Most homeowners hire a contractor to repaint the exterior of their house. Stick to our advice to help ensure a high-quality job, whether or not you’ll have your home painted this autumn or next spring.
You need to meet the painting experts, recommends Houston Painters Pro. Call a minimum of 3 various contractors for your project. (Friends and family are great reference sources.) And be home for the initial meeting with them. That way, you’ll know how much time each contractor took to assess the condition of your home. The longer he or she takes, the more practical the estimate you’ll receive. Even a skilled painter will need more than a quick walk around your house. Also ask each contractor about the size of his or her crew and the members’ expertise level.
State your expectations. The number of coats a painter applies isn’t the only factor in determining the quality and price of the project. Preparation is also crucial. If you want a surface that’s devoid of unevenness from previous paint jobs, tell the contractors and be prepared to pay extra. But if you can live with a few imperfections, agree on what level of preparation is acceptable and what isn’t.
Get quotes and get a written estimate from each contractor, says a top painting contractor in Cypress, TX. It should include an itemization of labor, material costs, the number of coats of primer and paint, the brand and model of materials, and a detailed specification of the amount of surface preparation that will be conducted.
Check references and past work. Get a list of references from each contractor and call them to find about their experience with the pro. A background of positive references is a good sign. Also examine jobs the painters did several years ago to see how their job is standing up. Use recent projects to examine the skill of their present crews.
Consider credentials. Before you hire someone, take into account his qualifications. Membership in a trade or local business group, for example, isn’t a guarantee of quality work, but it shows a level of commitment and reliability on his part. Also verify whether the pro has the appropriate license(s). (You’ll find the licensing information in your state at the Contractor’s License Reference Site. Additionally check with the Better Business Bureau, the attorney general’s office in your state, or a local consumer-affairs agency to learn whether the contractor has a history of unanswered complaints.
Have a complete contract. The contract should consist of all the contractor’s major information: name, address, office and cell numbers, and license number, and also whatever details were in the estimate. Make sure the contract clearly specifies what is and is not provided in the job.
Get a copy of the painter’s liability and workers’ compensation insurance certificates. If he doesn’t have coverage, you could be on the hook if, for example, the crew drops a ladder on your neighbor’s car or a crew member gets hurt on the job.
Most professional painters would recommend that you request a guarantee. The painter should guarantee to fix any chipping, peeling, blistering, flaking, or excessive fading or chalking that occurs within a couple of years after the job is done at zero or little price. If he tells you the paint also has a warranty, bear in mind that doesn’t include labor, that is a far more expensive proposition than material.
Choose the paint yourself. Your painter may attempt to persuade you into a paint he prefers, but use the finish you want.
Look for lead. If your house was built before 1978, older coats of paint could contain lead. That means the painter might need to take additional precautions to avoid any hazards.
Hold out the final payment. Lastly, don’t make a large down payment and hold back the final payment, usually 10 to 15 percent, until you are fully satisfied with the job.