiding nicks on your walls or just refreshing your home. Yozu plan to hire a painting contractor. But how do you choose a  professional painter? Follow these steps:

Step 1- Make a plan:

Decide what you want to paint and what colour you want to use. Set a budget.

Step 2- Learn about paint:

Though an experienced contractor will make recommendations for your project and help you choose quality paint, it’s wise to know a little about paint products. Research latex and oil-based products, finish or sheen and the difference between quality and budget paints.

Step 3- Get estimates:

Ask at least 3 painting contractors for a detailed written estimate. The estimates should be a clear indication of what you are paying for and how long the project will take. Make sure they include:

  • a summary of labour costs (preparation, painting, clean up) 
  • material costs
  • the number of coats of primer and paint to be applied
  • the time frame for completion
  • the brand of materials to be used
  • travel costs
  • details of the scope of the job

Step 4- Find out everything you can about the contractors

  • Check the Better Business Bureau for any complaints and/or litigation. 
  • Try sites such as TRUSTEDPROS and Houzz for customer reviews
  • Check sites such as Indeed for reviews by employees and past employees.
  • Find out how long the company has been in business and what training its employees receive.  

Step 5- Interview the owners/managers of the 3 companies to discover:

  • how long they’ve been in business
  • if they can recommend colours and paint types for your project 
  • what skills the company/employees bring 
  • if they are familiar with the latest products and techniques 
  • how much experience they have 
  • if they use contractors or employees
  • what preparation work they will complete
  • if they are lead-safe certified
  • how long the project will likely take 
  • if they require any payment upfront
  • what clean up they do when the job is complete

Step 6- Verify insurance:

Request a copy of the company’s insurance certificates and review it. 

Step 7- Check references:

Request a list of past clients. Consider visiting a few to view the results for yourself. Call a few and ask them:

  • Would you hire this company again?
  • What can you tell me about the end result?
  • Did you pay the price that was originally estimated?
  • How long did the job take and was this close to the time estimated?

Step 8- Ask about a guarantee:

Besides the guarantee offered on the products by the paint manufacturers, most reputable painting companies have a written guarantee to correct any chipping, peeling, blistering, flaking or excessive fading/chalking that occurs within a determined number of weeks/months. Ask your contractor for a written copy of their guarantee and review it.

Step 9- Choose the contractor that is best for you, based on the information gathered. 

Step 10- Get a detailed contract from your chosen professional. Make sure that it includes:

  • Contact information (company name, address, office and cell numbers, license number (if applicable),
  • All details of the estimate
  • Total cost
  • Inclusions and exclusions

Step 11- Keep the advance small:

Never give more than 10-20% in advance. Don’t pay the remaining amount until the job is done to your satisfaction.

It may seem like a time-consuming and complicated procedure but taking these steps to select a professional painter will pay off. A good painter will make a difference in the look you achieve, the longevity of your paint job and your level of satisfaction. Don’t let cost be the only deciding factor. Don’t randomly pick a company from the phone listings. When you see the finished product, you’ll be happy you put in the time and effort to find a great painting contractor.

Looking for a professional painter for your project? Call the Calgary residential painting experts, Cal Res Coatings at (403) 917-0576. We’re a residential painting contractor that strives for quality, has an eye for detail and colour, and will not rest until your job is done to your satisfaction. Request a free quote today.

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