Time to freshen up that exterior paint? Thinking of hiring a painting contractor to do it? Not sure what to expect? You’re not alone.
Having your exterior repainted, or painted for the first time, can be overwhelming, stressful, and confusing if you have no prior experience or have not gone through the process before. Not to worry. Below I’ve shared several tips, pointers, and best practices when it comes to hiring a painting contractor, what to expect from your painting contractor, what to look for during the work phases, and ultimately the final results of your paint job.
The Search For The Right Painting Contractor
Ask A Friend or Neighbor For A Referral
When searching for a painting contractor to paint your home you should start by asking friends or family members. Getting a direct referral from someone you know, who has already gone through the process, is one of the easiest and best ways to find a good painter to handle your project. Plus, you’ll be able to swing by their property and view their contractor’s work for yourself. Seeing the finished product first hand will give you a good indication of what to expect for your own home. Chances are if your friend had a good overall experience and was happy with the results you will be too.
These days, when it comes to finding things, the great world-wide-web can’t be beat! You have an entire universe of painting contractors at your fingertips. Look for a painting contractor in your area by searching on Google, check out their reviews, cross reference on Yelp, Facebook, and even Twitter. Most painting contractors will have lots of images of their work displayed on Social Media. Take the time to look at pictures and videos from each contractor you’re considering working with. Of course, most reputable and respected licensed contractors will have their own company website (that is well made) with all of the info about the company easily found in one place.
On the contrary, a lack of information can be helpful in itself. If you’re having trouble finding information on the contractor you’re researching, this is usually a bad sign. Today, almost every reputable painting contractor will have some type of listing and information posted online. Particularly if they are a reputable, licensed, and insured company, they will want to boast this information to potential clients, showcasing previous projects, highlighting five-star reviews, and showing off pictures/ videos. If they aren’t sharing it, it’s probably because something isn’t right.
What Every Good Painting Contractor Should Have
A Professional Painting Contractor Is Licensed and Insured
When looking to hire a painting company, you should make sure they are fully licensed, bonded, and insured in the State of California. Holding the proper license classifications really means a lot to you as the consumer. It tells you that the contractor has taken a State Contractors License Exam and passed. This means the owner of the company or one of the managing members has the experience and is qualified to do the work on your project.
An individual must pass a Business and Trades test in order to receive a contractor’s license number, as well as a bond payment that is held with the State. A bond payment ensures you will be reimbursed by the state if the contractor damages your home or business and fails to take responsibility. Furthermore, if the contractor is using hired labor to perform the actual work, it is a requirement that the contractor carries Workman’s Comp Insurance. This is a very important bit of information you need to know prior to hiring a painting contractor.
If any worker happens to be injured during the working progress of your project, you could potentially be held liable if the contractor you hired does not carry Workman’s Comp. Look up the contractor’s license number to find out if they carry Workman’s Comp and to verify that their license is current and active. Liability insurance is also very important. In the instance your contractor damages your home or property beyond repair you want to know that you are covered with insurance up to one million dollars.
If you live in CA and are considering hiring a painting contractor you can easily look them up by typing in the name of the company or the license number by visiting the following link: https://www.cslb.ca.gov/onlineservices/checklicenseII/checklicense.aspx
Credible Painting Contractors Always Have References
Ask the contractor you are interviewing for local references with names, addresses, and even phone numbers of current and past completed projects. This information should be willingly provided upon request. Take the time to follow up with these referrals by either calling or contacting them directly via email. Drive past shared addresses to view the work yourself.
The contractor should be willing to provide you with names and numbers of previous clients who are willing to talk on the phone or have you stop by their home or place of business to give you a direct reference on the company and experience they had working with them. If the contractor you are thinking of hiring has been in business for a while they will have plenty of referrals around town and be eager to share them with you.
Professional Painting Contractors Have a Work Process
When interviewing the contractor you’re thinking of hiring, be sure to ask a lot of questions about what to expect. Any reputable contractor who wants to earn your business will be willing to answer all of your questions no matter what they are. You are not a professional painter, and you have a right to understand exactly what to expect from those who are.
It is important the contractor provides you with a clear picture of what they will do to your home or business. Schedule an appointment with the company Project Manager or Estimator to perform a walkthrough of your project. During this time, you can ask questions about the job and point out problem areas or concerns you have about your job. It is essential that you ask specific questions about cracks or openings on your stucco, wood, or metal surfaces you want to have painted. You should leave the walkthrough knowing exactly what the painting contractor is planning on doing to address all problematic areas prior to applying finish paint and products.
Remember, “the best paint in the world is only as good as the surface it’s applied to” So, ask a lot of questions and expect answers that make sense to you. There are no dumb questions when it comes to spending hard-earned money on your home.
Painting Contractors Should Always Provide a Scope of Work Contract
Any painting contractor you are considering to work on your home or business should provide you with a comprehensive, clear, and understandable proposal or estimate. This document should have the following items included:
- License credentials
- Insurance policies
- Three (3) day right to cancel form
- Mechanics lien notice
- A clear description or statement of work (SOW) to be done
- Name and address of the property owner
- Address where work is being performed
- Business name and address of company performing work
- Name of company owner
- A place for owner and contractor to sign
- 10% or $1,000.00 (whichever is less) down payment notice
- Payment schedule based on completed phases
You should receive a written contract prior to starting work on your property. Read everything over well and understand what’s included or excluded. Take time to digest this proposal and compare it with other estimates. You should not feel pressured or obligated to sign a contract. Before you are ready to make your final decision, remember, this is a large commitment. Having your entire home or business painted will be something you do once every 7-10 years so you want to be sure you are making the best decision.
When you finally make up your mind and decide to go with the contractor of your choice, be prepared to pay 10% or $1,000.00 (whichever is the lesser amount of the total contract) and NO more. This is the CA State Contractors Board Law that all contractors must observe and adhere to. Be sure to ask your contractor for a Payment Schedule on your project showing all payments from start to finish so you know exactly what to expect throughout the job. This schedule should be easily found in the contract text and clearly outline the payments to be made only after certain phases of the project have been completed and or, materials have been delivered.
I hope this blog has been helpful to you. If you have any questions about hiring a painting contractor or just want to find out more information about painting your home, feel free to visit our website: doublegpainters.com or visit our social media pages by searching up Double G Painting & General Contracting on Google, Yelp, Facebook or all online sources.
All the best in your searching,
John Gregg: CEO/ President