Questions to Ask a House Painter Before Hiring a Company You Regret

Are you updating or freshening-up a few areas in your home? Or maybe you are doing a complete overall in your color scheme? You have two options, either do the painting yourself or hire a pro.
The do-it-yourself approach can help you save money, but sometimes it’s not right for everyone. The project might be too large or too challenging to achieve that professional look you want, in which case leads you to hire a professional painting company.

Of course, you want to hire the right company. Someone who will get the job done correctly, charge a fair rate, and leave your home looking great. To help you, we have provided essential questions to ask at your estimate appointment and before hiring someone.

Do you use Subcontractors?

Many painting companies hire subcontractors or also referred to as day labors instead of having a full-time staff. Allowing subcontractors into your home, though, creates several risks. Background checks are often not performed on subcontractors. Many subcontracted painters work on a flat, not hourly rate. Inevitably this could mean they may not be as committed to doing the work efficiently and as professionally as a full-time crew would. If subcontractors go unpaid by the company that hires their services, they could in turn file a mechanics lien against your property. Which potentially requires you to pay extra for their services.

Is the Painter adequately insured?

Holding an active comprehensive liability insurance policy, including workers’ compensation coverage, is a must.
Insurance will provide you and you’re home with protection in an unfortunate event should your home be damaged during the project or if a worker is injured on your premises. You should obtain a copy of this and hold onto it for your records. You may also want to go one step further and reach out to the insurance agent to verify coverage of ALL individuals that will be performing services at your home or business.

Do you offer a Warranty?

A reputable painting company will offer a warranty on their work. Meaning they’ll fix any problems that were caused by their paint job and on any failing material, such as blistering, peeling, or flaking paint. Therefore, you want to select a painter who will guarantee their work and make sure to have a printed and signed copy of the warranty kept on file in case any issues arise down the road.

Will they provide all the supplies?

Maybe the Painter does not include in the price the cost for paint and all other materials needed to produce a high-quality result. Instead, they may require the owner to be responsible for purchasing all of this ahead of time while they handle the labor. Some house painters, particularly those who charge significantly lower rates in order to beat out their competitors, will not provide basic supplies such as drop cloths, tape, or even brushes and rollers. These expenses can add up if you are paying for them. Drop Cloth’s, which are a must for protection, can cost up to $40 for a 4×15 size, and Painter’s tape-also a must when masking off areas that you don’t want to be painted can cost close to $10 for a 60-yard roll. Most painting companies receive Contractor discounted pricing on paint and supplies. As a homeowner, you could ultimately end up paying more for all materials.

Are you licensed?

Licensing laws vary by state. In Illinois, there are not any requirements for painters to hold a license. In this case, ask if the individuals or employees that will be at your home go through safety training. Ongoing training is essential not only for the employee’s safety but also for you as the customer. Training also provides an opportunity for the Painter to “brush up” on their skills.

What kind of prep work is included?

Generally, a quarter of a high-quality paint job will be spent on preparation work such as caulking, sanding rough wall surfaces, repairing drywall and protecting furniture and flooring.
However, some painters may not offer intensive prep, and others may not offer it at all. It’s important to find out what the Painter will be doing before any of the painting begins. And, if the Painter does offer these services, are there any additional costs involved?

How will my Furniture and Floors be protected during painting?

Paint spills and Paint stains-period. Furniture should be covered and moved away from all walls before any painting commences. You want to make sure that the Painter you hire will go the extra mile and thoroughly protect your furniture, fixtures, and floors from any paint spatters.
Placing newspapers on the floors is not enough. A good painter will use drop cloths, which will absorb any paint that should spill.
Upon completion of the job, verify all surrounding areas and items, and make sure that you see zero paint where it shouldn’t be.
We hope this information has given you peace of mind on your search for a Painter.

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