Painting your house on your own is a ton of work and can take up quite a bit of your time. It also requires expertise, as you’ll need to master at least basic painting skills in order to ensure you end up with a smooth finish. If you’re painting the exterior of your home or even just a single room, it’s worth hiring professional painters.
WHAT SHOULD I LOOK FOR IN A GOOD PAINTER?
When you hire professional painters, you’ll ensure you get a flawless paint job in your home. But once you’ve decided to hire professional painters, how do you make sure you find a good painter? We’ve put together a list of things you should look for when choosing professional painters.
LOOK FOR GOOD REFERENCES
When it comes to hiring a painting company, the best source of information is your friends and family! Ask them for recommendations—if they have had a great experience with someone, they’ll be happy to share it with you, and they’ll definitely feel the same way if they’ve had a bad experience with someone.
You can also check online reviews to see what people are saying about the painters you are considering. Look at reviews from a few sources to get the whole picture and be sure to read both positive and negative reviews. With negative reviews, watch for how the company responds to them, as this can show you how dedicated they are to making their customers happy.
MEET YOUR PAINTERS IN PERSON
Most painting companies do on-site estimates and you should probably avoid any company that will give you an estimate without seeing your home first. This gives you the chance to meet them in person and get a feel for how they work.
Pay attention to how they conduct the estimate. If they’re taking the time to notice small details and not just rushing through, you’ll get a more accurate estimate. Even experienced painters should need more than just a quick walkthrough of your home to get an idea of how much it will cost.
ASK A LOT OF QUESTIONS
When you meet the estimator in person, it’s your chance to dig a little deeper and learn more about them and the company in general. Ask as many questions as possible in order to get the information you need to make your decision.
Wondering what to ask? Here are a few questions you might find useful:
How does the process work?
How much experience do you have with painting?
Do you do the job yourself or use subcontractors?
How big will the crew be?/How many painters will do the work?
Can you provide references?
Do you offer a written guarantee that the job will be done right or redone free of charge?
What type of paint do you use?
What paint type and colors do you recommend? How many coats will it take?
How long will the job take to finish?
When do I have to pay?
Do you clean up the painting mess when the job is finished?
Do I need to do any prep work before painting day?
GET A FEW ESTIMATES
After the in-person appointment at your home, get written estimates from each painting company. Estimates should be free and no-obligation, meaning you don’t have to hire the company just because they’ve given you a price estimate.
Getting the estimate in writing is key—you want to have a clear picture of what is included in the price: material costs, labor, the brand and type of paint, and a description of the scope of work. Compare your estimates and decide which one is the best for you. Keep in mind that it’s not just about price—look at how long the job will take, the quality of the work, and the overall vibe you get from the company.
LOOK AT PAST WORK
A good painter will usually have a portfolio of work for you to look over during the onsite estimate, either in a printed book or digital format. They may also have examples of recent work on their website or social media feeds so you can really dig in deep. When looking at before and after photos or just photos of completed jobs, take note of the quality of the work. (You shouldn’t be able to see any obvious flaws.)
GET A CONTRACT IN WRITING
Much like your written estimate, your contract should clearly outline the details of your painting job. It should include information like detailed timelines, labor costs, material costs, prep work required, etc.
One thing to watch for on your work contract is a guarantee for the work. Typically, this means they will correct any damage (chipping, peeling, blistering, flaking, or excessive fading or chalking) that happens within two years after the job is done.