Since I’ve been a painting contractor, for over thirty years, I’ve heard hundreds of horror tales from clients about the experience they had with professional painting contractors. What I’ve heard are stories of painting contractors that took a deposit from the client and then never showed up. These were usually crooks. Here are a few of the most common stories I hear and will continue to receive from my customers. This article will examine what you can to do protect yourself when hiring a painter.

Asking friends, family and colleagues about the painting contractors that they used previously and their experiences with them is the best way to begin. Ask if the contractor did a good job, what the cost was and how much time it took to finish the project. Ask your local paint shop for recommendations. You can also ask your Better Business Bureau for recommendations if you are unable to find a contractor through any of the above sources. Ask the contractor to provide you with a copy of their insurance certificate. The best contracting companies will gladly provide copies of certificates of insurance. Some states or municipalities do not require licensing, but registering your business with the state and local municipality should be a minimum.

Ask for references from contractors that you are considering. Ask them to be honest and upfront about their experiences. Do not hesitate to inquire about the price and quality of service. It is important to hire a painting contractor that will provide a high-quality job for a reasonable price. A written contract is essential. A written contract is encouraged by reputable contractors. The contract must clearly define the scope of work. The contract should include information on the surfaces that will be painted, how to prepare them, as well as time frames for the project and payment methods. You will have a better idea of cost differences between contractors if you can put the scope in writing. Both you and your contractor are protected by the contract.

How long has this contractor been operating? The painting industry has a very high turnover. Hire someone with at least 5 years of experience. Some companies will employ workers who have little to no experience just to cut costs. Ask the contractor what kind of preparation he will make for your project. Preparation is vital to painting. You can ask the contractor for recommendations regarding the materials needed to complete the project. Professional painting contractors will have suggestions for paints, finishes and colors. You will then need to ask if there is a warranty on the paint. Find out how long the contractor guarantees his work if a warranty is included. You must have the warranty written down, including all limitations. Most contractors require a deposit upon contract signing. It is normal to ask for a deposit when signing a contract. However, before you do so make sure you’ve checked all your references. Never give more than 20 percent of the total price upfront to anyone asking for a large down payment.

Compare the prices carefully. You may not want to choose the lowest bid. Ask the contractors why there are such wide differences between bids. Do all contractors use the same materials and paint? Low bidders may make compromises with quality. Remember that the lowest possible price is not always your best option. It is important to hire someone with experience, who has been fully insured and has a team of experienced workers. As with other industries, you usually get what your pay for in the painting business. Professional painting contractors who want to earn your business will offer you insurance certificates, references and advice about colors and finishes. They are also polite, professional and courteous. After you’ve made your choice, let the painting professional finish the job you hired him for. You must pay a price for high-quality and professional services.