20 Questions to Ask Your Painting Contractor
Are you planning to have your home painted and wondering how to get it done? Setting clear expectations and discussing all the details upfront is essential to ensuring a seamless, successful painting project. Do not worry if you feel unsure about what questions to ask. Let's look at the 20 best questions to ask your painting contractor.
Painting Contractor Background
1. Can You Provide References or Examples of Your Previous Work?
Painting contractors often receive inquiries from potential clients. As proof of their quality workmanship, they should be able to share the contact information of several satisfied customers. They can also present portfolios featuring their past work and relevant contact details.
In addition to seeking references, search for various free online platforms that offer authentic reviews. While the painter may only share details of satisfied previous clients, online platforms provide a more comprehensive, accurate representation of their craftsmanship.
2. Do You Have Insurance?
While a painter works, accidents can happen on rare occasions. Painting contractors should have workers' compensation insurance. Workers' compensation protects their employees by covering their medical bills if they get hurt on the job. It shields the homeowner as well.
Without insurance, the painter's medical expenses might become the homeowner’s responsibility should an unfortunate accident occur during the project. When hiring a painter, ask about general liability insurance for worker injuries. Also, ask the potential painter whether the insurance protects property damage while they work on the building.
3. Are You Licensed to Paint Houses in My Area?
Painting contractors must have a valid state license. Specific requirements vary by state; homeowners should contact local government authorities for more information.
Validating the license ensures they have the necessary skills and are accountable for maintaining a certain quality standard.
4. How Do You Ensure That Your Workers Are Highly Trained?
Ask about the methods employed by the company to train their workers. Many companies provide minimal training, instructing their employees only when they make mistakes.
A reputable company can provide comprehensive details about its extensive training programs. This type of company trains its employees to deliver top-notch work quality. Homeowners should also run a background check on the painters to stay safe.
5. Will You Be Subcontracting Any of the Work?
In some states, subcontracting within the same field is prohibited by law. However, some paint companies may skirt the law and subcontract the project to another paint company anyway.
One issue that arises is when the subcontracted company remains unaware of the agreed payment terms with the original contractor and if forced to work with a smaller budget, leading them to cut costs and deliver a substandard job.
Unfortunately, few companies will admit to this practice, and direct inquiries might offend the contractor. Instead, homeowners should ask about the tenures of the contractor's employees with the company. For increased consistency and quality, confirm if the same crew will be present throughout the project.
House Preparation Process
6. Can You Explain Your Prep Process in Detail?
Before signing a contract, homeowners should understand what the paint job entails. Companies vary on whether they cover preparations in their estimates, and some may allow cost-reducing contributions from residents. Obtain a written, itemized estimate detailing the covered aspects of the bill, including the house painting process and work schedule.
7. How Do You Prevent Inadequate Preparation From Affecting the Paint Job?
Homeowners should ask the painters what constitutes proper preparation methods for an exterior painting job. Inquire about how they would prepare surfaces, their approach to scraping, sanding, or grinding, and look for attention to detail in addressing nicks, cracks, and buildup.
Discuss prep work options to ensure the painter meets every expectation. Focusing on these details will help many homeowners find an experienced painter with the necessary painting techniques to bring their vision to life.
8. How Do You Help Homeowners Choose the Right Paint for Their Home?
Most professional painters have preferred paint brands that have delivered satisfactory results in the past. While relying on their expertise seems logical, feel free to discuss any strong preferences with them. Homeowners should consider choosing mid to high-quality paint because they offer superior coverage and better warranties.
9. What Precautions Do You Take to Avoid Lead Paint Hazards?
Inquire about the procedures for handling lead paint removal, focusing on safety measures, protection, and cleanup. Ensure a guarantee of a lead-certified overseer during the removal process, as mandated by law.
10. How Do You Ensure Paint Quality?
Ask for recommendations when choosing a paint brand. Some painters may use lower quality paint to save money. In the worst cases, they may pour inexpensive paint into cans labeled as high-quality paint.
11. How Many Coats of Paint Will You Apply?
For exterior paint, more coats do not mean better results. Then again, using too little paint might lead to chipping or leave certain areas vulnerable to the elements.
12. What Type of Paint Is Best for My Exterior Walls?
Pay attention to specific details regarding the environment where painters apply the paint. Ensure that the exterior painters are using specialized paint for different surfaces and the situation.
For example, they should use different paints for high-moisture areas, high-traffic floors, surfaces with old horsehair plaster, and even when coating over existing oil paint. Understanding the reasons behind their recommendation will help many homeowners make an informed decision.
Contractors Project Management
13. How Many Painters Will Be Working on My Project?
To emphasize the importance of planning and flexibility, arrange for a complete crew to be on site for an extended period. Before work begins, make the necessary arrangements and communicate every requirement. The number of crew members assigned will affect the duration of the painting project.
14. How Do You Handle Weather Delays?
Ask about the company's approach to handling challenging weather conditions during an exterior paint job. Rain, extreme heat, excessive moisture, or dryness may influence the final result.
Overnight temperatures below 35 degrees might also affect the paint job. Homeowners should pay attention to the responses of project managers to see whether they will proceed with painting under such conditions.
15. Will I Receive Regular Updates on the Progress of the Project?
A professional painter gives regular updates to keep the project on track. The updates ensure everything is progressing as planned. By being informed and prepared, homeowners can track their progress. Active communication will make it easier for them to overcome any potential hurdles.
16. How Can I Reach You With Questions or Concerns?
After signing the contract, building owners may have additional queries. Painting companies should have a designated point of contact for their clients, usually the crew leader or project manager. Building owners can approach them for project details, updates, timelines, expectations, and other concerns.
Painting Company Cost and Warranty
17. Can You Explain the Cost Breakdown in Your Estimate?
Obtain valid estimates from a potential painter and examine all inclusions, products, and insurance to ensure quality work. Some variables affect the total expense, such as unexpected issues, changed orders, and additional services.
In some cases, amendments made after signing the contract can revise terms and increase the total cost. Check the payment amount and due date in the estimate and the contract. Use caution if a painter asks for more than half of the total payment upfront, which is beyond industry standards.
18. What If I Am Not Satisfied With the Work?
Confirm whether the warranty covers paint and labor for at least two years. A longer warranty may be available if issues may arise beyond the first two years.
Homeowners should also ask the painting contractor to share a story where they made a mistake on a job and how they took responsibility to rectify it. Their approach to fixing errors speaks to their accountability.
19. Do You Have a Contingency Plan for Unexpected Issues?
Inquire about potential problems that may expand the project. The project may encounter unexpected issues not anticipated during bidding, like rot and pest infestations. Some homeowners might ask for a more thorough preparation to ensure the painters have some flexibility with their schedules.
20. Will You Conduct a Final Inspection to Ensure Thorough Cleanup?
Professional painters aim to leave the property cleaner than when they arrived. The decluttering involves removing tools, materials, and equipment while clearing trash and any other mess. Adding this obligation to the contract makes it more likely that the painting contractor will fulfill it.
Get the Right Answer for Your Paint Job From Groovy Hues
Choosing the right contractor is crucial for exterior paint jobs. Write a list or memorize the questions to ask the painting company, and thoroughly evaluate your options to find the right painter before hiring them. At Groovy Hues, you can receive competitive estimates from licensed exterior house painters at no charge. Call us at (844) 394-8660 to book a free consultation today!