Choosing the right painter for your job may not be an easy task, and in fact, it may seem somewhat daunting. Unless you’ve worked with someone in the past, or got a very strong referral from a close friend or family member, you’re going to need to do some research. In this case, that means contacting a number of painters and asking a lot of questions.
Here are some of the key questions you should ask, which will help you choose the right painter:
How long will the job take?
This may seem like a “no-brainer”, but, really, it’s not. You may be surprised to find that you get very different time estimates from different painting services you talk to. If one seems dramatically shorter or longer than the others, ask why. In any event, make sure that you’re 100% clear on what’s included in the time quote.
What happens if there are delays?
This is really the second step of the first question. Delays do occur, and they could be caused by the painter, by you, or by something unforeseen. Whatever the cause, find out the painter’s expectations, and whether you’ll be billed for overruns. If extra days are involved, they’ll have expenses like the cost of additional labor, and they may pass those costs on to you if you haven’t explicitly agreed otherwise.
Do you guarantee your work?
Ask up front if there’s a guarantee, and if so, exactly what the terms are. If the painter doesn’t offer any sort of guarantee, that’s a red flag, as I would be wondering why they don’t stand by their work. You may be told that the paint has a manufacturer’s warranty, but that would of course only cover the cost of the paint. The much larger piece of the expense is the labor involved, and a reputable painter should cover that as well, for a reasonable period of time.
Can I see references or testimonials?
If the painter has been in business for a while, we can expect that they’ve completed a fair number of jobs, and they should have satisfied customers who will attest to the quality of work they perform. Most professional contractors should have a list of references who you can speak to if you’d like to know how they handled the job, as well as testimonials from their happy clients which you can see.
Are you licensed and insured?
The State of California requires all contractors, including painters to maintain a license through the Department of Consumer Affairs. Any reputable painter should be happy to show you their license number, which you can then verify on the Contractors State License Board website. Not only does this show that they’re legitimate and do things by the rules, but it also ensures that they maintain the necessary insurance coverages as required by the State, to protect you against any mishaps that could occur.