Hiring a contractor or specialist of any kind is tough. Unless you have a recommendation from someone or you “know a guy,” who does this type of job, you probably won’t know where to begin. The internet can be very helpful here, since you can search for contractors in your local area with Google Local Search now. Of course, we happen to know a great painter as well…
But once you’ve started to settle in on a few painters, you then have to determine which specific painter to go with. How can you make your selection? Asking these five questions will help:
What’s your timeline?
Basically, how long will this job take? I’d be shocked if the painters gave you wildly different estimates, but you should ask anyway. You deserve to know how long this job will take. Plus, it leads us to the next question…
Who is responsible for delays?
As the saying goes, time is money. If the job takes longer than expected, for whatever reason, who pays for the overages? If it’s the contractor’s fault, then they absolutely should, but this can be difficult to make happen after the fact. Try to get it in writing beforehand.
Do you have any references?
Checking references will be more work for you, but if you want to be sure you’re hiring someone reliable, it could be worth the time. You should at least ask for the references, if only to make the painter produce them. A contractor without any references should trouble you – hasn’t anyone been happy with their work before?
Do you offer a guarantee?
Nothing would be worse than paying a lot of money for a paint job and then having it look terrible a month later. That’s why you need a guarantee from your painter that the job will last, or that they’ll fix any issues that arise. If you’ve done your homework, this contractor is probably trustworthy – but a contract beats a promise any day of the week.
Who is responsible for moving furniture/other items?
Even if you didn’t discuss it, you would imagine a painter could trouble themselves to move a couch, right? You’d be surprised. Be prepared to move furniture yourself or ask the contractor about it beforehand. If it isn’t explicitly in the contract, then the painter might not do it.