Ten Key Questions to Ask A Painting Contractor

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Ten Key Questions to Ask A Painting Contractor

Maintaining your home’s paint job is essential for aesthetic reasons and protecting the underlying material. Before you hire a paint contractor, here are ten questions you should pose to them. Working with the right contractor is critical for the outcomes.

A paint job is an investment in your home. 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.

Ten Questions to Ask:

1) Can you provide me with a list of clients who can confirm the quality of your work?

A reliable painting contractor should be able to provide a list of homes that they have recently painted and allow potential customers to speak with homeowners who have worked with the contractor. Be skeptical if they offer only a few names to talk to you. (The list of names might not be actual clients.) Also, before signing a contract, it’s essential to ask those referrals about their experience with the contractor’s communication – were their questions answered reasonably? Was the contractor or the project manager available to answer questions or address concerns?

2) Ask the contractor if they are licensed.

We are licensed painting contractors. Any contractor you hire should be as well. State licensing means that they meet specific basic qualifications and have something to lose should they not perform according to the terms of a written contract. Remember that those basic standards must be met, even if not stipulated in writing. This essential legal leverage helps protect clients, so only hiring licensed contractors is critical.

3) Do you have Workman’s Compensation Insurance?

If a worker gets injured while working on a homeowner’s property, the homeowner could be held financially liable if the contractor doesn’t have enough insurance to cover all their workers. It’s important to ask the contractor if they have workers’ compensation and request to see a copy of both their general liability coverage and workers’ compensation policy.

4) Ask about the price and expect transparency.

A reputable, experienced contractor will always be transparent and detailed in their job estimate. If you have any questions about their pricing, the contractor should answer them to your satisfaction. Be sure that the contract reflects what they are telling you. If the price they’re quoting you sounds too good to be true, it’s a red flag. A very low price doesn’t guarantee a quality job. It’s likely the opposite. Low prices could reflect the contractor cutting corners on things like well-trained crews, insurance, equipment, and materials. Be sure to clarify with a contractor what things might influence the estimate they’ve provided, such as supply prices.

Important: A painting contractor should never ask for a deposit that is more than half the cost of a job up front! Be sure to understand the terms of the agreement in the contract before you sign anything.

5) Who will answer my questions?

It is not uncommon to hear of contractors who were prompt in answering questions before a signed contract and were not so quick to respond afterward. Be sure you understand who will be the project manager, how to reach them, and whether they (or who) will answer your questions throughout the project.

6) What paint do they use?

The answer to this question should be provided in writing. Unless the homeowner requests a contractor’s grade of paint, premium-quality paint should be used. Lower-quality paints usually lead to bleed-through and wear and tear much sooner than premium-grade paint. Be sure to agree in writing on the number of paint coats that will be applied beforehand. Paint quality isn’t where you want to save a few dollars.

7) Does the work come with a warranty?

A paint job completed with premium-grade paint can last about ten years, assuming proper preparation was done before painting, use of the area painted, and even weather conditions. You should discuss the terms of any contractor warranty and receive them in writing.

8) How many people will be working in my home?

Ask the contractor how many painters will be assigned to your job and how long it will take to complete the work. Sometimes, a contractor will say that a certain number of painters will be assigned, and then, without warning, fewer people show up to do the work. That can cause the job to take longer than expected.

9) How do you prep for painting?

This is a vital issue for the overall results of the job. The prep work before painting is as important as the paint application itself. A contract should include a detailed description of the prep work rather than vague generalities. For example, the contract should indicate that they will do things like patch sheetrock holes, and all surfaces will be scraped and/or sanded to remove as much of the old paint as possible. Lastly, ask the contractor how many people will be involved in the preparation process because that, too, can affect how long it takes them to complete the project.

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

Sometimes, homeowners assume that the contractor will remove all debris created during the project, like empty paint buckets, old trim or sheetrock, worn-out drop cloths, or other debris related to the painting job. Don’t assume. The contract should detail what clean-up the contractor will do once the job is complete.

As you can see, finding the right painting contractor involves some advanced research. However, taking that time can help ensure a good experience and a well-done job. Also, it is essential to remember that the decision should not be based solely on the cost of the job. Many factors affect the price, and price can affect the outcome.

At Home Works Painting, we have more than two decades of experience working in Northern Virginia with many repeat clients. We work where we live, and we value our clients’ satisfaction. If you’d like us to quote an estimate on your next paint project, please use our scheduler or call our office to schedule a free estimate. We are committed to delivering outstanding results for our clients!

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