These days, it seems like anyone with a paintbrush and a business card can call themselves a painting contractor. Homeowners who are most likely to be taken in by these unscrupulous “painters” are those who are focused on cost and cost alone. With painting, like anything else in life, you typically get what you pay for. If the painting contractor you are considering cannot answer these ten questions, proceed at your own risk. If they answer all ten satisfactorily, then you know you’ve found a great great professional contractor to work with.
State your expectations. The number of coats a painter applies isn’t the only factor in determining the quality—and price—of the project. Preparation is also key. If you want a surface that’s free of unevenness from past paint jobs, tell the contractors—and be prepared to pay extra. But if you can live with some imperfections, agree on what level of prep is acceptable and what isn’t.
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This feared question gets to the heart of who will be performing work in your home and whether your home and belongings will be safe. Sadly, there have been numerous documented cases around the country where employees of a hired contractor have burglarized, injured, or even killed the homeowner. What’s worse, in most cases it was later found that the bad employee had a criminal background that was unknown to the employer. In learning about who will be performing the work in your home, you should ask additional questions about their hiring policy and whether they conduct criminal background checks.
Choosing the right color for a room can be tricky. No one wants to make a costly mistake and then have to live with it for the next couple of years. This is why many professional painting companies have an in-house color consultant on their team to help clients make the best color choices that are in line with their tastes, lifestyle, the mood and purpose of the room, and lighting. While some companies offer free color consultation for clients, others charge anywhere between $75 to $350 for this service.
A do-it-yourself approach can work well for a simple painting project. More complicated, large-scale endeavors tend to require the expertise of a professional contractor. If you live in a house built before 1978, there’s an extra reason to hire a contractor: safety. Houses from that era often contain lead paint, and most contractors are specially trained to minimize the health hazards it can cause.
Most interior painting projects will present corners and edges. Corners, trims, splashes and accents will require cutting in — which generally requires the most patience, preparation and skill. There is a lot of debate among painters whether it is better to cut in before or after applying the roller. Solo painters may want to prepare the surfaces first, apply painter’s tape where required and cut in before applying paint to the rollers. Painters working in teams can split cutting in duties in sections while other team members are applying paint with rollers.