Summertime is prime time for giving your home a fresh coat of paint. The question is: Do you do it yourself or hire a contractor?
If you’re among the increasing number of homeowners leaving the job to the pros, you’ll want to make sure that the contractor you hire is indeed good at his or her job. How do you do this? BBB offers these tips:
Do Your Research. Ask family members and friends for recommendations. Check with Better Business Bureau for BBB Accredited painting contractors in your area. Review their ratings, reviews and complaints.
Get at Least Three Estimates. Get at least three estimates to compare prices. Make sure to give each contractor the same specifications and show them all the surfaces that need to be painted so the estimates will be as accurate as possible. Pay attention to the painting contractor’s behavior to get a sense of his or her professionalism.
Ask Questions. Make sure the painting contractor is registered and licensed with the state, and has the necessary insurance for the job. Ask the painting contractor if they belong to a professional association. Make sure they are able to acquire permits that are mandatory for the job. Ask the contractor to provide proof of these credentials or check with your state’s Attorney General.
Get References. Ask the painting contractor to provide at least three references you can speak with or meet. Ask the references about their experience with the contractor and if they were satisfied with the job. If you are able to, visit the references to see what the completed job looks like in person. Ask if the contractor could easily be reached in case of questions or concerns.
Get Everything in Writing. Ask the painting contractor to supply a detailed contract that includes: the contractor’s registration number, contact information, the start and completion date, area being painted, colors being used and a list of itemized costs. Make sure cleanup and preparation details are also stated in the contract.
Make a Payment Plan. Do not pay more than $1,000 or 10 percent of the total cost of the job upfront. Schedule the payments to correspond with the amount of work that has been completed. Make sure you are completely satisfied with the work before making the final payment.