8 Ways to Know You’re Hiring the Right Contractor for Your Exterior Painting Job

February 23, 2013

Finding an exterior painting contractor is easy; finding the right contractor for your job can be a lot more difficult. Let’s assume you wouldn’t hire the first company you find in a Google search, which is a pretty obvious no-no. Going with the contractor who handled your coworker’s exterior house painting job on word-of-mouth alone is a less obvious mistake, but it’s still a mistake. Your house or building’s first line of defense against the elements is its exterior paint, and that protection depends on a first-rate quality paint job. Taking the time to investigate potential painting pros before signing any contracts – even when your coworker’s recommendation is glowing – just makes sense.

As for what you should look for in a painting contractor, here are eight signs you’re hiring a pro who will bring expertise, skill, and the right tools to your exterior painting project:

They’re licensed, bonded and insured. Aside from being important from a liability standpoint, credentials like these demonstrate a painting contractor’s commitment to doing things the right way. The Better Business Bureau reports that quite a few contractors who claim to be licensed, bonded, and insured actually aren’t – when in doubt, ask for documentation. If you can’t vouch for a contractor’s credibility, say no thanks and move on.

They understand your project. It’s up to you to communicate the size, scope, and specifics of your exterior painting project to your contractor. That’s the only way a company can prepare a bid that’s accurate, and also the best way to ensure that the painting contractor you do hire will be able to do the job you want. Don’t be afraid to get too detailed!

Their processes are clear. As the home or building owner, you should feel confident that your Massachusetts painting contractor will protect features like brick, windows, foundations, and landscaping from drips and damage. You should know who is supervising the job, how surfaces will be prepared, when painters will be working, how paint will be applied, and about how long the entire process will take. If you have questions, ask!

They’re knowledgeable about the products they use. You may not know why one brush or brand of exterior paint is better than the next right off the bat, but a great painting contractor will be able to explain why they have chosen the paint, brushes, and equipment they use.

They offer clear timelines and expectations. Start and finish dates for exterior painting projects may have to change due to weather and other unforeseeable factors, but your contractor should never hesitate to discuss your project’s timeline. Similarly, a discussion about deposits and balance payments should be straightforward, never awkward.

They really encourage you to contact their list of references. This is your chance to grill former clients about what they loved (and didn’t care for) about a specific painting contractor. Are they totally satisfied with their exterior paint job – especially if it has been a few years? Did they have any issues with the crew? Far too many people neglect this important step, and less scrupulous contractors usually want to keep it that way.

They give you an itemized list of work that will be done, costs, materials, and an estimated price of completion. You can award bonus points to any painting contractor who presents you with this without your having to ask for it.

They listen to your concerns and answer your questions. Always work with painting professionals who treat you with respect because if they don’t respect you, chances are they won’t respect your job.

At Jerry Enos Painting, you always receive a free, professional exterior paint job consultation during which you’ll be given an educated opinion on how best to proceed. A detailed proposal will be sent to you with a fixed cost to complete the work, and no payment is required until the work has been started.

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