Ask companies to include all details in writing. Although that sounds simple enough, too many contractors submit offers such as "paint house for $5,000." A friendly contractor may offer a reassuring handshake and promise that the crew will take care of all the details — starting on time, working every day, cleaning up, etc. That's great, but why not include each point in the proposal? If it's a challenge to get a written description of labor, materials and other details, things will probably get worse when the work starts.
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These are some fantastic questions to ask and I particularly like the one that is concerned about safety for the painters. After all, if you have a large home and you’re hiring them to paint the exterior of that home then they’ll likely be on scaffolding. Because of that, you need to make sure that the contractor not only provides appropriate safety training, but has the correct liability insurance as well.
I turn away any job when the client refuses to pay anything up front. It sends a red flag. I also charge a scheduling fee which is non-refundable. I get 33 percent when I show up and begin work. Another percentage halfway through, and the balance upon completion after client is satisfied. There needs to be skin in the game for both parties as a measure of good faith. If you are dealing with a reputable company (did your due diligence, right?) why wouldn't you want to pay something as work progresses? We do this not only because we love to paint but we require cash flow to stay in business. There is not always 'money in the bank' as you suggest. It's tough these days. The suggestion buy 'Kim' 'Never pay a contractor a deposit' is nonsensical.
Not all people live where they can hire a painting contractor, like you describe. People who live in small towns can only hire painters who have a very small business, and do two or three paint jobs per week. In this case, you do have to be very careful, when you hire a painter, as we have several, in our area, who are out to make a fast buck anyway they can.
"Hired a Brand Name painter, we agreed on a price and timing where the home would be empty. Painter shows on a Tuesday to get started, paid a down payment and left. By the time I got to DFW airport, the contracted painter backed out. No worries they got a second crew for the next day. That crew looked at the job and said they couldn't finish before I moved my household good in. Now we move on Saturday because the movers were scheduled and could not change the dates and I reached out for more bids. Scott Finklestein from NextDoor painting responded within minutes of my request. Came over on a Sunday no less and provided a very fair bid and we accepted. Big kicker was they could start the next day. All I can say is WOW, what customer service! We agreed to the timeline and I jokingly kidded Scott, "you finished 8 minutes earlier than I had asked for"! Our home was painted the colors we asked for, it is perfect, the crew was friendly, hell they even fixed the sheet rock where we had plumbing installed! These guys are the real deal!! Thank you Scott, Jose and your team! Our home is now BEAUTIFUL!" House Painting Broomfield Colorado
If the point of hiring a well established, experienced, reputable painting contractor is to secure the professionalism and trust suggested to be inherent with that choice, then I would EXPECT that professionalism and experience to include the ability to make the proper and correct calculations for labor and materials for a fixed price quote, and there should be NO reason for the contractor to put the cost burden of their miscalculation on the consumer.