How to Choose a House Painter

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How to Choose a Residential Painter

Many homeowners want to improve the look of their homes with a fresh coat of paint. Freshly painted rooms or new colors on the exterior of a home can give the customer a home to be proud of for years to come. For homeowners who have decided on outsourcing their painting projects to a professional, making the decision on which painting contractor to hire can be a very difficult choice. Many clients have heard nightmare stories regarding people who did not hire the right contractor for the job. From abandoned projects to poor quality workmanship to legal proceedings, choosing the wrong contractor could cost the homeowner more in the long run. So, how does a homeowner choose the best house painter? With so many professional home painters, what criterion should be used when choosing the best one for the job? Here are a few helpful suggestions to guide the decision-making process for choosing the top house painter.

How to Choose a House Painter
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Choosing the Right Painting Contractor

While it may seem overwhelming when deciding on which painting contractor to choose, there are steps that can be taken to ensure the homeowner protects their home and their wallet. The right contractor can be chosen the first time around by performing the necessary research to ensure the contractor hired is equipped to handle the project.

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Before The Painting Project

The first step in hiring the right painting contractor is understanding the unique needs of the project and defining its scope. Many homeowners know they need a paint job but they may not consider the specific needs of their home first. For example, will an interior painter be required or an exterior painter? Does the home have other structural concerns such as worn siding or crumbling stucco that needs to be addressed prior to beginning a paint project? Alternatively, are there issues within the home such as moisture concerns that may call for the expertise of someone other than a painter? These are all important considerations that must be made prior to searching for a painting contractor. Understanding what the project will entail and what it will not will save the homeowner valuable time and it will prevent unpleasant surprises later on as the project progresses.

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Verify Credentials

An expert painting contractor will have many qualities that make them a well-rounded candidate for the project. First, a painting contractor will be credentialed. This will include possessing the necessary business licenses to legally conduct business in the state of residence as well as carrying the proper liability insurance in the event of damage to the homeowner’s property. If the contractor has a team of painters it is imperative that they also carry worker’s compensation insurance to cover accidents on the job. Homeowners should request proof of each of these documents to ensure the contractor can legitimately conduct business in the town where the homeowner lives.

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Conduct Research

The next important thing for a homeowner to do is to conduct additional research on the contractor. Typically, this will include an in-depth internet search including reviewing the contractor’s website for information and even joining their social media accounts. A contractor’s website will list important information regarding their services, their history, years of experience in the industry and even before and after pictures of their recent work. There may also be other resources on the contractor’s website to include helpful blog posts as well as resources such as how-to documents or links to other websites that provide important information. Social media sites such as Facebook and LinkedIn are also excellent resources to use when evaluating the credibility of a contractor. These social media sites will have a historical account of posts made by the contractor and will also reveal what the contractor values most in their business. Pay attention to how helpful this information is. Consistent posts that provide useful information are clear indicators that the contractor may genuinely care about their customers by helping them in all areas of their projects through sharing relevant content. Furthermore, research can also include asking friends, relatives and neighbors for references to good painting contractors. There is no better feeling than knowing that a loved one has had a good experience with a painter, highly recommends them for the job and can attest to their quality workmanship.

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Evaluate Online Reviews

Online reviews are another great way to research a painter online. Reviews, both good and bad, can reveal so much regarding the painter—what it was like to work with them, if they provide a top tier service or alternatively why a painter should not be hired. Online reviews can be found on sites such as the Better Business Bureau, the Yellow Pages, Angie’s List and Yelp to name a few. Even though some online reviews may be extremely biased, these reviews are still a good starting point for gathering pertinent information regarding the painter. Pay attention to patterns within negative reviews such as poor quality work, lack of communication or undelivered promises. These are red flags that the service may not be the best fit for the homeowner.

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Request Estimates

Once a short list of potential painting contractors has been created (usually 3-5 is a good starting point), contact each of the contractors directly to schedule a face-to-face meeting where an estimate of the project can be provided. These appointments are excellent opportunities for the client to meet the painter and get a feel for what it may be like to work with them. During the meeting, be sure to ask as many questions as possible and also evaluate their presentation of the services offered. Here are several questions the homeowner can ask the painter to get a better idea of their capabilities:

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Important Questions To Ask

1. How many years has the contractor been in business?

2. How many homes has the contractor painted within the last year?

3. Can the contractor provide a list of recent references who will attest to their workmanship?

4. Does the contractor work alone or do they have a team of painting professionals?

5. What is the estimated timeline of the project?

6. How will be home be prepared prior to painting? For instance, will the homeowner need to move furniture or will the painter be responsible for this?

7. What is the process for cleaning up after the home has been painted?

8. Will the homeowner be required to purchase the paint up front or is this cost already built into the estimate?

9. Does the painter offer written warranties or guarantees on their work?

These are all very important questions that should be clarified prior to making a hiring decision. In addition, here are a few important things to pay attention to during this meeting:

  1. · Did the painter arrive on time and were they prepared for the meeting?
  2. · Was the painter courteous, friendly and professional throughout the entire interaction?
  3. · How well did the painter demonstrate their knowledge regarding the home improvement industry?
  4. · Did the painter explain the steps of the painting process and how they work?
  5. · Did the painter provide a detailed, itemized estimate that includes all of the areas of the home to be painted in addition to the responsibilities of both the homeowner and the contractor?
  6. · Did the painter offer suggestions for the project and provide solutions for the customer’s concerns?
  7. · Was the painter willing to answer any questions the homeowner had?
  8. · Did the painter exhibit enthusiasm for the project and did they seem passionate about the work they do?
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The Hiring Decision

Once all of these quotes have been compared in addition to all of the notes gathered on the contractors, a hiring decision can be made. The best contractor will be experienced, professional and qualified to take over the project. They will also be transparent and fairly priced. The contractor should be a good communicator and they should keep the client’s needs at the forefront of everything they do. Above all else homeowners should trust their gut feelings when choosing this painter. If something does not feel right about the painter, then choose someone else with whom the homeowner feels confident in getting the job done. Making the right decision will ensure the home is painted exactly to the homeowner’s specifications, bringing their vision to reality.

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Giving a home a facelift with a new coat of paint can please the homeowner and also give the home instant curb appeal. Choosing a proficient painter who can deliver expected results is an important part of the painting process. Many homeowners do not have the time or expertise to take on massive home painting projects. So, they rely on the knowledge of painting experts to get the job done right and within budget. With so many top house painters in NJ there is no wonder why homeowners have so many questions regarding how to choose the best painter for the job. Conducting research and asking the right questions are just a few of the ways in which a homeowner can find a good painting contractor. For clients who have additional questions regarding how to choose a painter, contact a professional painter today who can answer additional questions that can help the homeowner get a head start on their project.