We talked about this bad contractor a few weeks ago, and how you can most easily spot and avoid the home improvement headaches/catastrophes he offers. If you missed it, never fear. It’s only a click or tap away: 9 Warning Signs That You’re Dealing with a Bad Contractor.
Today, let’s flip this on its head and take a look at the kind of attributes you should find attractive. We should also add that while we’re specifically talking about painting contractors, these tips apply to really any building or remodeling goals you might have on the horizon.
While “feeling comfortable” can be difficult to really define, you shouldn’t discount the power of intuition. Painting in particular requires a high level of comfort and trust since you’re inviting the this person (and their team) right into your home. If they look, act, or talk in a way that makes you feel uneasy, don’t hire them.
In our parallel blog post we talked about the danger of napkin quotes. Never accept a napkin or paper towel, even if it feels like a name-brand product.
Your quote should be transparent and comprehensive, meaning that when you read it you fully understand what work will be done, what products will be used, and why specific steps/prep are recommended.
Your painting contractor’s care and respect for your home should be obvious. For an interior painting project, ask how your furniture, floors, and valuables will be protected. For exterior projects, you might ask how your landscaping will be cared for (you don’t want ladders jammed into your favorite rose bushes).
The interwebs are an amazing resource for getting a sense of what your contractor can do and what kind of experience they offer. Browse their reviews online, as a starting point, and be sure to take note of how your prospective pro responds. Something can be learned from how they handle the occasional (sometimes inevitable) poor review too.
You also could ask your contractor which local houses they have painted. We don’t recommend walking around the person’s yard, poking at trim or deck boards, but there’s no harm in driving by.
In short, if your contractor says they do good work, don’t just take their word for it. They should be ready and proud to display their craftsmanship.
Missed appointments, slow arrivals, fuzzy details about deadlines... These are all bright red flags. Punctuality and a sense that your time is valued and appreciated are essential. If it’s a little rocky at the start when they’re still trying to win your business, just imagine what it will be like when the honeymoon phase is over and they have your contract in hand.
Your painting contractor should be able to tell you which premium products they use, and why. High-end materials and products perform better, look nicer, and last longer - if your contractor uses low-end options to drive your cost down, they’re not doing you any favors. When reviewing your proposal make sure a specific product is listed, not just a paint manufacturer. Every manufacturer has contractor grade options.
Does your painting contractor have you covered? Being licensed and insured is essential, and offering a clear, detailed warranty provides extra peace of mind.
If so, we hope you’ll reach out to us at Webfoot. And, don’t be afraid to ask us all of your questions, using the list above as inspiration, if needed. We know we’ll pass the test with flying colors!