How to Hire a Painting Contractor

Many home improvement projects require a professional. You need a professional to repair electrical, plumbing, pour a foundation, or build an addition to your home.

Many homeowners think that because they painted a room or two on the interior of their home that they can tackle the whole inside or the exterior.

When it comes to painting, many homeowners take on more than they bargained for.

Painting is harder than it looks.

Some homeowners try to paint the outside of their home on their vacation, not really understanding what it takes to complete this undertaking. Halfway through the job they realize they made a mistake.

We sometimes get a call from a frazzled wife for us to complete the job.

This is a painting job we will not take on, because chances are the homeowner did not prep out the house properly in the first place and missed many steps that we would have done if we were hired from the start.

Professional Painting is in Our Blood

So, what do painting contractors do and how does one hire them?

What is a painting contractor?

Many times, a painting contractor is a locally-owned business with between 2-20 employees. He will know the city and the conditions in which he works when it comes to weather, the type of paint to be used, and so on. Many painters do more than just paint — like minor drywall and plaster repair, replace some trim and molding, and apply wallpaper or strip it off the walls. 

Many states require painters to be licensed, bonded, and insured for any job over $1,000. That is the requirement for the state of Arizona. That should be the first question that you ask a painter on the phone or when he shows up to do the estimate. Are you licensed? You and the painter can get into a lot of trouble if you hire him and he is not.

How do you go about finding a painting contractor?

Many homeowners talk with their neighbors for word-of-mouth recommendations. You can search Google and the internet for a painter in your town or talk with a local paint company for a painter they recommend. Check out Yelp but make sure they have a high rating and look at what others have to say about them.

Get more than one estimate. Always get three estimates if the people have not been recommended by someone you trust. Prices may vary, so make sure that the painter is using top-quality paint and not trying to underbid by cutting corners.

Have the painter give you an education on how they will prep out the house and then compare the information you have received from each painter.

Most painting contractors will take on almost any kind of job, from window or door trim to a complete interior or exterior of a house.

Professional Painting is in Our Blood

The interior

When you are interviewing, find out from the painter how he will cover the areas that are not being painted, like carpet, floors, windows, cabinets counters and furniture.

Are they spraying the ceilings and rolling out the walls? Are they using eggshell, semi-gloss, or flat? Is it the top-of-the-line paint, and who is it made by?

What type of preparation will they be doing? Scraping and sanding and nail holes that need to be filled? The removal of electric covers and the covering of lights and doors? The priming of new wood and drywall before the finished coat? Will the painter be using masking paper and tape around trim or use the cut-in method?

How many coats will it take to cover the walls with latex paint, especially if it’s a color and different than what is on there now? Is the paint washable? What is their timeline for each room?  Will they do a complete cleanup of those rooms, replace the furniture, and vacuum before they leave for the night?

What type of latex paint will they use on the ceiling, the walls, and the doors and trim? Will they paint out a small sample if it is a custom color so you can view it under the lighting conditions of that room? Touch Ups of missed spots?

Is it better for the homeowners to leave the premises while the painters are working?

What will it cost is the big question? How does that painter calculate that? By square footage or his general estimation from similar jobs from the past? Compare the estimates between painters and if there is a big difference find out why.  Maybe something was missed.

Professional Painting is in Our Blood

The Exterior

What kind of prep work will he do? Will the walls, trim, and overhang need scraping? How bad is the wood and can the painter replace small sections, or do you need a carpenter to do some repair first? Will raw wood be primed first?

Will he hose the house down or use a power washer a day or two before? What time will they start painting? How do they intend to reach the high areas of the house if it is a two-story?

How about the entryway ceilings, carports and the back patios? Do they need to be scraped down from loose paint or drywall and drywall tape?

Will he repair bad sections of the drywall if there was a water leak? Will he prime out the raw drywall before applying new drywall mud?

Does the painter use an airless sprayer, or will he roll out some portions of the house? Will he use masking paper and tape on the windows, cover the plants with plastic, and use tarps on the walkways?

Professional Painting is in Our Blood

So, you see many questions need to be asked of the painter when he shows up to view your home for the first time. How long will it take him to get a written estimate to you? Will he make out a contract and spell out everything he will do, including the type of paint he will be using?

Most contract painters will require 50% down at the time of signing the contract.

The balance will be due on completion of the job to your satisfaction.

I know it seems like there is a lot of ground to cover, but not all painters are created equal and you will have to live with the finished product. With this kind of preparation, your paint job will last 9 or 10 years before it needs a new coat,  depending on how much sun the different sides receive throughout the year and the color you paint the house. (Some dark colors fade faster than light colors so keep that in mind when selecting the color of the house.)

Selection of a painting contractor is important. It’s not just price, but how you interact with them and whether you feel comfortable with them on the inside or the outside of your castle.

Go here to find out more on our Residential Painting.


How to Hire a Painting Contractor

Follow Us On Facebook

Originally posted 2020-09-30 23:19:03.