You're ready to get your home or office painted and you look in the phone book for a painter. You see a hundred or more painters listed, but how do you know which ones to call?
Almost Every painting contractor will tell you that they are... Insured Licensed Experienced Reputable
The truth is, most are not. So how do you know?
The following information is provided to assist property owners and homeownerís in choosing a painting contractor. This is not an exhaustive list and all of the questions may not apply to your situation.
Here are 3 areas we recommend you consider in evaluating every painting contractor you talk to:
The Reputation and Business Stability of the Painting Company
Their Experience and Methodology
Their Service before, during and after your project
For each area simply ask the questions and ask the painting contractor to provide the evidence to support their answers.
Reputation and Business Stability of the Painting Company
Are you licensed with the state of Michigan as a Home Improvement Contractor and will you provide us with your license number? Will you supply a copy of your current insurance certificate? Can you provide me with a reference list with at least 20 customers? Do You do a background check on your employees?
Experience and Methodology
Will you provide a detailed breakdown of the service you are providing? Do you have a written policy regarding smoking, drugs and alcohol by your crews? How much of a deposit do you require?
Service Before, During and After the Project
Will you provide me your warranty in writing? Have you ever repainted a project that was out of warranty? What is your company phone policy? How often do you meet with homeowner to review job progress? Do you provide a price guarantee?
Anybody can paint... Right?
Tips from a Professional Painter about how to Hire It Done Right!
Submitted by John M. Cox, President
Painting your home is one of those projects that you could do yourself if you wanted to. So how difficult can it be? Does it really make a difference who does the painting as long as it gets done? If you are like so many other people, you have the best intentions to paint your home, but you know it takes time and so you put it off. You finally decide itís time to just pay somebody else to do it - but how do you decide who to hire?
Growing up, my father always did the painting. He would hire others to do many of the home improvement projects and repairs, but whenever painting needed to be done, he did it. So naturally, when I grew up and bought my first home, I knew that I should do my own painting. As soon as I moved in, I spent the weekend painting. I was very meticulous and I made sure everything was done perfectly. It only took me about 18 hours, and I had the whole thing painted. I was really proud of the work that I had done. Yes indeed, the whole master suite was painted. Several months passed before I found the time to do any more painting. I knew I could do it, but I always seemed to have something better to do.
The time came when I knew I needed to just get it done, and so I decided to hire a professional painter. Over the next couple of weeks, I met with a couple of painters and made a decision to contract one of them to paint my living room. He showed up on the scheduled day and in less than one day, he had the entire room painted and it looked great. I knew that this room would have easily taken another entire weekend for me to complete, and it wouldnít have looked nearly as good. So, I was convinced. From that day forward, I knew I would hire a painter to do all of the painting in my home. As it turns out though, I was really lucky that first time. I hired a good painter. The next time I called him, his phone number was disconnected and I wasnít so lucky with the next painter I contracted. Hereís what Iíve learned.
A few friends, a case of beer and paintbrushes are not a good combination.
The phone book is the worst place to find a painter. Anybody can call themselves a painter, and those phone directories donít care if somebody is licensed, insured, experienced or even ethical. Theyíll list anybody that decides to call themselves a painter. (Thatís why I love what Adam offers you at Hire It Done!)
Just because a painter tells you that theyíre licensed and insured doesnít mean that they are. Verify it for yourself. And just because the State of Michigan doesnít care if your painter is licensed, doesnít mean that you shouldnít. If a problem does arise, itís a lot easier to resolve a dispute with a licensed contractor than a non-licensed one. The state licenses contractors to protect you.
The best price is not always the best deal and the most expensive price is no guarantee of the best job. The guy with the cheapest price usually has to take some shortcuts in order to make any money on your job. Sure these guys can talk a good game, but usually fall short on delivering what they promise. They are the ones who donít put anything in writing and their quote is either on the back of a business card or on a piece of notebook paper. The most expensive painter is usually hoping you didnít get any other quotes.
This is my best advice: First, get everything in writing. Know what youíre paying for up front. A detailed written explanation of the work to be done is worth so much more than all of the verbal promises made everyday. Hire a reputable company. A company that has a brand name has a lot invested in keeping their brandís image clean. Know what the companyís policies are regarding warranty and touch up work. Again, this should be in writing. Never give a deposit to anybody who doesnít first provide you with an office address.
So how long has that room needed painting? As soon as you accept the fact that you donít want to do it yourself, if you take my advice, youíll be happy you decided to Hire it Done!