When it comes to painting your house, going all DIY on its neck may not be the best idea, especially if you have never had any actual experience in that kind of work. When you take up painting your house all by yourself, then more often than not you end up with a terribly uneven job. These kinds of mistakes cost money and time to fix, not to mention energy and getting upset over a repeat chore.
Hiring a reliable house painter in the first place and entrusting the job to them tends to save you a whole world of trouble. So, you should invest the time and proper effort to find a good quality house painter in your area, whether one who specializes in exterior painting or interior painting, depending on your needs. Check out this helpful article about the differences between exterior paint and interior paint.
Try to get some referrals
The easiest and possibly best way to get a hold of a properly qualified contractor who will do the work at a rate which will not break your budget is to ask around for one. Ask your friends, coworkers, family, or even neighbors whose houses are painted nicely. Hearing about somebody’s personal experience directly from that person or people tends to be far more informative and reliable than any random online review.
Ask your people who did their last painting job, how they got in touch with this person, and how much they paid them. Ask what exactly has been painted – one or two rooms would come a lot cheaper than a whole facade, for example. Most importantly, ask how happy they were with the job done, and whether they encountered any problems in communication.
Try to find a painter from scratch
Sometimes asking for referrals is impossible for whatever reason, or sometimes you might ask for one but nobody has a good painter to refer you to. In that case, you will need to dig around the internet or your local advertising ad sites, like Yellow Pages. You can also ask on your neighborhood Facebook page.
Rely on various online reviews and customers’ experience stories to find a prospective painting company that might satisfy your needs while matching your designated budget.
Know what to look for when you go to get estimates
There are two things that you should be extra careful about: the price of the estimate and whether it is given in a phone call or in a live visit. To begin with, a true professional will never give you an estimate over the phone. Of course, you can make some initial arrangements in a phone call, but for an accurate quote, the pro needs to be at the location and see what the job entails.
When it comes time to actually calculate what their services might cost you in the end, a reliable pro painter will personally come to your house (or whatever else you might need to get painted). They will take a good look at the surface area that needs painting, probably ask you a whole lot of questions, and they will make sure to tell you that an estimate does not mean you have to work with them.
Beware of any contractor or company who insist that you owe them your patronage just because they gave you an estimate. Even if they charge something for calculating quotes, you are still under zero obligation to take it any further. People who pester you about it are scammers. You should get far away from them as soon as possible, and also report them to the relevant authorities. You can learn more about common contractor scams and how to avoid falling for them in this awesome guide on the subject: https://www.houselogic.com/remodel/budgeting-contracting/top-5-contractor-scams-and-how-avoid-them/
Being the homeowner, you actually have a lot of influence over the estimates you get. These quotes are calculated based on what you want done, so it would be in your best interest to be as clear about your demands as you possibly can. Be accurate about your needs and try to be detailed about everything.
See which areas need to be painted and whether you will need some older paint removed from some surfaces. Figure out how many coats of paint you want on anything, including whether you would like some additional layers – for example, an undercoat against rust, a smooth finish overcoat, a lacquer of some kind, and so forth.
Take the time to research your prospective painters
Yes, painters, plural. Before you sign a contract with anybody, you should always weigh your alternatives. Get quotes from at least three different painters and see how they compare to each other. Also, you should do your best to get some verifiable information about each single candidate. These are the things to ask them about:
The amount of experience they have in the field, i.e. how many years they have of practical work experience. Ask what kinds of paint and caulking they use, and why theirs are a good fit for your surfaces. Also, make sure to double check whether the painters will clean up the havoc after they are done, or if you will be the one saddled with it when they drive away.
Make a point of finding out whether they actually do the work, or if they subcontract it to someone else. Now, some people may be tempted to lie about this point, so always follow up on what they tell you, either online or by word of mouth (or both if you can).
Ask them to provide you with a list of references (three or five at least). Get an estimate on how long it will take them to complete the whole thing, including preparations and post-painting activities. Try to make them be precise and realistic about it. Find out if they offer a repainting, free, for a job that turns out to have been poorly done. Hint: always have these kinds of promises in writing! Finally, agree on a payment date in advance.