Apart from getting referrals from neighbors for your painting projects, how exactly do you know whether you're hiring a professional painter? If you’re wondering how to find a painter, we’ve got you covered. As expert local exterior painting contractors, Oahu Pro Painters have many years of experience completing residential painting projects, and we’re exceedingly familiar with clients’ concerns and needs. We've outlined some residential painting tips that will teach you how to find a good house painter.
6 Tips for Choosing the Best Painting Contractor for Your Residential Project
Recognizing what to look for in an exterior or interior painting contractor doesn’t have to be a daunting experience. It's usually to separate reputable painters from those who don't have experience. Background checks, gathering multiple quotes, asking the right questions, and establishing a budget will make the process much easier, as well as ensure you receive quality service. Let’s look at the main tips for hiring a painting contractor.
#1. Make Sure You Know What You Want
Painting a residence isn’t exactly an everyday activity, and it’d be wise to consider the full extent of your project before you get started. What exactly do you need?
Here are some of the details you need to work out before you start searching for local painters for hire:
Do you need an exterior painting, or is it the right time to give the entire house a fresh coat of paint, inside and out?
What time of year do you want the painting job completed?
How many rooms do you need to paint?
How will the painting work impact your work or home schedule?
Does your home require any maintenance work before painting over a particular surface?
Is this part of a larger remodeling process, or just a simple paint job?
These are examples of the details you should have figured out before hiring a painting contractor.
#2. Establish Your Budget
Painting houses, whether interior or exterior, can be expensive. When looking to hire a painter, your budget plays a huge role in deciding the types of paint used and the total scope of your painting project. Experienced painters provide estimates per square meter and can advise you on high-quality, budget-friendly materials to use. If the painting contractor offers a rate that's too good to be true, it's probably because they won't do the best job. While affordable rates may not mean poor work in every instance, a cheaper price may be directly proportional to inexperience, and low-quality work, and may end up costing you more in the long run anyway.
#3. Explore Your Options
As you’re looking to hire a professional painter, there are more than a few options for where to look. Turn to social media, community newspapers, Google, random signposts, and referrals - there’s certainly no shortage of contractors out there. However, quantity doesn’t always mean quality. Narrowing your search and reaching out to the right sources can save you a lot of time and headaches.
Your local hardware of paint store: Reputable painting contractors usually get supplies from hardware stores. Those with a reliable track record have relationships with local suppliers;
Referrals: Word-of-mouth from trusted family, friends, and colleagues is the oldest and one of the best ways to find professional painting contractors. They’ll give honest reviews and wouldn’t recommend a subpar company;
Online: Google searches and online review sites such as Yelp and Angi are great places to look for potential painting contractors in your area. These sites collect a range of reviews from previous clients. Reading through prior customers’ experiences is almost just as good as a referral;
Social media: Facebook is another great resource to find professional painters in your area. The platforms’ integrated review options give you an idea of what their service and workmanship are like. While the quality of a company’s social media presence may not be indicative of what they’re about, always opt for those with positive reviews and a decent-looking listing;
Do a walk around in your neighborhood: Another great way to find local painters for hire is simply to look around your area. Walk around your neighborhood and take a look at nicely painted homes. If you can find out who did the jobs you like, you’ll be able to hire someone who knows the true quality of the work they’ve done previously. Even better would be to find a company at work as you’re passing by. But then, always make sure to double-check their online reviews before hiring.
#4. Contact the Candidates You’ve Selected and Ask the Right Questions
At this point in the process, it’s vital to ask potential contractors the same detailed questions about prep, materials, and the scope of your project. Communicate clearly and don’t make assumptions about what their services include. After you’ve gathered the information, you can make comparisons to see which company is the best fit to help you achieve a freshly painted home.
Here are some of the most important questions to ask a paint contractor:
Always ask for a breakdown of the estimate they provide. Most written estimates include the labor cost, time frame, materials, and paint price. There are also indirect costs to consider like overheads, utilities, rent, and staff salaries, which will increase the final price;
Ask if the contractor has comprehensive business liability and workman's compensation insurance. As a consumer, you should never hire a painting company that doesn’t have an active policy, and you have a right to know. If you’re unsure if they’re being truthful, you can simply phone their insurer to check;
Ask them how many people are assigned to the project. You should know how many people to expect coming into your home during the job. You should also know if they are employees or subcontractors. While subcontractors aren’t necessarily a bad thing, employees have established relationships with the company and tend to be more reliable;
Ask for a work schedule. If you want to keep tabs on the project, you should know when the painters will be starting every day;
Find out how they will ensure your house stays clean. Determine how the painting contractor will maintain a clean working environment and their responsibilities in case of paint accidents. You should know what precautions they will take to protect your home and belongings;
Find out who to contact if there is an issue or a problem. You want to make sure you have a reliable point of contact just in case an issue arises;
Review their past work. Examine the painting contractor's past paint jobs. This will give you insight into their skills and the quality of their work. You can usually find examples of their painting projects on their website or request photos of previous work;
Ask about a warranty. Find out if the painting company offers a warranty on their work. A good painting contractor will stand by their work and offer some sort of guarantee to address any issues that may arise after the job is completed.
#5. Get a Contract and Make Sure to Review It
Many of our clients often ask how to make a painting contract and what should be included in it. This is one of the most valuable tips for hiring a reputable painting contractor.
In general, a sound contract will include the following items:
The client and contractor’s name and information;
A description of the scope of work detailing all the services provided and the materials used;
The location of the project and time frame;
Fee details and payment methods;
Legal details regarding cancellation policies, release from liability, the handling of disputes, and so on.
The more detailed the contract, the less room there is for interpretation. As a reminder, contracts are there to protect clients and service providers; make sure you’ve read through them thoroughly, and don’t allow any painting to start unless both parties have signed.
#6. Prepare for Painting
Some professional paint contractors may include wall or surface preparation as an added service - this may be something to look for when thinking about how to choose a good painter - while others don’t.
If you do end up needing to prepare your walls, here’s what to do:
Brush down the walls to remove dust and dirt. You may overlook this, but a new coat of paint will stick to any dust or dirt on the wall and trap it permanently;
Remove flaking paint with a pressure washer or wire brush. Similarly, if there are any more noticeable issues with flaking or loose paint, you need to remove them before a paint job starts. If not, the texture will be visible;
Use exterior filler to repair cracks. If there are any issues with the wall itself, or if plaster repairs are required, now is the time to repair them. You won’t have another chance after the paint job is done;
Try to remove trellises and creeper plants if possible. If you have any plant life that may get in the way of a paint job, try and remove them if you can. This will make the job a lot easier for the painters;
Establish a dedicated area for your painters to keep their equipment. Creating an area or space for the painters to put all their stuff will make their lives a lot easier, and they will be extremely appreciative. It’ll also be a major time-saver!
4 Mistakes to Avoid When Hiring a Painting Contractor
Some common oversights can hinder your project's success. Here are key mistakes you should steer clear of:
Ignoring Insurance Coverage
When you're looking to hire a professional house painter, always ensure that they have the right insurance coverage. This protects both your property and any potential liabilities.
Choosing the Most Affordable Option Blindly
While everyone loves a good deal, hiring the cheapest contractor could cost you more in the long run. It's essential to understand that most painting contractors price their services based on experience, quality, and the materials they use. So, it's vital to weigh the cost against the quality of work you expect.
Paying in Full Before the Work Is Done
It's a big no-no to make the full payment before the job is complete. This can lead to a lack of motivation for the contractor to finish the work to your satisfaction. Instead, arrange a payment structure that aligns with the project's milestones or completion.
Not Demanding Clean-Up
After the painting is done, the last thing you'd want is to be left with a mess. Ensure that the painting contractor you hire has a clear understanding and commitment to cleaning up after the job.
Oahu Pro Painters Are Ready to Take on Your Project
Hiring professional painting contractors will save you the time and effort of painting your walls. Be sure to do your due diligence, ask the right questions, and have a contract in place before moving forward with your selection.
At Oahu Pro Painters, we’ve transformed the appearance of many residential homes with our professional painting services. We have a reliable track record of high-quality work and satisfied customers with both interior and exterior projects. Call us at 808-468-5604 or get a detailed estimate for your residential project.
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