- Be home for the initial meeting
The thing is that the more realistic the estimate will be if it takes longer for the contractor to assess the condition of your home. Keep in mind that even a knowledgeable painter will need more than a fast walk-around. You should ask about the experience and size of the crew. You should be wary of the promise that your job will be cheaper since it is a demonstration project to get more work in your neighborhood.
- You need to be clear about expectations
It is not just the number of coats that are applied that decides price and quality. The key is preparation, but it is also the area where consumer and contractor expectations go awry. However, if you want a surface that is free of roughness from previous paint jobs, you’ will need to say so, and you need to be prepared to pay extra. But, you need to point out what level of prep is suitable and what is not if you can live with some imperfections showing through.
- You need to check workandreferences
You should ask for references, call them, and you need to go and see the work. You need to examine jobs that were done a few years ago to see how the work of the painter is holding up. A good sign is a history of positive references. You need to use fresh projects in order to check the skills of a contractor’s current crew. And you also need to ask how problems or surprises were resolved.
- You should consider credentials
Keep in mind that membership in a trade or local business group is not a guarantee of quality, but it shows a level of reliability and commitment. Also, you should check with the Better Business Bureau, and your local consumer-affairs agency or state’s attorney general’s office in order to learn whether the contractor has a history of unresolved complaints.
- You need to get estimates
Always look for 3 written estimates. Every should include a breakdown of material costs, labor and the number of coats of paint and primer, the brand and model of materials, and a full description of the amount of surface preparation that will be done.
- You should choose the productbyyourself
Maybe your painter will try to talk you into a paint he prefers.
- You need to get atotalcontract
It should include all contractor’s key information: address, name, office and cell- phone numbers, and license number, and whatever details were in the estimate. You need to make sure it is clear what is and is not included in the job. You need to avoid a large down payment and withhold the final payment, typically ten to fifteen percent, until you are satisfied with the job. You should get a copy of every painter’s legal responsibility and workers compensation insurance certificates. Or else you could be on the hook if someone gets hurt while on the job.
- You should ask for a guarantee
The painter should promise to correct any peeling, chipping, flaking, blistering or excessive chalking or fading that happens inside 2 years after the job is done at no or little cost. Keep in mind if he tells you the paint itself has a guarantee, it does not include labor, which is a far more expensive proposition than material.
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