Ten Essential Questions to Ask a Contractor Before Hiring


Ten Essential Questions to Ask a Contractor Before Hiring

A good contractor can help you achieve the aesthetic appeal you want. More importantly, they also help protect your home by ensuring the paint layer protects the underlying material, such as sheetrock or wood. To ensure you hire the right contractor, here are ten vital questions you should ask before hiring them. You must receive a detailed estimate and contract. They are crucial to a successful paint job.

Ten Questions to Ask:

1) Can you provide a list of references who can attest to the quality of your work?

When looking for a painting contractor, ask for a list of recent clients to speak with. Be cautious if they only provide a few names. Be sure to ask the references for feedback on the contractor’s communication quality and availability in addressing concerns.

2) Confirm they have Workman’s Compensation Insurance.

Homeowners can be held financially liable for worker injuries if a contractor doesn’t have enough insurance. Always ask for proof of workers’ compensation and general liability coverage.

3) Confirm that the contractor is licensed.

Hire licensed painting contractors only. (We are licensed in Virginia.) State licensing ensures that they meet basic qualifications and have something to lose if they don’t perform according to the contract. This legal leverage is critical because it protects clients.

4) Ask about the price and expect transparency.

A reliable contractor will provide a detailed and transparent job estimate and answer any questions you have. Be careful if the price they quote sounds too good to be true. It may indicate they are cutting corners on essential aspects like trained crews, insurance, equipment, and materials. Ask the contractor about factors affecting their estimate. Lastly, the decision to hire a contractor should not be based solely on the cost of the job. Many factors affect the price, and price can affect the outcome.

Important: A painting contractor should not request a deposit that exceeds half the cost of the job before commencing any work. Always read and understand the terms of the contract before signing.

5) Who will be your point of contact?

It’s important to clarify who the project manager will be, how to contact them, and whether they (or someone else) will be available to address your concerns throughout the project.

6) What paint brand do they use?

A reputable painter will use high-quality paint. The estimate should indicate the paint brand and how many coats they will apply. Cheaper paints usually lead to bleed-through and show wear and tear much sooner than premium-grade paint.

7) Does the work come with a warranty?

A well-done paint job using premium-grade paint can last up to ten years. You should discuss the terms of any contractor warranty and receive them in writing.

8) Ask about the crew they will use.

It’s reasonable to ask about the crew assigned to your job and how long it will take to complete the work. Fewer crew members can cause a job to take longer. Ask about their regular working hours.

9) What is their preparation before painting?

Proper prep work is crucial for painting results. You should see a detailed contract that includes all the prep work and specifies the work they will do, such as patching holes and scraping or sanding surfaces.

10) What cleaning up do you do when the job is finished?

Your painting contract should outline the clean-up work that the contractor will do at the end of each work day and once the job is complete. Don’t assume that all debris will be removed.


A quality paint job is an investment in your home and its future. When choosing a paint contractor, a homeowner should select carefully to guarantee the best outcomes. A contractor’s reputation is essential, so hiring a local one can make a difference. Local painters rely on their reputations to secure new clients. It’s hard to stay in business if they establish a record of dissatisfied clients.

At Home Works Painting, we have over 20 years of experience serving Northern Virginia and many satisfied repeat clients. You can schedule a free estimate through our online scheduler or by giving our office a call. We are committed to providing outstanding outcomes for every one of our clients!

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