Thinking of hiring a pro painting team to help get the job done at home? Here’s a quick rundown of just a few essential questions you must ask, before deciding who to hire:
1. Are You Insured?
First of all, if the painting company you’re considering doesn’t have General Liability insurance to the value of at least $1 million+, you’re running a risk by working with them. Say a ladder comes crashing down and smashes your car to bits, or a massive tub of paint falls, bursts and destroys half your yard. If they’re not covered, it could end up being down to you and you alone to foot the bill. Insurance is a very basic mark of professionalism and responsible operations, so be sure to work only with those who can verify their insurance.
2. Do You Hire Contractors?
There are two kinds of paint teams out there – those comprised of dedicated full-time employees, along with those made up of contractors and freelancers that sign up on a job-by-job basis. In the case of the latter, it’s impossible for the company to guarantee consistently outstanding results as they may be working with different painters every time. By contrast, those who hire and retain their own teams of expert painters can ensure that each and every member is of the same exceptional standard. Where results count, insist only on the latter.
3. Are Your Quotations Guaranteed?
Unless you receive a guaranteed quotation on paper and signed by the painting company, you may as well think of a random number and double it. The single most common scam blighting the industry is that of quotes being offered by telephone or in-person, only then to be exceeded massively when the final bill arrives. And as there’s no evidence on paper, the client has no legal grounds for any kind of complaint and may be required to pay in full. Quotations must be set in stone before work is allowed to commence, in order to protect your pocket.
4. What Paints Do You Recommend and Why?
This might seem like a redundant question if you yourself don’t have a clue what makes the difference between any paint and any other. Nevertheless, it’s a good way of seeing whether or not the painting company in question is committed only to the best brands on the market, or whether they cut corners simply to save money. A painting company that sticks with quality brands and charges slightly higher prices accordingly is always preferable to a company that uses barrel-bottom paint for the sake of keeping costs down. Along with the results you can expect, it says a lot about their integrity and professionalism.
5. Do You Offer Guarantees or Warranties?
These days, there’s technically no valid reason when a painting company should not be able to back the services it offers with a full-scale warranty of some description. Some will back their jobs with a one-year, two-year or even three-year warranty, while others will simply provide what they offer on a ‘sold as seen’ basis. Meaning that if and when it starts to crack, peel and fade in a matter of weeks, it’s your problem and your expense to deal with. It’s simply not worth bothering with a company that doesn’t offer guarantees, given that there are so many outstanding firms that do.
6. Do You Do the Prep Work?
This is important to ask as you’ll need to know ahead of time exactly what is expected of you, if anything at all. In some instances, a pro painting team will turn up at your home, ready to apply the first layer of paint and nothing else. In others, they’ll be fully prepared to clean the outside of your home, tend to minor repairs and make sure it’s all ready to paint before getting started. It all comes down to what you need, what you ask for and what they deliver as standard. Generally speaking, it’s advisable to arrange a home visit by a representative from the brand before getting started, in order to find out exactly what your home needs and make the necessary arrangements.
7. Do You Request Up-Front Payments?
Depending on the size and extent of the job, it’s not uncommon to be asked for a deposit before the team gets started. However, this should be accompanied by a contract stating clearly that if you are dissatisfied, you are fully entitled to getting it back in full. However, larger or even full advance payments are more often than not the sign of a painting company you might want to approach with care. Any painting firm with confidence in the services it provides will not feel it necessary to ask for payments prior to getting started. So even though it doesn’t immediately out a firm as substandard, the very best painting companies will only ever ask you to pay when you confirm you are delighted with the result.
8. Do You Have Examples of Your Work?
Last but not least, an established painting company with plenty of satisfied customers under its belt should be able to offer both examples of work carried out and references. It’s simply a way of backing up their own claims and promises with evidence from those that have tried and tested their services before. Any kind of reluctance to offer either examples of work or references should be interpreted as a sign that this might not be the kind of painting service provider you should be trusting with your money…or your home.