How to Pick a Painting Contractor in 4 FAST and EASY Steps
The time has come to repaint the house, and while it might be cheaper to do it yourself, most of us do not have the luxury of extra time, extra energy, or the knowledge of the difficulties of painting in general.
Don’t stress!! we’ve put together 4 FAST and EASY Steps for choosing a painting contractor.
* This is assuming you are ready to paint, if you’re unsure if your ready, go read our article. Is it the right time to Paint my house? *
Find 3 Contractors to Interview
Why 3? - 2 companies would work, but you want some wiggle room for different quality or products; 4 is too much, don’t waste your time/weekend on the phone or the house interviewing painters, this makes your decision way too complicated.
A quick Google/Bing search of “painters near me” or “painters in my area” should bring up a handful of good company’s, BUT be sure to stay away from lists like “Top 5 Painters in My Area” or “The Best 3 Interior Painters Near Me, these are PAID-directory sites that list the top 5 PAYING painters. These sites are EXTREMELY biased to say the least, using these lists hurts everyone from customer to business. Make your own decisions!!
Make a list of your top 3 choices, these could also be from the phonebook, Facebook, or even recommendations from friends.
See if their information is transparent, is it a painting company or a handyman that can paint? Do they list what they can and can’t do? Do they have decent quality reviews?
Look at their website, look at their photos/portfolio, is this the variety of painter your looking for?
This first step is the most important one, because you are relying on it for your other steps, pick 3 solid companies, and when in doubt GO WITH YOUR GUT!!
Congratulations!! You have a list of your 3 painters that you need to whittle down to 1. Now you need to GET THEM ON THE PHONE. Call and explain the job you want done, and then ask, ask, ask.
Ask if they can do this type of work?
Do they offer warranty’s / touchups and why?
How long would it take them and why?
What brand/type of paint do they use, and why?
When can they do it?
Can they explain systematically the entire process from that phone call to completion of the job?
These questions are not that hard, if they come up unanswered, or are still fuzzy for you, CROSS that company off the list. They don’t answer the call or return it too late, they are impolite/unprofessional, show ineffective communication skills? CROSS that company off the list. You should try to weed out 1 of the 3 with the first phone call, if you’re unsuccessful or just unsure if they’d be a good fit, bring them over to step 3.
At the end of the phone call you should ask if they can come by and give you an in-house consultation (estimate/quote) during a time that’s convenient for you. Aim for spending about an hour for each consultation, questions will be asked by you, and by your prospective painter(s), this helps you figure out what is going to be done, and HOW.
The goal of an in-home consultation is NOT about getting an “estimated price”, that can easily be done over the phone. The goal of this meeting is so BOTH parties know what is expected from the relationship.
A typical in-home consultation starts with a general conversation about the paint system, scope of work, and the timeframe. Use this time to ASK any questions you may have
BOTH you and the painter should be walking and pointing out specific problem areas, or just areas that need attention and talk about what needs to be done.
After this personalized and detailed consultation, the painter presents you with a handwritten, typed, or emailed quote. This should be given to you within 24 hours, if not. CROSS that company off the list.
Ask yourself some post-interview questions.
-Did they appear professional? Are they dressed in dirty/sloppy clothes?
-Do they keep a timely schedule? Showing up late to the first date is a major telltale.
-Did the information match what you spoke about on the phone?
-Did they listen to you, and help you get what you want?
-Are they knowledgeable?
-Did they point out damages, cracks, missing paint, and explain how they could fix them?
-Did they recommend any specific painting, repair, or cleaning methods?
-Does the quote include everything that you wanted?
These are all questions that can help you hire or fire the right painting contractor.
Fantastic!! You’ve made it this far through your painting company vetting process, and now the time has come to choose. Nobody can make this decision for you however, this is where you weigh the pros and cons of each company and their offerings.
*HINT* Customers look for 3 standard items when making an investment in their home
the best service
the lowest price
While it would be awesome to find a painting company that meets all three items, BUT, they just don’t exist. So as a customer, what are you willing to sacrifice for the visual and physical longevity of your house Quality? Service? Or price?