Few changes to your home can make the same big impact as a new coat of paint. Whether you are looking for renewal of the home’s current exterior color or a completely different feel on interior walls, having a professional house painter on the job can go a long way toward your enjoyment of the new look. Because your home is a major investment, you don’t want to give full access to anyone with a ladder and a paintbrush. Here is the best process for finding the house painters who will treat you home right and make you excited about your project.
There are a lot of painting contractors in most markets, so it’s going to take some research on your part to winnow the list. Your candidates may be different depending whether you want interior painting, exterior painting, or both. Not all contractors offer both services, so be sure to be specific about the project you have in mind.
Two of the most tried-and-true research options are to gather input from friends and to check online reviews. Acquaintances who worked with a painting contractor can be excellent resources for recommendations or warnings. Online sites that capture customer feedback about specific companies are worth investigating as well, but beware of painters who only have glowing reviews. Sometimes a less-than-stellar review can be just as a good an indicator of a company’s true nature. The more important factor is how – and whether — the contractor responds to critical comments.
Insist on Inspection
When you believe you have your candidate pool down to about three house painters, ask them each to come to your home for a walkthrough and interview. It’s critical that you outline to each of them the exact same project so that you get apples-to-apples bids. Be very clear about your needs and expectations, and if any painter gives you a feeling something is not right, end the interview there.
During the walkthrough, point out any issues that might require extra labor, such as excessive trim or difficult-to-reach areas. Find out if the candidate will charge more for this work or if he or she can even accommodate the request. While meeting with the contractors, notice whether they are on time for the appointment, are good communicators, and whether they seem professional. If you start getting bids and notice the range is extreme, ask the low bidder why he or she is so much less expensive. The same can go for an outrageously high cost estimate as well.
Get a Color Consultation
Picking colors for your home can be daunting, particularly for the exterior where so many people can view your choices. Interior colors are tough, too, because you live your life in those spaces every day. Fortunately, a good house painters can help. Many of them have technology that allows you to see your home transformed using a digital rendering before a drop of paint is applied. You can even use a variety of apps on your mobile devices to try on colors yourself. Just be sure that the contractor you are considering hiring is willing to work within your plans.
If you live in a neighborhood that is governed by an HOA, your painting contractor should be able to help you with the paperwork involved in an exterior color change. He or she will be able to show you how each of the approved shades would look on the exterior of your house so you can make the best choice without wasting time and money.
Interior rooms also benefit from a digital sneak peek of different colors. Using this technology, you can decide whether the hues you have in mind will actually match your furniture, décor, and lifestyle.
Find Out About Paint
The types of paints your ideal contractor uses will be important during the process. For indoor rooms, ask which finishes will be most ideal considering the room’s use. For exterior paints, it’s vital that the painter uses durable, fade resistant products that also are environmentally friendly. If you live in a part of the country with extreme heat, you will need a paint that can stand up to the elements with good adhesion and durability. Or, for those who reside in the rainy parts of the nation, a mildew and mold-resistant paint may be the most desirable.
Ask your painting contractor candidates’ questions about why they use the products they do, and how their process maximizes the life of the paint. If they can’t answer these queries in depth, you might want to move on to another contractor. Avoid any painter who uses a particular brand of paint solely because they have worked out a deal with the manufacturer to get it at a discount.
Check the Details
If you think you’ve found the right house painter for you, there are just a few more steps before making the relationship official. First, ask for references and check them out. It might even be wise to drive past the homes of some of the painter’s recent clients to see if the work looks good.
Also, make sure the contract includes an accurate scope of work. The pricing details should match what the contractor initially told you during the walkthrough. Be sure to note who is responsible for setup and cleanup, as well as how long the whole endeavor is supposed to take. The contract should list the color choices and finishes the two of you made together.
Regardless whether you are hiring someone to paint indoors or outdoors, the contract should indicate what the painter will do to protect your landscaping and concrete (for outside jobs) or furniture and belongings (for inside work). If it’s not included on the document, ask for it to be added.
Choosing a house painter you trust to transform your living spaces doesn’t have to be difficult. However, it will take some work on your part. Research, reference checks, and contract negotiations are necessary to ensure you get the project done successfully and with a contracting partner you feel good about hiring.