Expert Tips: How to Hire a Fantastic Painter for Your Home

Over the years, I’ve employed a variety of painters for both interior and outdoor work, ranging from Task Rabbit amateurs to skilled tradespeople. Despite my experience, I still believe that finding a good painter is a gamble, and that I’m no closer to uncovering the magic recipe that ensures a perfect paint job every time. I’m not alone, based on the number of pals who have shared their own painting horror stories. Fortunately, I have finally discovered a fantastic painting contractor in Dublin: Pro Decor Painting & Decorating. I wish I could say I came to Pro Decor Dublin because of my superior ability to find and hire excellent painters. Unfortunately, he was the person I called to rectify a work gone bad.

The Catchlight team feels like old friends after successfully completing various exterior and interior repairs on my home. So I asked Pro Decor Dublin if there was any way to ensure that you hired the best painter for the job. “It’s a little of the Wild West” when it comes to painting contractors, he said. Anyone with a brush can be a painter without any professional training or licence. But he went on to note that there are tell-tale signals of a respectable company, as well as critical steps a homeowner can take to ensure that they pick the best painter for the job. Pro Decor Dublin suggests the following:

Conduct preliminary research online

Asking a trusted friend or general contractor for a recommendation is an excellent place to start. I found a fantastic painter for my Cape Cod cottage who has previously painted the homes of my cousin, a contractor; my aunt, an architect; and my other aunt, who is even pickier than the others. Prior to hiring this painter, I had engaged someone based on the suggestion of another friend who has a historic home. Disaster! The paint job was only good for two years. That’s why, even if you have a referral, Pro Decor Dublin advises you to do some research online. Check to see whether others agree with your friend’s or relative’s opinion of the painter’s work, and if the contractor has prior expertise with your style of home. (When it comes to painting, modern and old homes are worlds apart.)

Look for reviews on the internet

Both Google and Yelp have (largely) independent user reviews. Yes, they can be “gamed,” but Pro Decor Dublin provides some suggestions for what to watch for:

  1. Reviews that are specific (rather than generic or imprecise) The first shows that the individual writing the review has worked for the company before. Additionally, their detailed descriptions will provide more information about the company’s practises and work performance.
  2. Multiple sites’ reviews Different reviews on various websites could indicate that the reviews have been altered.
  3. “Yelp does not recommend any more reviews.” Yelp prioritises posts from its most popular users. Non-regular (also known as “not recommended”) reviewers are buried at the bottom of the featured reviews. These remarks, which are often driven by a particularly positive or negative experience, might provide you with even more useful information.
  4. responses from the business owner If you receive a negative review, you should expect a response that explains what went wrong. However, even a simple “thank you” on a positive review demonstrates outstanding customer service.

Keep in mind:

  1. It can be a warning indicator if a corporation has no online review profile.
  2. Brokerage sites that give referrals should be avoided. Because these businesses often generate money depending on the number of referrals they receive rather than the amount of projects they book, their recommendations may be based on little more than a background check on the business owner.

Go to the business’s website

According to Pro Decor Dublin, a contractor’s website might reveal a lot. Pay attention to the following:

  1. A collection of previous projects Look for images of a variety of projects, as this indicates more experience. Close-ups of detailed work should be included in the images. You can get a sense of the company’s procedure by looking at progress photographs. Examine proof that the team is using proper equipment and according to safety procedures. Look for photographs that show the firm has a lot of expertise working with fine details or lead paint, especially if you have an older property with exquisite details or lead paint.
  2. page with corporate profiles or, at the very least, photographs of the team on the job These can assist you determine the level of experience of the workers and give you an idea of who will be arriving at your home.
  3. blog. The contractor’s pride in their business and work may be shown in their blog postings. Look for original postings from the owner that show the company’s genuine projects. Boilerplate articles are nothing more than sales pitches.
  4. the length of time the enterprise has been in operation
  5. awards and professional affiliations
  6. Lead Paint Safety Information

The company’s owner and founder is Google

  • Naturally, any discussion of lawsuits should be avoided. You’ll want to see a track record of previous work, professional affiliation announcements, and even an interview for a local paper or trade publication.

Search the EPA’s Lead Paint Certified database for the company

If your home was built before 1978, it is likely that it has lead paint. If this is the case, you should visit the EPA’s website to learn about current RRP (Renovation, Repair, and Painting) laws. You can also use this site to search up the contractor’s name to verify whether they are certified to work with lead paint.

Meet with the painter and do an on-site interview

Schedule a number of visits to acquire an estimate once you’ve reduced down a list of semi-finalists based on your extensive online study. Consider these encounters to be job interviews. Make sure you are present when they arrive, as this is your finest opportunity not only to get a taste of the firm but also to explain your expectations, according to Pro Decor Dublin.

A minimum or maximum number of bids is not recommended by Pro Decor Dublin. Instead, he suggests using your research as a guide. Speak to five contractors if you really like them. If you only have two options, that may be enough to locate the perfect match. You can always come back later and get more.

Look for the following signs of a trustworthy business:

  1. First and foremost, seek for someone who enjoys working with their hands. Is the proprietor of the company “nerdy” about paint chemistry? Do they willingly share stories about previous pet projects? All of this indicates that the business owner takes personal pride in the work that his or her organisation performs.
  2. Do they accompany you on long walks around the property? Do they bring out potential problems and inquire about your expectations in detail? The more time a contractor spends with you and your home, the better your and his/her comprehension of the project will be, and their estimate will be more accurate.
  3. Do they give suggestions that are tailored to your home? Do they see items you could have missed, such as paint build-up or issues like excessive moisture that could jeopardise the job? These observations not only demonstrate your expertise, but they also help you learn. If your project is complex or contains lead paint, you’ll want information on the method, protection, and cleanup rather than broad assertions.

Request a comprehensive proposal

Bids for large jobs might differ by tens of thousands of dollars. Lower bids almost always imply less preparation. They could also utilise less expensive materials, ignore time-consuming safety standards, or fail to pay their employees a living salary. Some painters, on the other hand, may raise the price based on your zip code or simply because they don’t need or want your business. A full proposal from each of your contractors is required to genuinely compare apples to apples, i.e., to truly grasp what your money is purchasing.

Another reason to seek a detailed proposal is to have everything you mentioned during the interview written down. You might forget who said what after so many interviews. Request that he or she include the following:

  • Detailed descriptions of the work to be done, organised by area and phase Preparing and painting siding, trim, porches, and windows (areas) on the exterior, for example, may take varied amounts of time, procedures, and materials. For each of these places, request separate and thorough explanations of the proposed prep work (including any sanding, scraping, grinding, caulking, or repair) and paint (number of coats of primer and finish). You want the work segregated by room or project area for interiors (stairs, doors, floors, etc).
  • Inquire about the estimated time or materials spent on each individual area or phase. How much time do they estimate to spend preparing the trim vs the siding, for example? You may examine how each contractor plans to divide their time by obtaining the expected hours spent on each area of the job.
  • Rates are the costs associated with each individual quantity, such as per hour or per material. These figures can offer insight into quality. Is one contractor, for example, paying his employees significantly less? They could be inexperienced. Is one advising 10 and the other five paint cans? Are there varying pricing per paint can? All of these facts will aid you in making the greatest financial decision possible.
  • Paint kind and number of coats recommended
  • Request that whatever they said in response to your paint questions above be repeated in the proposal.

Inquire about insurance coverage

Request their insurer’s name and contact information. Even if the contractor provides you with a certificate of insurance, they may call to cancel your appointment shortly after your meeting. Make your own call to the insurer to ensure that their coverage is current.

Compare and contrast each suggestion

There are two major reasons why you need a clear proposal, according to Pro Decor Dublin. The first is, as previously stated, so that you may make an informed decision about what you will receive for your money. The second reason is that the proposal will serve as a project road map to which both you and the team can refer. Pro Decor Dublin’s assigned foreperson, for example, checked in with me at the end of each day to assess my progress. He or she might notify me that this area was moving quicker or slower than the bid indicated, and if/how we wanted to change. In other words, the bids acted as a point of reference throughout the project, allowing for clear communication and mutual expectations.

Look for line item information, including hours and charges

A excellent bid proposal will include thorough details of the work to be done from start to end, including how they will preserve the property, clean and prep the surfaces, prime and then paint, and clean up. Pay attention to the following details:

  1. A detailed description of how they intend to protect you and your property, including the use of protective tarps or covers, tape, and other measures. Falling debris and/or lead paint can occur during exterior work (both scraping and sanding release lead into the atmosphere). Interior painting can produce a lot of dust or fumes if you’re using oil-based paint.
  2. A explanation of how the surfaces to be painted will be cleaned. Before they paint, make sure they clean off any dirt or mildew.
  3. A specific outline of how they intend to prepare each section of your project, including any and all of the following: scraping, sanding, grinding, caulking, and repair. Make sure they offer a rough estimate of the number of hours and rate per hour for each region. Why are there so many details? Again, line-item descriptions will assist you in making apples-to-apples comparisons. If Painter 1’s total prep bid is twice as much as Painter 2, for example, you might choose Painter 2. However, if you notice that Painter 1 intends to spend three times the time prepping the task, you may determine that Painter 1 is giving you greater value for your money.
  4. a detailed overview of their painting strategy, including the amount of primer and paint layers per surface.
  5. The materials costs connected with each project phase. Again, one painter might allocate five cans of paint to one region and 10 to another. Alternatively, one may be using superior paint.
  6. This is especially crucial if you have lead paint. Keep track of daily cleanup as well as cleanup when the project is completed.
  7. A portable restroom (for exterior work). I had to check with Pro Decor Dublin to see whether he was genuine about this being so vital. It is. First, he stated that if your home contains lead paint, you must comply with the law. Otherwise, the personnel will have to disinfect before entering your home. Even if you don’t have lead paint, a porta potty is an excellent idea because it shows that they care for your property and their employees.
  8. A summary of the company’s guarantee Make sure it covers labour, paint, and the number of years it will last.
  9. Carpentry or other structural work is an alternative.
  10. Also, read the fine print to see what they’re not responsible for. It’s not a good indicator if this part is longer than the bid.
  11. Feel free to contact and ask more questions after reading each bid.

Work with your painter to keep your budget in mind

A word regarding price negotiations. When getting a paint estimate, a lot of folks face sticker shock. As a result, it’s tempting to ask the painter to lower their pricing or accept a lower bid from another. According to Pro Decor Dublin, if you are certain that you are working with a trustworthy firm after conducting thorough internet research and bidding, you can be confident that the amount they have provided is an accurate depiction of the cost. If this is the case, any price decrease will need the contractor cutting shortcuts somewhere. If a plan is out of your price range, Pro Decor Dublin advises that you engage with the company to find alternatives that are more affordable. Perhaps you can get away with less preparation on the back of the house, or perhaps you can postpone a portion of the renovation. Again, if you have a clear proposal, you and your painter may work with specifics so that you and their employees know what to expect.

Michael Caine

Michael Caine is the Owner of Amir Articles and also the founder of ANO Digital (Most Powerful Online Content Creator Company), from the USA, studied MBA in 2012, love to play games and write content in different categories.