Are your walls scuffed and stained? Is your siding faded and dented? Is it time for a colour change? Painting is the easiest, quickest and most inexpensive way to give your home a facelift. When it’s time to paint, it’s wise to contact a professional painting contractor. Still, it’s important to find an efficient and reliable contractor who provides a high-quality finish that lasts. Some homeowners cut corners or hire the first painting contractor they find. Many are unaware of how to find a dependable painting company. Here are some of the most common mistakes people make when getting a painting quote.
- Getting only one quote: It’s tempting to save time and energy by going with the first estimate you receive. However, a single estimate doesn’t inform you whether you‘re being over or undercharged for your project. Get estimates from two or three companies to help you be sure you are paying a fair rate for high-quality work.
- Getting quotes from painters who are not of the same calibre: To determine that the price is reasonable and the company you choose is professional, it makes sense to get a number of quotes. To effectively compare quotes, it‘s important to put thought into requesting them from businesses of the same calibre. Contractors that hold themselves to a similar standard of work and professionalism will likely provide similar quotes. If you get a quote from a company that runs a very different operation, you can end up with a significant variance in price. Though this may look tempting, house painting is an area where you get what you pay for.
- Automatically choosing the cheapest option: Be wary of painting companies who offer unrealistically low estimates. Often businesses who offer significantly lower prices than their competitors are cutting corners or overlooking details (using subpar paint, doing less preparation, skipping clean-up). Choose a contractor that offers the best value for your money.
- Not choosing a local contractor: There are many benefits to choosing a local painting contractor who knows your city and/or region. They can quickly and easily view your home before providing an estimate. They understand the weather conditions of the area and can deliver a high-quality paint job. Local painters have a relationship with their community and work to maintain their reputation. They’re likely to be able to work on your project daily and respond quickly in case of an emergency. Local painters are often available to answer any questions or address your concerns.
- Not communicating clearly what you want: When describing your project to a contractor, be as detailed and clear as possible. Answer all questions fully so you’ll get the final product you desire. Ask for the details of their process and the steps that will be taken to paint your home. Good communication saves time and aggravation.
- Overlooking insurance: Make sure your contractor has workers’ compensation coverage to protect you from having to pay extra charges if anyone on the painting team gets injured while working on your home. Check that they have general liability insurance. This will provide coverage for replacement, repairs and/or reimbursement for any damage that may occur to your property during the project.
- Not doing your research: Research helps ensure you’re hiring the best company for your painting project. Ask the contractor about what is involved and included in their process. Find out if they are licensed and accredited. Ask for references and contact these. Inquire if they were happy with the services and final product. Ask about the company’s professionalism, timeliness and cleanliness. Inquire whether the contractor met their deadlines and if they had any cost overruns. Check online review sites such as TRUSTEDPROS for customer reviews of the painting company. Check the Better Business Bureau for any complaints and/or litigation.
- Choosing an inexperienced contractor: Hiring a contractor with no track record is a risk. Look for a company that has painted many types of homes and surfaces. Always ask your contractor about their level of experience.
- Not asking for 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.
- Not getting a detailed contract: Ask for a detailed written contract. 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
- Paying a large advance: 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.
- Not interviewing the owners/managers of the companies you are considering. Always interview possible contractors asking:
- if they can recommend colours and paint types for your project
- what skills do 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
Hiring a painting contractor may seem like a time-consuming and complicated procedure but avoiding these common mistakes 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. Avoid randomly picking 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 an efficient, experienced, dependable painting contractor? Call the Calgary painting experts, Cal Res Coatings at (403) 917-0579. 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.