How to Hire the Best Painting Contractor
Compare Three or More Contractors
You can hunt down painting contractors in three ways: the grapevine, local paint stores, and Internet review sites like Angie’s List and Yelp. Compare at least three contractors. Any estimates that sound too good to be true may be illegal.
Verify License and Insurance
Some states, like California, require a contractor’s license. Others, like Texas, allow laissez faire capitalism to reign free. Hiring a painter outside legal boundaries forfeits you, the homeowner, all right to recuperate your money for promises neglected. Large-scale contractors should be able to provide a certificate of insurance and any necessary bonding, safety and compliance information for hired employees. An extra +5 points to any contractor who is a member of a local or national association, such as the Painting and Decorating Contractors of America.
Invite and Interview
Bring the contractor into your home, the lion’s den. Tell him or her everything you want painted (trim, molding, walls, cabinets) and everything you want protected (furniture, pianos, plants, patios). Cunningly besiege the contractor with questions: What kind of paint do you use? Two coats or three? How do you fix gaffe spills? What personal protection equipment (PPE) do you use? How long have you been in business? Is your work crew paid hourly or sub-contracted? If he doesn’t talk or becomes defensive, try shining bright lights in his face.
Call the References
Anybody can make up a fan club. Just ask Twitter. Call references and check records with the Better Business Bureau.
Write It Down
Indulge your inner paranoia. You can’t trust anybody. Right now, your computer webcam is probably beaming video feed to the NSA. You and your contractor should draw up a written contract including:
• Details on preparation and cleanup;
• What is to be painted in what colors;
• Start and end dates;
• Daily start and finish times;
• Any applicable warranty;
• When, how and how much the contractor will be paid.
Trust Your Gut
Is the contractor courteous and punctual? Or does he leave splatter-marks of black Skoal on your driveway? Don’t entrust your home to just anyone with a white van and paint brush.
Not to brag, but we at Stephens Painting don’t chew Skoal or vault backyard fences. For 30 years, we’ve been working in the Dallas Fort Worth area, and we have five-star Yelp reviews/an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau. Call us for an appointment. We’ll be on time.