Most homeowners know that it is a good idea to ask for painting estimates from several contractors before hiring one. Taking the time to understand the differences in estimates makes it easier to find and hire the right painter. Informed customers are the best ones.
The lowest price doesn’t mean you are getting the best deal. The highest price doesn’t mean you get the best service either. Whatever the cost, always get it in writing.
Once you have all the estimates, how do you choose between them? There are certain details that every estimate should have.
What to Look for When Comparing Estimates
Once you have a couple of written estimates from painting companies, you want to make sure you are comparing similar work and products. All paint jobs are not the same. That is why detailed estimates are important. Make sure the written estimate specifies exactly what you are getting. Here are some items to pay attention to:
It’s best to get estimates to compare apples to apples. All estimates should specify what exactly is being painted. That includes the walls, ceilings, trim, and inside of closets. Other details should be addressed such as:
- The extent and level of surface preparation
- The type and brand of paint
- Number coats of primer and paint
- Clean-up during and after the painting project
The single most important part of a quality paint job is proper surface preparation. Some homes require more prep time than painting time. A careful and systematic approach will maximize the performance benefits of high-quality materials. A professional painter should provide prep work details in the estimate.
Homeowners should know if wood repair, power washing, or professional color consultations are included in the estimate. Will large gaps be filled with caulk or scrapers used to remove paint? These are important details to know before signing any paperwork.
START AND COMPLETION DATES
All estimates should give you a timeframe of when the project will begin and when it will be completed. They should also list how long each phase will take. No one wants a project to drag out endlessly.
Always ask about warranty details, including exclusions and omissions. This is especially important for exterior work. Do not get confused with other warranties such as product warranties from a manufacturer. A professional painter might make a mistake and should offer some coverage for re-doing it if the customer is not satisfied. Quality workmanship is key to a job well done.
PRICE AND PAYMENT TERMS
The price and payment terms must be clearly outlined in the estimate. An hourly rate with an estimated time is not acceptable. If you have to pay a deposit upfront, it should not be more than 25% of the total cost of the project. Never pay a deposit in cash.
Large paint projects might require payment draws. The estimate should list what work will be completed at each phase. Be careful of draws based on timelines instead of performance. Finally, beware of a painting contractor who requires you to pay the full amount upfront!
Estimates should tell you which paint products and brands are used. It should also list the cost of all materials. This gives each homeowner a better view of the final cost. Understand what you’re paying for and verify that is what you get.
A reputable painter can document that his company and employees are insured with both liability and workers’ compensation. Sadly, some painters have neither. No homeowner wants an uninsured painter to have an accident on their property. As for subcontractors, each painter needs to have his/her up-to-date certificate. You want to be thoroughly protected against unforeseen events.
Reviews, Testimonials and Reputation
Once you have at least three detailed estimates, then you can narrow it down to the painters that will give you the quality and service you’re looking for. However, before making a final decision, make sure to check references that should be provided by the contractor. Reputable contractors are happy to provide this information. Check reviews on reputable sites like Angie’s List, Yelp, and Google.
Are they members of any business association? This will help show involvement in the trade overall and their implementation of those associations’ sets of best practices. Check their website and read the testimonials. You’ll be able to gather more information to make a decision.
Professional and Detailed Professional Painters
If you’re looking for a professional and reliable painting contractor, look no further. Walla Painting strives to provide the best service and a quality finish to every project we work on. Contact us today for an estimate on your next project.
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