Like most things all painting companies are not created equal! If you are considering making an investment in your home or business we have put together some tips to help you choose the right painter for the job.
It is always a good idea to seek recommendations from friends, family or co workers. Google is great but if you can talk to people who have actually used a business you are already ahead of the game. Facebook is another great way to ask for recommendations or applications like NextDoor. You can also drive around your neighborhood, you may see signs in the yards of homes that are having work done. We recommend getting 3 bids for a sizeable project. If you don’t have 3 referrals then you can start on the internet. You can use google, yelp, check the BBB Website and other resource sites like Angie’s list. Once you have 3 numbers make your phone calls and set up estimate appointments. You should never have to pay for a painting estimate!
Compare Apples to Apples
Do not be surprised if there is a large variance in pricing. A one man show with a ladder who hand writes his estimate on yellow lined paper and has little to no overhead is likely to charge quite a bit less than a business that has an office, multiple crews, liability insurance, workers compensation etc. but price should not be the only consideration. One estimate may look cheaper than the other but if you look closely at the other considerations that may not be the case. For example one estimate may be based on 1 coat while the other more expensive one is based 2 coats. One estimate may include labor and materials, the other may be labor only. One estimate may include walls only, where as the other includes trim. Make sure you review the estimates very carefully. Other things to consider when making your decision:
Experience – How long have they been in business? Have they been in business for a while, what are the chances they will still be around after you pay your deposit.
References – Can they provide references? A good painting company should have no shortage of references.
Reputation – It is always a good idea to check reviews online however it is also a good idea to look at the big picture, maybe the most recent review is awful and you may not want to read any further – but you should. Read as many as you can, if they are all bad then yes you probably want to make another choice but if the other reviews are good then the issue may have been with the customer and not with the company, still have a concern? Call the office and ask them for their side of the story reviews are not always black and white.
Materials – What kind of materials are they using? This can also affect the price. Are materials included in the estimate and if so what materials are they using specifically?
Preparation – What kind of prep work will they be doing? The first step in a quality paint job is the prep work for exterior painting will they be pressure washing? scraping? Sanding? priming? For interior will be they protecting the surrounding areas? Will they patch holes or will that be an additional charge
Warranty – What kind of warranty are they offering? I would rather pay a bit more for someone who is offering me a 5 year exterior paint warranty over someone who is offering 1 year.
Leadtime – How far out are they scheduling? This can vary quite a bit and could be a big factor in your decision if you are in a hurry to get a project completed. If you are business and need the work completed after hours, make sure that is included in your estimate. It will be an additional cost and you don’t want to have any surprises at the end of the job.
Insurance – Do they have liability Insurance & workers compensation. This is an absolute must , if someone takes a fall off a ladder in your home you want to have peace of mind knowing that the company will be covering any expenses that would arise from an accident and that the injured worker will be taken care of.
Deposits – Most contractors will charge a deposit. This is because they will need to purchase materials and do prep work such as pressure washing etc before the paint job even starts. Some people think – well I don’t want to pay a deposit to someone I don’t know but they also don’t know you and you are asking them to purchase materials and schedule crews to go to your property so a deposit is like meeting half way!
The whole process comes full circle, if they do a great job for you, refer them to your friends and family!