GREAT Paint Contractors Give Professional, Detailed Quotes A GREAT painting quote includes a detailed list of ALL aspects of work to be done: FREE Power Washing Caulking, sanding and priming Trim repair - GREAT contractors will know what needs to be done Details of products and application - GREAT contractors know the right products for every job Touch-ups and clean-up In addition to the quote's content and accuracy, is it presented professionally?
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Is the quote printed on company letterhead? Does the sheet show the contractor's license number? Does he use a local land line phone number? (beware if only a cellular phone number is listed) TAX I.D. number? Work guarantee and relevant product warranties? Inexperienced contractors, using standard business forms purchased at office supply stores suggests they haven't invested much in their business and may not be properly licensed. Also, they may not be paying income taxes.
GREAT Paint Contractors Have an A or A+ Better Business Bureau Rating the Better Business Bureau (BBB) is a trusted consumer rating body that grades businesses based on collective criteria. In addition to finding their grade, be sure to check how long the paint contractor has been a member. Also confirm that any complaints have been resolved. BBB will still afford a good rating if a business has addressed
Painting Contractors - What to Look For When Hiring a Painter
You're probably familiar with the old expression, "there's more than one way to skin a cat". Like you, I'm pretty sure I don't want to know about any one of them. But it does illustrate a good point when it comes to estimating a painting project or any other trade estimates for that matter.No matter what the facet of renovation you're planning, whether it's painting, carpentry, drywall or you name it, there are as many bid prices as there are ways to get the job done. But an estimator's quote usually only accounts for one scope of work, one method of doing it and one quality level of materials. Then, of course, if you simply choose the lower bidder, you know you're most likely missing out on better skilled trades and better materials and an overall better experience! So how can you get the best painter for the job (or drywaller, or carpenter) to suit your budget?My expertise is in the painting trades so I'll use painters and paint jobs here as our guide. But you can apply this to most any other trade from both a consumer prospective as well as a contractor's. And no matter what your trade, if you're good at what you do and take excellent care of your customers, you're likely not always the lowest bidder. But if you're like my painting company, you seek to provide homeowners and commercial clients with the best value for their money. Unfortunately, because people don't tend to hire painters every day and rarely know one from another, contractors are too often selected by price alone which has been derived from the scope of work they've been given by the customer (as an overall "wish list" in some cases) but without the benefit of knowing their budget. So here we have a large assortment of variables (what must be done now and what can wait?, what can the customer spend? and what quality of materials meets both purpose and price?) that somehow have to all come together in a package which benefits both the customer and the contractor without truly knowing what each other needs until a quote is put up for discussion. And all too often, that's too late!If you, as a homeowner show three painting contractors the same scope of work, each one will come back to you with a different price based on the "pay grade" of their painters, the thoroughness of their prep work (or lack thereof) and the quality of paints and primers they propose to use. And the fact is, each job and customer has different needs and expectations which fall somewhere along the full spectrum of these variables. Some want a "white wash it for now" approach and others want a full scale restoration that will last for decades. But most are looking for something in between. And as a responsible painter, you propose the best quality for your customer because you want them to be happy with results for years to come but you aren't sure if it's within their budget. And as a painting customer, you want the best you can afford but have little or no idea what that particular level of quality includes. So even though each wants the best for the project at hand, this usually ends up with the painting estimate being dismissed by the customer because the price is "too high". And this is despite the customer would otherwise prefer to work with this contractor because of all the obvious signs of professionalism and knowledge of their craft. But instead, the customer too often rolls the dice with the lower bidder and hopes for the best (which never comes).So how do you get that contractor you instinctively know will deliver the goods but has proposed a bid that's out of your price range or seems much higher than the other quotes?Talk to them!Those of us who want to stay at the top of our trade will most often lead with our best foot forward and bid with top quality materials and workmanship unless the customer tells us otherwise. We want to hear your thoughts! We are here for nothing more than to serve your best interests with the project at hand. And the more we know, the better we can meet your needs and expectations.So before dismissing a reputable contractor who's demonstrated professional conduct and offered knowledgeable advice with, "Sorry. Your quote was too high. We've given the job to another painting contractor", look over all the quotes carefully and together. Compare what details are the same and which are different. Where items differ or are none existent, get them clarified by the estimator so you've got a clear sense of what each is actually offering you to determine the best value - not price. And if you still find that the better contractor for the job is priced out of your range, ask them to consider other ways they could deliver the job at a lesser cost such as using a different paint line, or perhaps adjusting the scope of work to get the most critical aspects addressed now and leave the rest to another date. These are just a couple of examples that can affect a quote but if you discuss this direction with a professional, they're usually all too happy to help you find the best ways to tailor your project to suit you and still give you all the benefits of dealing with a reputable contractor who will stand behind their work.And as a contractor, don't just offer the customer a proposal with only your best recommendations for the work and leave them to fend for themselves with your competitors. Let them know that your estimate is based on your expert opinion as to the best practices and materials for the job but that you're willing to change the varying aspects of the job if needed to suit their budget.This is how we get the right contractors together with the right customers for the benefit of all.
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Attempting to paint your home's exterior can be a large and stressful undertaking on your own. For this reason, many people choose to employ the help of a painter to relieve the anxiety they may feel in completing the project alone. This is often the best decision they could make because the painting project can become quite complicated if there are problems that need to be resolved with the outside of the home such as rust stains or peeling paint. Many people are still hesitant to hire someone for the job however because they fear that they will not find a reliable painter. Although the fear of finding a reliable paint contractor may be holding you back from hiring someone for the job, there are signs you can look for to help in the selection process. A reliable paint contractor will usually show an eagerness for your business. This means they return your calls promptly and arrive to scheduled meetings with you on time. In addition, a reliable paint contractor should have a structured contracting process and a contract that appears professional. If the paint contractor can answer all of the questions that you have and can produce an explanation for all of the house painting charges, these are also good signs that they will be a reliable choice. If you are still hesitant in hiring someone, you can also try asking neighbors or friends for any recommendations they may have on which paint contractor would be a reliable choice to hire for the house painting. Word of mouth is usually the biggest deciding factor, so if a friend gives you a great reference of a painter, this is a good indicator that they would be a good choice to hire for the house painting.
Painting Contractors - What to Look For When Hiring a Painter
Congratulations! You've made the smart decision to improve your home's appearance and value with a professional paint job. Now comes the daunting challenge of finding a paint contractor. Not to worry! These 10 secrets will help you find a GREAT paint contractor who'll deliver a top-quality job at an excellent price and leave you with a satisfying home improvement experience.1. A GREAT Paint Contractor Presents Proof of Insurance While a good paint contractor may tell you he's insured, a GREAT contractor presents a copy of his policy, proving the amount of coverage he carries for both property damage and bodily injury that may result from the contractor's work. By nature, paint materials are highly flammable and, should a tragedy occur, you need to know your contractor is sufficiently insured.2. A GREAT Paint Contractor NEVER Asks for a Deposit While some paint contractors may request a deposit before beginning the work, well-established, successful painting professionals have sufficient operating income and can easily afford to purchase materials and make payroll. BE WARY of a contractor who asks for a deposit! If he is unable to purchase materials, he's probably unable to pay his staff. Every year, too many homeowners fall victim to contractors who walk off the job - and out of town - with the deposit in their pockets.If you agree to advance payment of any kind, be sure materials have been purchased and are on your property, leaving you some kind of leverage should the contractor default on the work. Bottom Line: GREAT painting contractors NEVER request a deposit. 3. A GREAT Paint Contractor Offers Great Warranties You can tell a lot about a paint contractor by his warranty. Well-known contractors with established reputations are respected by paint suppliers who, in turn, pass on extended - even lifetime - warranties on their paints because they know the product will be applied right. For any number of reasons, less experienced contractors may not have valuable relationships with suppliers. On the labor side, a GREAT contractor works with solid, experienced painters whose work he knows he can stand behind with an extended labor warranty.4. GREAT Paint Contractors Go the Extra Mile Because GREAT contractors have learned the value of a satisfied customer, they're able to focus on service and offer extras that shows you how important your business is to the contractor. Check to see if your contractor offers the following: Professional color consulting FREE color try-ons FREE power washing Two coats of paint - as a standard offering! 5. GREAT Paint Contractors Give Professional, Detailed Quotes A GREAT painting quote includes a detailed list of ALL aspects of work to be done: FREE Power washing Caulking, sanding and priming Trim repair - GREAT contractors will know what needs to be done Details of products and application - GREAT contractors know the right products for every job Touch-ups and clean-up In addition to the quote's content and accuracy, is it presented professionally? Is the quote printed on company letterhead? Does the sheet show the contractor's license number? Does he use a local land line phone number? (beware if only a cellular phone number is listed) TAX I.D. number? Work guarantee and relevant product warranties? Inexperienced contractors, using standard business forms purchased at office supply stores suggests they haven't invested much in their business and may not be properly licensed. Also, they may not be paying income taxes.6. GREAT Paint Contractors Have an A or A+ Better Business Bureau RatingThe Better Business Bureau (BBB) is a trusted consumer rating body that grades businesses based on collective criteria. In addition to finding their grade, be sure to check how long the paint contractor has been a member. Also confirm that any complaints have been resolved. BBB will still afford a good rating if a business has addressed issues in a timely manner. Questionable painting contractors will have either no BBB affiliation at all or a grade of B or below.7. GREAT Paint Contractors Care about Their Communities and Industry Associations Being active in local Chambers of Commerce, committed to area charities and having a presence in the Painting and Decorating Contractors Association (PDCA) shows that GREAT paint contractors have professional integrity and care about their communities. Fly-by-night contractors avoid connections to civic or professional organizations.8. GREAT Paint Contractors Provide References in Your Area - Both Old and New Good paint contractors may have references from local work that was completed in the past few weeks. GREAT Paint Contractors will provide multiple local references from both recent and past work. References from a year ago or longer show the paint job's durability and confirm that any necessary follow-up or billing issues were handled correctly.9. GREAT Paint Contractors Invite You to See a Job in Progress If a contractor is confident about the way they work, they'll prove it by asking you to judge for yourself. Things to look for: Work vehicles - are they clean, organized and professional? The painters - are they neatly dressed and groomed? Materials - are ladders, scaffolding, drop cloths and electrical equipment in good condition? Is work being done carefully so as not to damage landscaping or property? Bottom Line: GREAT Paint Contractors treat a home - and its homeowner - with respect at all times.10. GREAT Paint Contractors Have a Professional Website While it is certainly possible to be a good paint contractor and not own a Website, GREAT contractors are also successful business people who understand that today's consumer is looking for instant information. A GREAT contractor's Website will include all the details homeowners are looking for - references, before & after photos, details of services, contact information and history of the company and its owner and staff.
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A GREAT Paint Contractor Presents Proof of Insurance While a good paint contractor may tell you he's insured, a GREAT contractor presents a copy of his policy, proving the amount of coverage, he carries for both property damage and bodily injury that may result from the contractor's work. By nature, paint materials are highly flammable and, should a tragedy occur, you need to know your contractor is sufficiently insured.
1. Get 3 Bids Minimum: Get bids from three different painting contractors for your job. Friends and family are good reference sources. Be home for the initial meeting with them. That way, you will know how much time each contractor took to assess the condition of your home. The more you communicate what you want painted, the more accurate the quote you'll receive. Even an experienced painter will need more than a quick walk around your house. Also ask each contractor about the size of his crew and the painters experience level.2. State Expectations: When the different painting companies come to your home it is important that you state your expectations. Having a written list of what you want painted is also helpful. The number of coats a painter applies isn't the only factor in determining the quality and price of the project. Preparation is key; make sure they are going to take the time to properly prepare the surfaces before they paint them. If previously painted areas are in bad condition and you want them repaired, be prepared to pay a hire price. Time is money in the painting world! 3. Check References: It is important to check references and past work. Get a list of references from each contractor and call them to find out about their experience with the professional. A history of positive references is a good sign. If possible, it is also a good idea to drive by and look at some of the past work the contractor has done. Ask for a list of neighbors that he may have painted for.Another thing to question is do they have good credentials in your community. Ask if they are a member of the local BBB (Better Business Bureau)? Do they have any unresolved issues? You can also check them out on other consumer affair sites, like the local chamber of commerce.4. Insurance: The last thing you should check into with your contractor is to make sure they are properly insured. Reputable companies will always carry copies of their general liability insurance and worker's compensation insurance. If they don't have proper insurance and have an accident you could end up responsible. Not a risk you want to take!5. The Estimate/Quote: You should then receive a complete and accurate estimate/contract in writing. The contract should include all of the contractor's key information: name, address, phone number, etc. It should then include whatever surfaces are going to get painted and exactly how the preparation and paint will be applied. Make sure the contract clearly states what is and is not included in the job. It should specify what material is going to be used, the number of coats applied, the preparation that is going to be done, a payment schedule and a written guarantee. Finally, once you have done all of your research on your contractor and are sure you have an accurate quote and the right contractor for the job, sign up and set a schedule to begin work. When choosing a contractor make sure everything is always clearly spelled out before the work is scheduled to begin and your projects should always go smoothly. The contractor will make all the difference in the world. A good paint contractor can make your home look great and last a long time!