So you’ve decided it’s finally time to give your home a good makeover? Before you run around deciding which furniture to toss out on the lawn, take a look at these tips when it comes to choosing a contractor to paint your house. When you select a painting contractor, you should proceed with your plans using a little bit of sensible caution.
Visit the contractor’s website and/or place of business. Most businesses are online these days and painters are no exception. This can provide you with plenty of useful information about any potential painter you are looking at. While it is the information they want you to know, it is useful to help you understand what services the contractor provides and how long their business has been operating. Their website and place of business can also help to show you their level of professionalism.
Learn to spot dodgy painting contractors. When your painting contractor wants to be paid in cash only, has a cell phone but no office phone and doesn’t have a business address – these are real red flags. An established painting contractor acts like any other business, with a stable business address, business cards and accepting other forms of payment such as checks. Be very cautious if a painting contractor offers some sort of special discount “for families” or “for seniors” when paid by cash – and they demand advance payment. Look at these as bright red flags.
Check with the Better Business Bureau. Once you locate a painting contractor it is a very good idea to contact your local Better Business Bureau. Ask if there have been any complaints made about the painting contractor in question and whether they have any further information that may help you. The painting contractor could be a member of the Better Business Bureau and if so they will tell you what year the contractor’s membership began. The Better Business Bureau offers this as a free service and you can call with any company you’d like information about.
Confirm that the contractor has appropriate insurance. Every legitimate painting contractor should have the proper insurance (this will vary from state to state and county to county). This information will probably be listed on their business card, along with their license number, so if you wanted to call and confirm that their business license is active, you can do so. A contractor without proper insurance is a big red flag – and you should find a new contractor as quickly as possible. If no information is provided about insurance, ask the contractor immediately if they have the proper insurance they need by law.
Ask for a solid estimate of how long the job is going to take. Many people will likely think about doing this anyway as they start looking for painting contractors – but it is useful to gauge their responses. It is better to work with a painting contractor who informs you that the job will take a slightly longer if they explain why (it needs more manpower, extra time, etc.). This is preferable to someone who promises that the job will be done in 7 days and then still hasn’t finished a month later. Request in writing, confirmation that the job will be complete within a set time frame – most painting contractors will be happy to comply.
Ask for job references from the painting contractor. This is a crucial step that many homeowners seem to pay no attention to. Acquiring references is very important if you are thinking of hiring a contractor to work on your home. Contact each reference provided to you and ask them about their experiences working with the contractor. You’ll gain valuable information you couldn’t get anywhere else. This alone can help you make a wise decision when it comes to selecting the best painting contractor for your home renovation project.