Ask The Painter: What Should I Do Before Choosing A Paint Contractor? (Part Two)

February 07, 2012

Painting Your House – A Three Part Series

Over the next few weeks, we would like to talk to you about what’s involved in painting a house. Many people watch those do-it-yourself shows and often think “I can do that”! But what you don’t know could cost you more than money – it could cause serious damage to your home or a personal injury. Sound dramatic? Probably, but the investment you have in your home is a serious subject. So, let’s get started, shall we?

What Should I Do Before Choosing A Paint Contractor? (Part Two)

We’ve discussed what a homeowner should consider before tackling a do-it-yourself paint project. If you’ve decided professional help is the answer, there are others things any reputable painting professional wants customers to think about before hiring a contractor. And, no matter what kind of project you are considering, never ignore the importance of experience. Every painting project is different, from new to old construction, different surfaces and different climates, whether indoors or out, small or large. So, don’t be afraid to ask questions!

Talk to your friends, family, and co-workers then check feedback in on-line consumer sources (i.e., Better Business Bureau or Angie’s List). Find out what contractor(s) are listed and whether they have received good ratings or have complaints and issues. If possible, talk to references and find out if the contractor really paid attention to the customer’s needs and requests. Listen for and pay attention to details!

For example, were the wall corners and moldings cut-in properly? Were the lines at wall intersections and moldings straight? Was the trim around windows and doors free of runs? Did any of the surfaces have bleed-through, bubbles, peeling surfaces, or “holidays” – places where paint coverage is thin, missed, or a different color? Was the necessary caulking done and cracks or holes filled with appropriate products?

Was the crew courteous and willing to answer questions? Did the crew protect landscaping and cover personal items (furnishings, light fixtures, vehicles, etc.) that were not to be painted or could be damaged? Was the job started and finished on time?

Did the contractor offer both a written quote and warranty? If there was a warranty, what were the terms and conditions? Did it cover problems from manufacturer defects or issues with the products used, even if the problem was outside the contractor’s control?

Determine if the contractor’s liability coverage is current. Have any legal actions been filed and what were the results? Are the individual crew members bonded? Check them out at the Better Business Bureau (BBB), as they keep records for 3 years on all contractor complaints.

Once you have your answers, deciding who to call will be easier and you can move on to concerns about timing, style, product, and cost. So, keep reading – we’re going to talk about that in the third part of this series!

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We needed to have some exterior and interior painting done and were also on a tight schedule. Southern painting did a great job and worked with our schedule. The house looks amazing! The entire process was very easy and everyone was friendly and professional.

I can't believe the professional care we experienced with Southern Painting! The crew was very knowledgeable, experienced and took care of our older home like it was their own.

I would definitely hire Southern Painting again. Professional, trustworthy and conscientious.

Absolutely phenomenal company to work with. Did a fantastic job and was very reasonably priced. Would highly recommend them to others!

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