You’re staging your house for sale, painting the nursery, hiding nicks on your walls or just refreshing your home. You plan to hire a painting contractor. But how do you choose a professional painter? Follow these steps:
Make a plan: Decide what you want to paint and what colour you want to use. Set a budget.
Learn about paint: Though an experienced contractor will make recommendations for your project and help you choose a quality paint, it’s wise to know a little about paint products. Research latex and oil-based products, polish or sheen and the difference between quality and budget paints.
Get estimates: Ask at least 3 painting contractors for a detailed written estimate that includes:
- 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
The estimates should be a clear indication of what you are paying for and how long the project will take.
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 their employees receive.
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
Verify insurance: Request a copy of the company’s insurance certificates and review it.
Check references: Request a list of past clients. 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?
Consider visiting some past clients to view the results for yourself.
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 or chalking that occurs within a determined number of weeks/months. Ask your contractor for a written copy of their guarantee and review it.
Choose the contractor that is best for you, based on the information gathered.
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
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) 835-4817. 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.