This guide will help you avoid confusion and gain the confidence to make a good choice. Whomever you hire, make sure their employees are insured. This guide will walk you through a checklist of things to look for to ensure you receive: A Quality paint job at an affordable price, by someone you can trust. Remember you will always get what you pay for.
1. The Pay Check Painter:
Good in a pinch if you need some paint slapped on a garage floor but not the best choice if you're looking for a great looking long lasting paint job. Pay Check Painters are painters who may only have a few months of painting experience. These painters most likely have no product knowledge and know even less about customer service, bidding and estimating, or what it takes to produce a quality finished product. These painters often times use low quality paint and do not stand behind their work. .. They are looking for a pay check from you rather than looking to build a long-term relationship.
These people usually won't even measure up your job. They will "Eyeball" the work and pick a price out of thin air or write it on the back of a business card ... (This is very unprofessional and very risky for you). If a painter doesn't use a contract that specifically outlines the work to be done, type of paint to be used etc. how will you know you are getting what you are paying for?
Avoid the Painter who tells you that they will work for "Time and Materials"! (Unless you are having the exterior of your house painted). It should send up a RED FLAG if they tell you that they will paint for an hourly rate if you purchase the materials! Look out for these painters! They sometimes don't have insurance, they usually don't use written estimates and their skills are usually only slightly better than the average NON-PAINTER.
Homeowners may be duped into using one of these painters because they think they can save a buck. .. But keep in mind YOU will be the one taking on ALL the risk and is it really worth saving a buck if it means you could get sued? Not to mention if you need touchups done a few months later, good luck trying to track these people down! These are the guys who are in business one day and out the next.
Your best bet is to avoid painters who tell you they will work for an hourly wage if you purchase the materials.
2. Professional Painter:
The price difference between a "Pay Check Painter" and a "Professional Painter" isn't worth the Risk. .. But the peace of mind you will gain from using a professional painter is priceless. It will actually SAVE you money to get the job done right the first time! What's more, if that uninsured person happens to hurt themselves while working at your house, who do you think would be responsible? That's right, YOU! That person could sue you and it's not worth risking your house. I know it sounds outrageous but there are far too many law suits filed that have taken everything from good, well meaning homeowners who just didn't know the risks.
So ... Is there really such thing as an insured painter with quality references and the desire to provide top-notch customer service? Can you really get a professional quality paint job at an affordable price done by someone you can trust? The answer is absolutely YES!
Is the Painter Insured?
The first sign of a caring trustworthy painter is that he/she is insured! Be warned! There are a lot of. uninsured painters working in the field and if you hire one of them to paint for you; YOU are the one taking ALL the risk. .. Don't be too shy to ask for proof... Most professional painters will carry proof of liability insurance with them. If they don't have it with them ask if they can get you a copy or simply offer to call the insurance company and verify that they are indeed insured.
Are Quality References Provided?
How can you be sure the painter you hire will live up to your expectations? Ask the painter to provide you with a few quality references from past satisfied customers. You can verify the quality of their work by making a quick call to the references provided. Simply ask the person referenced these two questions:
1) Were you happy with the painter's character and work ethic?
2) Were you happy with the quality of the finished paint job?
Sometimes painters use a portfolio of before and after pictures to show the quality of their work. They may also have letters of recommendation from past clients. Look for painters who provide references without being asked ... This shows that they are very customer service oriented and know what they are doing ... (These painters take pride in their work and you can bet you will be happy with their service). Again don't be shy and just ask! If you're dealing with a reputable upstanding painter this won't be an issue.
Affordable Price: What Does That Mean Exactly?
I know for a lot of homeowners price is a very important issue, but what does affordable really mean and how can you be sure you are not paying too much? These are great questions and I'm happy to shed some light on this issue. Affordable means competitive. No two painters are exactly alike so no two estimates or prices will be identical. There is no "right price" per say, but there is a right price range. It doesn't always mean that you will get a better paint job if you pay a higher price and vice versa. The best way to find out the right price range is to get multiple estimates from qualified professional house painters. Which brings us to the forth criteria to look for in a painter to ensure you get a quality paint job at an affordable price done by someone you trust. Look for painters who offer value incentives like Senior Discounts, Cash Discounts or free touch up services etc... Quality minded house painters are looking to build a relationship with you, to be your painter now and on future jobs. Look out for the house painter that just sees you as a paycheck! AND NEVER DO BUSINESS WITH OUT A WRITTEN ESTIMATE OR CONTRACT! (But wait not all estimates are the same either.) I know this seems confusing but don't be discouraged by the end of this report you will have the confidence to make the right decision.
Estimate and/or Contract:
I advise to stay away from painters who will "eye-ball" the job (without measuring) and just write a price on the back of a business card. Reason being, if you say yes to that price what proof do you have that the job will be done to YOUR expectations, what protection do you have? NONE! I have heard many horror stories about a good price being scribbled on a card and then halfway through the job the painter says it's going to take longer than expected and cost a lot more. The homeowner won't have much of a choice; they either have to pay the extra charge to have the job finished or be stuck with a half done paint job. The best thing to look for is a professionally typed estimate that outlines, in detail, everything that is to be done on the job. This leaves no surprises for either party. You have communicated your expectations and concerns to the painter and the painter has done his due diligence and knows exactly what the job entails. You have a concrete written contract and know that you are going to get what you paid for. This type of estimate should also have a place for both parties to sign in agreement. This is the best-case scenario for everyone. One more thing to watch out for on the estimate/contract... Many paint contractors will talk about using top of the line quality paint then buy and apply contractor grade paint because it is cheaper. (Look for painters who will pass on the discounts they receive on paint and materials to you).
How should it be handled? Try to stay away from contractors who ask for a large up-front deposit. Unless the painter has explained to you that they are just getting started in their own business and need a small deposit in order to buy some materials to start your job. If this is the case, the deposit should only be large enough to cover the materials needed to get started, (usually no more than 20%). The best-case scenario is to look for painters who offer a "No Up Front Deposit" policy!
Things to Avoid at All Costs
Spend time coming up with your own criteria. By now you should know have a really good idea of what to look for and what to avoid when hiring a house painter.
Schedule estimates with a few different painters to get an idea of the price range and type of personality's out there. Then evaluate the estimates and painters using this checklist below. • Were they Insured?
I hope this information will help you make an informed decision when it comes to choosing the right house painter. Thank you again and we look forward to adding you to our growing list of satisfied customers! CALL or Email NOW to schedule your paint job.