Hiring The Right Painting Contractor

If you are a homeowner, you have probably considered the pros and cons of hiring a painting contractor.  Painting is the most popular DIY project attempted by most homeowners but if it involves more than just painting a bedroom or the porch then most people realize that they have bitten more than they can chew and decide to hire a professional.  You also most likely heard horror stories about fly-by-night contractors using inferior products, performing sloppy work or not doing the required preparation before beginning the painting process.  It is therefore vital that you know how to choose the right painting contractor.

Determining Who To Hire

You will most likely choose a local contractor who is well established licensed and insured with the proper documentation.  Hiring a licensed contractor not only protects the workers on the site but it also protects you and your property against accidents and damages.  

Initially, you should take care to ask for a “formal detailed estimate” from at least three contractors.  You should be aware that small contractors (with a single crew of 1 – 5 individuals) may take time to show up to see the house and provide a written estimate due to their workload.  However, larger reputable contractors, like Armstrong, will not only send individuals to provide detailed estimates but they can provide you with free color consultation to help you choose the color combinations and finishes that suit your style. Remember, when comparing your estimates make sure that all estimates includes the same things, such as scope of the project, specific materials to be used and amount of preparation work to be done.  If you receive an estimate that has insufficient details then you should ask them to break down the cost of their work even further.  

One thing that is hard to determine from an estimate is the experience, skill and knowledge of the individuals who will actually be painting your home.  In this case, it is a good idea to ask for references and visit homes which they have painted.  We usually “get what we pay for”, so the lowest estimate may not always be your best choice.

Before The Painting Actually Begins

Once you decide on the best contractor, you need to make certain that before they begin painting, the preparation work will be done correctly.  Professional contractors like Armstrong will tell you that the preparation is the most important part of the painting process.  If the surfaces are not prepared correctly, you will not have the desired results and/or in a short period of time the new paint may begin peeling or cracking.

What’s more, you must ask how areas which will not be painted will be protected.  These areas may include floors, counters, cabinets, closets, masonry work and so on.  Also, ask about who will be responsible for moving furniture away from areas which need to be painted and whether electrical plates, light fixtures or other obstacles will be removed.

As far as preparing the surfaces to be painted, you need to ensure that your contractor will sand or scrape loose paint, clean off woodwork and perform any other minor prep work to get the house ready for applying the paint.

Painting And Cleanups

If new colors will be applied then your contractor needs to prime the walls with the appropriate primers before applying at least two color coats.  The ceiling also needs two coats of paint and your contractor should paint all the wooden trim and molding as well.

Once the work is done, the painted areas need to be inspected carefully and touchups should be applied to any missed spots.  Naturally, there will have to be some cleanups since no matter how well your contractor covered the areas you did not wish to be painted, there will be some minor drips.  Finally, evaluate the work with the person in charge of the job and make sure everything was done according to your agreement and satisfaction.

For more information about painting your home, call Armstrong and put our 50 years of knowledge and experience to work. Call for an estimate and free color consultation now!

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