Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you needed to have your home repainted, yet you had no idea where to start looking for someone who could do it? It can be a big decision. After all, you are talking about your home. You want it to be right because you live there, you see it every day, and you want to enjoy it. You probably also want to increase the overall value of your home. Clearly, you don’t want to pay an exorbitant price to have your painting done, and you want the work to be done on time. The question is, how do you choose a good painting contractor? Keep reading to find out more.
Tips for Choosing a Good Painter
Some people have a habit of getting on the Internet and Googling something like “painters near me,” then choosing the first person that pops up on the list. Granted, that person might be the best painter in the whole world, and it means that it took you a grand total of about 30 seconds to do your search, but how do you know who you’re really getting? Just like most things in life, choosing a good painter is something that takes time, effort, and a little research on your part.
Think about it this way. If your car was making a strange noise, you probably wouldn’t simply pull up to the first place you find and hope for the best. Your car is a major investment. You want to make sure that the person you choose to work on it is reliable, knowledgeable and trustworthy. When it’s all said and done, you want to know that you’re not being taken for a ride when it comes to the amount of money you’re about to spend on repairs. If you put that much thought into the mechanic that’s going to work on your car, don’t you think that you should at least put forth that much effort when it comes to deciding who’s going to paint your home? After all, your home is worth a lot more than your car and chances are, you’re going to be living in that home for many years after the car is long gone.
What should you do when it comes to looking for someone to paint your house? There’s nothing wrong with starting your search online. However, you shouldn’t just click on the first person you see. Instead, write all the names down. Once you have the information, start doing some research on each one. Find out what other people have to say about each company. Are previous customers happy with the work that was performed or were there issues? Did they do the job on time, did they show up when they said they would, was the job they performed one of quality and did they charge a fair price? These are all questions you need to be asking about each company that you’re potentially going to hire.
Your next step is to contact the companies directly. Without a doubt, there will have been a few that you eliminated during that initial search when you were looking at customer reviews. The ones that made it through are the ones you need to contact. Explain what you’re considering hiring them for. Find out if they’re available to get started right away or if they’re booked into the future. Find out what types of products they use and if they provide a warranty. Ask them if they will come to your place of residence and provide you with a quote free of charge. If they agree, get that quote in writing so that you know exactly how much you’re going to pay. Most importantly, remember that you should never pay for this type of work up front. If they ask you to pay before the job is finished, move on to the next company.
How to Choose Good Quality Paint
Whether or not you will be providing the paint will ultimately depend on the company you decide to hire. That’s why it’s important that you ask them questions before you hire them. As the customer, you have every right to request a particular kind of paint. Remember, it is your house, and you’re paying someone else to do work for you. It’s easy to let companies tell you what they’re going to do in this situation, but you have to remember that you’re the one that’s going to be living there and you’re the one that’s going to have to live with it if it isn’t right so it would be to your benefit to speak up while you have the chance. If there is a particular type of paint that you want to use, don’t be afraid to say so.
How do you know if the paint that you have chosen is really good quality or not? It can be tricky when it comes to choosing paint brands. A lot of people think that the more expensive a brand of paint is, the better the quality. That isn’t always true. In fact, there are some store brands that are just as good as the more expensive name brands, and they usually cost about half the price. With that being said, how are you supposed to know which brand to choose if you’re not a professional painter yourself?
Again, it all comes back to doing your homework. Use customer reviews and product reviews to your advantage. When it comes to determining the best kind of paint, think about the climate you live in. Is it hot, is it usually cold, and what kind of weather do you usually get? Does your house normally in the shade or is it baked in the sun all day long? What color do you want the exterior to be painted? As opposed to having the exterior painted, are you hiring someone to paint the inside of your house? All these things affect the brand and type of paint you need to choose.
When you’re painting your house, you hope that the quality of the job lasts a good long time. Be sure that you think about other jobs that might need to be completed first – such as a new roof. You wouldn’t want to spend money and time having your entire exterior painted only to find that your roof needs to be replaced or repaired. Putting on a new roof could certainly ruin the pristine condition of a newly painted house.
In order to know that you’re getting a good quality paint, answer all of those questions and then start digging through product reviews in order to find out which ones rate the best in those types of circumstances. You might be surprised at the outcome. Sometimes, it’s not the most expensive or the most famous brand of paint that wins the contest. The one thing that is a constant when it comes to choosing paint is that what works in one situation won’t necessarily work in another one. In other words, a paint that works great on an interior wall isn’t going to work well on the exterior of the house. Everything is dependent upon the exact circumstances that you want the paint for at that time.
Remember, choosing someone to paint your house is an important decision. So is choosing the right type of paint. This is not a decision that you should be able to make in a day. Therefore, it’s important to take the steps that you need to take in order to figure out what really works in your situation before you spend any money on a painting project.
Is it almost time to repaint your house? Whether it involves indoor painting or outdoor painting, there are always things that should be considered. Some people decide that they’re going to paint their house themselves, and then they realize how big that job really is. It usually doesn’t take very long for them to change their mind and decide to hire a contractor. The question is, what types of things should you be thinking about when you finally decide to hire someone?
When you decide to have the inside of your house painted, it’s important to make a few decisions first. Are you going to have the whole house repainted or only certain rooms? Are there specific concerns that vary from room to room? Below are a few things that you might not have already considered, but probably should.
- Living Room
The living room is probably where you spend most of your time. You want to choose a color that makes the house welcoming and that you won’t get tired of. It’s also important to choose one that can stand up to a fair amount of punishment, especially if you have kids or pets.
- Dining Room
People prefer darker, richer colors in the dining room. However, it’s important to remember that it all comes down to personal preferences. You might choose a color that isn’t especially popular in the dining rooms of most homes, but as long as it works for you and it looks good in your home, that’s what’s really important.
The hallway is an area that joins various rooms. You want it to compliment the other colors, especially if you’re choosing different colors for every room. Most people decide to either go with the same color that is in the living room or they choose something that is neutral, such as gray, or a darker neutral color like chocolate or mocha.
This is the part of the house that everyone is going to see when you open your front door. You want it to be a color that welcomes guests, but you also have to remember that this is the part of the house that’s most exposed to the elements. Choose a high-quality paint that doesn’t lose its luster or scuff up easily. This is especially true if you’re choosing a lighter color. More often than not, darker colors are better for this area of the house.
Chances are, your basement is already too dark, and it might even feel a little bit cold when it comes to atmosphere. That’s why it’s important to choose a bright, happy color for your basement. If you use it to store tools and other items, choose a heavy-duty paint. If you want to turn it into a living space, brighten the space up a little bit with colors that are welcoming and bright.
- Doors and Windows
Doors and windows are important because those are the things that typically stand out the most when someone looks at your house. It works well when they’re both painted the same color and when that color compliments both the exterior and the interior colors of the home. With that being said, there’s nothing wrong with getting a little creative as long as you don’t go overboard. Again, it all comes down to personal preference.
The kitchen is a great place to try something that you might not have the nerve to try elsewhere. If you really want something unique, try a warm pumpkin color or an inviting green color that is slightly subdued. You might be surprised how well these colors work in the kitchen.
For some reason, almost everyone tries to paint their bathroom baby blue. If it’s one of your favorite colors, that’s just fine. If it’s not, nothing says you can’t choose something entirely different for your bathroom. Virtually any color works in the bathroom as long as you color coordinate it with the items inside.
Painting your house outdoors is an entirely different project from painting the interior. The paint has to stand up to the elements, and in some areas, that can be a real challenge. If you happen to live in an area that has brutal winters and equally brutal summers, along with a few significant storms every year, it’s easy to understand why you have to choose the highest quality paint you can find in order for it to do its job. Here are some more important points to consider.
- Window Trim
If you really want your home to look it’s best, choose a contrasting color for window trim, preferably one that matches the color of the door. This will make your home look more coordinated and overall, the entire package looks more put together.
- Vinyl and Aluminum Siding
It’s important to remember that the type of paint you choose is vitally important when it comes to any painting project. When you’re choosing an exterior paint, make sure that is designed for vinyl and aluminum siding if that’s what you’re intending to paint over. Otherwise, the paint may not adhere to the surface properly, it may come off long before its time, or it may not cover well. You only want to have to do this job once in the next several years, so make sure you choose the right product, to begin with.
Depending on where you live, stucco may be a rather commonplace building product, or you may not see very many homes at all that feature this material. Painting over it is usually not a problem as long as you choose the right paint. It all comes down to doing something as simple as reading on the back of the paint can so you can see what types of materials that particular can of paint was designed for.
Nothing makes a home look more unfinished than giving it a new paint job and leaving the decks just as they were. Fortunately, it usually doesn’t cost that much more to go ahead and paint the decks. The best thing you can do is choose a product that is designed specifically for decks. In most cases, this is going to be a colored stain, but you can choose products that look just like paint. Simply make sure that you’re choosing one the coordinates well with the rest of the home.
Have you ever thought about painting your patio? These days, there are all kinds of interesting products out there, and some of them are designed just for cement or stone. This not only gives you the chance to update your patio and change its appearance, but it also gives you the opportunity to protect it from the elements.
In this case, it depends on what type of railings you have. If you have wooden railings as part of your deck, you can stain them the same way you would stain the rest of the deck. If the railings are made out of metal, choose a paint that is designed to be used on that surface.
If you plan on hiring someone to paint your house, there are certain questions that you should ask any potential contractor, no matter what the project involves. First and foremost, make sure they are trained and knowledgeable. You don’t want to hire someone who doesn’t know what they’re doing. Ask them if they provide a warranty on the work they do and if they’re choosing the products, make sure that warranty includes any fault in the products as well.
Find out what types of materials and equipment they have available to them. By all means, don’t forget to ask them if they’re insured. You don’t want to end up in a situation where your homeowner’s insurance has to cover them if they have an accident. Last but certainly not least, don’t be afraid to ask for references. Any company that is reputable will be happy to provide them.
Sometimes, people put off having their house painted longer than they should. It’s relatively easy to understand why a person might be apprehensive when it comes to choosing a company for such a big job. You want it to be right, and you may not be sure who to contact or what to do next. You might even be worried about how much it will cost. Chances are, you’re concerned about how it will impact your daily life, as well as the lives of other people who live in the house. As is usually the case, it helps when you learn as much as possible about the situation so you can make an educated decision.
What Is the Average Cost of a Painting Job?
There are a lot of variables that can dramatically alter the overall cost of a painting job. It really comes down to the area you live in and the size of your home. It also can vary slightly depending on how accessible your home is. Companies might decide to charge a little bit more if they have to spend a lot of effort and time just getting to your house, so it’s important to consider this factor when choosing a contractor. Obviously, the more miles they have to travel to get to you, the more they’re likely to charge. When it’s all said and done, you can expect to pay somewhere between $2,000 and $4,000 to have your house painted. If you live in an extremely small home, the price might be just under $2,000, but again, it depends on where you live.
For example, a large two-story house that’s located in the country and is not accessible by a major road might cause you to have to spend more money to get it repainted. In a case like this, it wouldn’t be outside the realm of possibility for the price tag to come in near the $4,000 mark and it might even be a little bit more. On the other hand, a small house that’s only one story, located in a town where there are several professional painters competing for each other’s business, it might cost you as little as $1,500 . It all comes down to where you live and what services you want to have done. On average, it’s a good idea to have anywhere from $2,000 to $3,000 saved up for house painting before you start looking for a contractor.
If you do happen to live in the country, you’re probably used to paying more for all types of services. People charge more to work on air conditioners and major appliances because they have to travel further in order to get there. However, it’s important to realize that in smaller areas, there is also less competition for business. This is especially true in a fairly specialized niche such as house painting. When there’s not as much competition, prices are usually higher. This is something that you will have to take into account when you’re getting your estimates.
How to Prepare Your Area for Painting
One thing you should remember when you’re preparing a specific area for painting is that professional painters are going to do the majority of the grunt work. Therefore, some of these points will not necessarily apply to you. However, it’s important to include them because some people choose to do some of the prep work in order to bring the overall cost of the project down.
- Check for Lead Paint
This is something that most people allow the professionals to handle. Lead paint is exceptionally dangerous, and if you don’t know how to handle it, it can cause significant health problems. It’s relatively easy to check for when the professionals do it, so it’s really better left for them to handle. If they detect lead paint, they will have to remove it all before they can reapply a new coat of paint. You can expect the presence of lead paint to increase your overall estimate.
- Remove Furniture
Some people prefer to remove their furniture in its entirety because they don’t want to take any chances that something will happen to it. In most cases, it’s perfectly acceptable to move the furniture to the center of the room and then cover it with a large, durable drop cloth. Of course, this is something that you should work out with your contractor ahead of time.
- Surface Preparation
There are different types of preparation for different surfaces such as drywall, plaster, stucco, and wood. The same thing applies to surfaces like brick, aluminum, vinyl, and concrete. Again, this is something that most people leave to the professionals. If they know what they’re doing, they will know exactly how to prepare the surface in order to ensure that the new coat of paint sticks and looks its best. Most of the time, this is provided as a part of the estimate.
If you prefer to prepare the surface yourself, it’s definitely something you need to talk to your potential contractor about ahead of time. Preparing the surface is a lot of work, and it might be a lot more difficult than you expect it to be. In addition, every contractor is not going to be agreeable to allowing you to prepare the surface. The contractor has to rely on excellent work in order to get more work. Just one unhappy customer can derail a small business. If you do something wrong in the surface preparation and the paint doesn’t adhere properly, it’s the contractor that ends up in hot water because of it. Therefore, they may insist that they do everything from start to finish in order to ensure that it’s done the way they want it to be done.
- Protect Floors
You want to protect your floors just like you want to protect your furniture. Typically, it can all be done by laying down a heavy duty drop cloth that is large enough to support the entire floor or laying down several drop cloths in a way that there is no part of the floor’s surface that is exposed. Again, ask your contractor if they would prefer that you handle this portion of the preparation as opposed to leaving it up to them.
As long as you consider these tips, you can find a contractor that will do a great job for a fair price. Having your home repainted is not cheap, so if you find someone that’s willing to do it for next to nothing, alarm bells should be going off left and right. With that being said, your home is probably the most important investment you have so it’s worth it to spend a little money on it now and then.
Have you thought about hiring someone to paint your home time and again, only to eventually decide that you can put it off a little while longer? Hiring a house painter is a big decision and it takes a lot of work. As a matter of fact, you probably should be worried if you’re able to decide who you’re going hire in less than two or three weeks. Unless you just happen to know someone that does this for a living on a personal level, it should take you a fair amount of time to find the right contractor. You need to know what to expect from any contractor that you hire and if you need some type of specialty finish, it becomes even more important to find the right individual to do the job.
What to Expect from a House Painter
Unfortunately, some people have the idea that they don’t have any decision-making power once they hire a contractor. This is not true, and it should never be the way that you approach things when dealing with a contractor, no matter what the job in question might be. You’re hiring someone to do a job at your home. You have every right to know exactly what they’re doing, why they’re doing it, and when they will be finished. If something isn’t right, you also need to speak up and demand that things be made right. Consider some of the points listed below. This is a good list to start with when it comes to dealing with any contractor.
- Honest Estimate
You should never hire anybody that isn’t willing to provide you with an estimate in writing. Don’t be afraid to ask them what happens if something unexpected comes up. There should be an understanding before they ever start any kind of work that if the estimate is incorrect for any reason, they won’t do anything until they discuss it with you. They should never undercut their estimate to get your business and then charge you more. Make this clear before you hire anyone so that it’s all out in the open before you give them your money.
- Proper Licenses
Sometimes, it’s tempting to hire someone that doesn’t have any licenses because they don’t charge as much. It also puts you at a real disadvantage if something goes wrong. You really should hire a contractor that has the proper business licenses and proper insurance if they’re going to be working around your property. Furthermore, make sure they’re bonded so that if something happens you don’t end up being forced to pay for it. All it takes is one person that’s not licensed or insured to fall over something when they’re painting your house or worse yet, fall off a ladder. If they’re not properly licensed and insured, you could end up eating the cost of their medical care through your homeowner’s insurance. If your insurance doesn’t cover the cost, you might end up paying for it out of your own pocket.
- Initial Walkthrough
Walk through the entire project with the contractor you plan to hire. Discuss anything that concerns you and let them know that you expect them to speak up if they want to discuss something specific as well. This allows you to know what to expect and it sends a message to the contractor that you’re not just going to blindly accept whatever they turn out. Instead, you’re a consumer who knows what to expect and you want the job done right.
This is one of the most important things you should ask your contractor. There is nothing more frustrating than paying someone several thousand dollars to do a job and then returning to your home, only to find out that they’ve left a mess in almost every room and now you’re stuck cleaning it up. This is unprofessional and it’s uncalled for. Unfortunately, it happens far more often than it should. Make sure that you bring this up to the contractor you want to hire and ask them whether or not they have a policy regarding cleaning up their own mess. For what you’re paying them, they should be willing to clean up after themselves when they’re finished.
- Final Touchups
It’s imperative that you do a final walk-through of the entire project with the contractor by your side. Do not be shy about pointing things out that don’t meet your expectations. The last thing you want to do is pay someone, allow them to leave and then get upset about something that wasn’t done right to begin with. Aside from the fact that you didn’t say anything initially, you can’t prove that it was their fault once they leave and you’re at the home by yourself. If you point it out while you’re walking through it with them, they really don’t have any choice but to do the final touch-ups at you request. If you’re nervous about this, sort it out before you ever hire them and make sure that they know you will be doing a final walk-through in their presence.
Specialty Finish Painters
Sometimes, you want something more interesting than a color on a wall. If you’re interested in things like murals, faux finishes or wall designs for your kids’ bedrooms, you really need to seek out painters that specialize in these types of finishes. This requires a certain artistic flair and it can be difficult to find someone capable of doing the job. Once you do find them, go through the same process with that contractor as you would with anyone else. There’s no reason to treat the situation any differently just because it’s a specialty finish. It’s probably going to cost you more, so make sure it’s done right and you’re happy with it from the beginning.
Aside from the cost, expect to spend more time with the contractor discussing exactly what you want. It’s also appropriate to expect the job to take longer than it would to simply paint a room. Many of the individuals who specialize in these finishes don’t necessarily consider themselves contractors. They usually see themselves as artists. However, that doesn’t change the fact that you’re paying someone to do a job. So, in the end, it’s important to make sure that everyone is on the same page before any money exchanges hands.
People often have a hard time being specific when discussing what they expect of a contractor. They don’t want to come off as being unpleasant or difficult to work with. While you should always be polite, you should never settle for anything less than what you’re paying for. As long as you remember that fact, it’s much easier to point out any errors or ask any questions up front.
Have you ever been tempted to simply paint your house yourself as opposed to hiring a professional? A lot of people have been. Some people want to do it themselves because they like doing these types of projects on their own. A bigger reason why many people make this decision is because they don’t want to spend the money on a contractor. To a certain extent, that’s understandable, but it’s important that you put a lot of thought into such a big decision before you get in over your head. Consider what it might be like to do this yourself versus hiring someone else to do it. You also need to know what questions to ask a potential contractor so that you don’t end up dissatisfied with the job when it’s all said and done.
Hiring a Professional Painting Contractor vs. DIY
The biggest problem that usually happens when people decide to paint their house themselves is that they dramatically underestimate the size of the job. It’s easy to sit and think about doing something without mentally walking through the steps that are actually involved in getting it done. It makes it seem like the job is a lot easier than it really is. In addition, people have a habit of looking at professional painters and thinking that if they can paint an entire house in a couple of days, anyone can do it. They don’t stop to think about all of the aspects involved from a practical level. Here are a few things that you should reason through before you make your decision.
How much time do you really have to dedicate to this project? It doesn’t matter if a team of professional painters can paint the entire house in a day or two, you’re one person, and you’re not a professional. You’re not going to get it done that quickly. If you’re already involved with work and family obligations, not to mention other daily obligations, where are you going to find the time required to do a project that is so big? If your time is very limited, are you prepared to have your house in a semi-permanent state of chaos the next several weeks or even months?
Painting in and of itself is not especially dangerous but climbing up and down ladders can be. Have you thought about whether or not you’re physically fit enough to climb ladders and deal with everything you have to deal with when you’re painting? If you’re painting outside, you might have to deal with excessive heat, and if you’re painting inside, it’s important to remember to ventilate the home, so you’re not breathing in paint fumes. Are these really things you want to contend with or would you rather let someone else do it?
Are you going to be able to do the same high-quality job that a professional would do? Painting is just like anything else. It takes time to learn how to do it to the best of your ability. If you don’t engage in this activity very often, your skill level isn’t going to be as high as someone who does it for a living. Would you want someone who isn’t trained as a doctor to diagnose a medical condition? You probably don’t want someone who isn’t trained painting your house, either.
Additional Considerations for Your Contractor
If you decide that you would rather hire a contractor to deal with your painting project, there are some things that you need to be sure to ask them. After all, you don’t want to hire just anyone. You’re paying for a professional to do the job the right way, so don’t be hesitant about speaking up when you have a question. Below are just a few things to consider.
- How long have they been painting?
While it’s true that everyone has to start getting their experience somewhere, you probably don’t want your house to be the place that your contractor gets that experience. Instead, you probably want someone that’s been doing it for a few years and has several jobs under their belt. Ideally, it’s best to find a contractor that’s been doing this type of job on a professional level for several years and has a number of different references that they can readily provide. Don’t be afraid to ask about their experience or anything else.
- Do they clear out the trash at the end of the job?
If the situation were reversed and someone had hired you to do a job, they would probably expect you to clean up your mess when you were finished, especially since they’re paying you. However, you might be shocked at the number of contractors that come in and do a job, then walk right out the door without cleaning up. This is enough to make most homeowners furious. It’s part of customer service, and it also indicates the level of professionalism for that contractor.
If they aren’t willing to clean up their own trash, you have to wonder how well they completed other portions of the job. If you don’t want to end up cleaning it up yourself, ask them before they get started whether or not they plan on cleaning everything up. Make it clear that you want things to be just as clean when they leave as they were before they got there. If there’s going to be a problem associated with this, it’s better when the problem is addressed before they get started on the project as opposed to after the fact.
- Do they use a primer before painting?
Some paints are actually mixed with primer to provide a single-step process, but that isn’t always the case. Find out exactly how they plan on carrying out your particular project. Ask them what type of products they plan on using and how they are going to apply the paint. Will they use a roller or paintbrush? Will they spray the paint onto the surface? It’s important to know which techniques and products are appropriate for the project at hand. That’s why it’s so important that you do your homework before you hire somebody. Otherwise, how will you know that the things they are telling you are actually correct?
- What prep work is included in the estimate?
The last thing you want to do is get an estimate and then end up paying a much higher amount when the job is done. This can make you feel like you’ve been duped, to say the least. Ask them what is included in that estimate. Is there any type of prep work that goes with the estimate or is it just for the physical act of painting? Make sure that the estimate you get is all-inclusive and that it’s itemized. You want to know exactly what is included in that estimate. That way, if you end up being charged something different, you can go back and look at it for reference. Whatever you do, make sure you get all of this information in writing, and you get a guarantee on the number of days for which the estimate is valid.
All of these things will help you make an educated decision as opposed to basing your choices off of costs alone. Granted, it costs more to hire professionals, but it’s usually well worth it, especially if you don’t have any previous experience painting houses.