Now that its summer, you’ve had a chance to look around your property. If you’ve noticed peeling paint in one area and faded colors in another, the next chore on your list may be to hire a house painter. But where do you begin? You could check out the name you found in the coupon mailer you received yesterday. Or call the number on the sign down in your neighbors yard – he had his painted last week, so they may a good resource.
But how do you know? How should you find the right house painter for the job?
1. The worst way to judge a paint company is by price. There can be a huge difference in a painters’ ability, skill level, knowledge, and professionalism. If a painting company has been around for years, they know what it takes to complete a job effectively, and will quote it as such. Inexperience painters may quote low, only to come back with more corrections once you’ve started the process. Or worse, cut back on the overall quality of the job and give you a painting service that will need to be repaired and/or repainted again in a short period of time.
2. Trust your instincts. How fast did a sales representative get back to you if you left a message or an email? How did they handle your initial meeting? Did you get quotes in a timely manner? Did you connect with the painter? Doubts during the initial phase should clus you in to professionalism. Always go with your instincts and look for a professional that is backed by experience and expresses that in a way you are comfortable with.
3.What type of paint do they use? As a professional painter, we have access to a variety of paints, from cheap to expensive, from consumer grade to commercial grade. An inexperienced painter or one who is trying to make a buck or two over the summer will rely on buying consumer grade paints at the cheapest price possible – not necessarily the best paint for your home or the conditions.
4. How long will the job take? Painting companies vary in how they approach the job. Some come in as a single painter; some bring an entire team. Some spend a day or two on prep work before they get into the paint. Ask your questions early, especially if you have a deadline or an event that you want your house back and looking as good as new.
5. Where do you spend your time? For some painters, they immediately put brush to your walls and finish as quickly as possible. Others powerwash, scrape, tape, cover and only dip the brush into the paint can when your home is in top shape. If they don’t understand the importance of creating the perfect canvas before they start painting, you might want to talk with another painter.
6. What about cleanup? I’m sure you can remember the paint job of your neighbor down the street. You found blue tape and paper in your yard night after night. And when they finished up for the night, they simply left, with trash and equipment strewn from one side to the other. And on the final day, bags of trash and cans of empty paint were left on the sidewalk waiting for the homeowner to dispose. Anything is possible – make sure you ask so you aren’t surprised along the way.
7. What about problems? Get an inexperienced painter and you may end up with more problems than when you began? Mold. Mildew. Glossy surfaces. New wallboards. Stains. Discolored areas. Previously painted areas. Wallpapered surfaces. Lead. In many cases its not as easy as putting roller or paintbrush to the wall. In some cases you have to correct problem areas first.
Will your paint job be handled in the right manner?