We’re approaching that time of year when homeowners start considering a repaint on their house and start thinking about hiring a house painter. If you are a homeowner and you are thinking about repainting your house, or if you have a new home and it’s ready for paint, we’ve put together some tips for making sure you hire the right painter.
Of course, we think it should be us, but just to be sure we wanted to give you some actionable steps to make sure we or someone else, is the right painting company for the job.
You should start by talking to at least three different painting companies before even starting to make a decision. Have them out to your home for an estimate and watch how they assess your home. The longer they take to check out your home, the better chance that specific company will provide you a clear and comprehensive estimate. Even the most professional house painter can’t appraise a job just by giving it a quick glance.
You should also ask about the size of their crew and how much experience the team has in painting houses. Asking detailed questions can create less confusion once the job has started.
Be Clear With Your Expectations
You might think it’s a good idea to leave it to the professionals when it comes to what needs to be done to paint your house. In most cases you’re probably right, but you should be clear about what level of work you want done before hiring a painting company. If the company does not appear to respect and thoroughly answer all your questions that is usually a red flag.
You might be OK with cutting some costs here and there and compromising on some of the fine details. Or you may be prepared to pay whatever it takes to have a superior job done down to the finest detail.
Either way, you need to let the painting company know ahead of time what your expectations are. Those expectations could result in a different cost depending on the level of detail you expect from the painters.
Ask The Painter The Right Questions
The good news about painting is that there really isn’t any super technical lingo that you need to know in order to ask good questions. A few questions you should ask when hiring a house painter are:
- Is the cost of paint included in the estimate?
- How many coats of paint will be applied?
- How do they handle covering sensitive areas for protection?
- How long do they expect the job to take?
- Do you need to leave the residence while they paint?
Don’t be afraid to ask any questions. No question is a stupid question. You could be saving yourself time and money by simply being willing to ask.
Check References, Past Work and Credentials
You need to know who you’re working with! Don’t simply trust a fast talking sales pitch, listening to all of their technical expertise. You should ask for examples of their past work and any references that would be willing to testify to their work.
If you do get the chance to talk to someone about the painting companies work, be sure to be quick and concise in respect for their time. You don’t want to ruin the reference for other potential customers.
You should also feel comfortable asking for credentials. The painting company should have a license to do business in the state you reside in. You can also check with the Better Business Bureau to see if the painter has any unresolved complaints.
Ask About Prep Work and Paint Product
You may be expected to do some of the prep work yourself before the painter even shows up. It’s a good idea to ask the painting company about their expectations from you in regards to prep work. This might include cutting back shrubs and trees from the houses and removing Christmas light hooks on the gutters and fascia boards.
Some painting companies will charge extra for prep work that they feel should have been done ahead of time. Surface preparation is something the painting company should handle, even though it may seem easy enough for you to do. Even the most seasoned home improvement buff will tell you to let the professionals do the work.
Houses that were built before 1978 may still have lead paint on them. The painting company may want to charge extra for the removal of lead paint so be sure you ask.
You should also be wary of the type of paint being used on your house. Is the paint a low-voc paint? Are there any environmental concerns you should be wary of? Make sure you know exactly what kind of paint is going on your house before you agree to have anyone paint your house.
What’s Your Financial Responsibility?
One aspect that gets overlooked many times is payment options. Are you going to be paying in full? Half down, half on completion? Is the painting company willing to make payment arrangements? What form of payment do they accept?
Getting the fine details about payment arrangements is extremely important before the painting company gets started. You need to be crystal clear on payment expectations so that you aren’t blind-sided once the job is complete.
You should also never give the final payment until you inspect the paint job and you are sure that it is complete and you are satisfied with the results. You should also be sure that any subcontractors have been paid since they can put a lien on your house if the primary contractor fails to pay them.
Have Fun and Enjoy The Process!
It should be a fun and enjoyable experience to get a fresh coat of house paint. When hiring a house painter, make sure they appear to enjoy what they do. If they enjoy their job, you will too!
If you’re ready to start your next exterior paint project, we’d be honored to come take a look at your house. We offer free estimates and are happy to answer any questions you might have. Call us today at 541-699-2940 or fill out our contact form on our website and we’ll respond within 24 hours.