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Hiring a House Painter

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Hiring a house painter can be more costly than doing it yourself, but it's a quick and easy way to get the job done right.

Determine which areas of your home need to be painted and consider any work that may need to be done before painting. Do you want to hang new window shingles, put up new wood siding, replace moldings, etc.?

If painting indoors, decide what interior color(s) you want. Consider these questions:

How do you want the room to feel?

  • Will it be a day or a night room? Paint swatches on the walls and study the swatches at the time you plan to use the room.
  • What are the main colors of your carpets, furniture, and upholstery? Use them for inspiration, but do not match exactly.

If painting outdoors, decide what exterior color(s) you want. Consider these points:

  • Look at other homes, magazines, or paint charts.
  • Pick a color compatible with surrounding homes.
  • For homes with a unique architectural design, use an additional color to highlight them.

Determine the best house painter. If a house painter's company fails one or more of the following criteria, consider another company:

  • Did you speak with a customer agent or leave a message when you first called the painting company? A personal response promises you immediate attention better than a message service or voicemail. Request the house painter's cell number.
  • Has the company has been in business for five years or more? Most failing companies collapse in the first five years.
  • Will full-time or seasonal/subcontracted house painters perform the work? Competency and work quality tend to be lower when done by the latter.
  • Ask for references and contact them. Were the references happy with the work? Did the house painter complete the job in a timely and professional manner?
  • Is the house painter licensed? It is against the law for an unlicensed painter to contract work and be paid. Hiring an unlicensed painter gives the homeowner no recourse with the State Contractors Board.
  • Is the house painter insured? If not, you risk insuring the work yourself.
  • What warranty does the house painter offer? The standard is a one-year limited warranty. Material and labor warranties longer than the industry standard suggest confidence in the ability to perform as promised.
  • Written estimate with clearly defined provisions for items like areas to be painted, surface preparation, material used, number of coats, furniture removal and protection, clean up, and total cost.
  • When is payment required? A house painter requesting significant payment before the job suggests insufficient credit or under capitalization.

When hiring a house painter to do work in your home, be sure to have a proposal drawn up. The more specific details included the less you need to worry about later.

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