Friday, December 31, 2021

Hiring House Painters - Questions You Should Ask Your Painters

Hiring House Painters - Questions You Should Ask Your Painters

Hello out there again sports fans. Calgary Painter here again, with this hiring house painters - questions you should ask your painters on our low cost cheap Calgary Painting internet website. Are you in the process of hiring a painter? Do you want to feel secure, and confident in your decision on what painter or painting company you call in to complete your painting? Well, today is your lucky day - we can help you do that. Here are 10 questions to ask a potential painting contractor. 

This is the cheap Calgary Painters, low cost and affordable professional house painting services. This hiring house painters - questions you should ask your painters should help you get well on your way to finding and hiring in the right painters and decorators to complete all of your painting and decorating needs for you and your house and home.

We will cover all aspects of it. From the best colors available, to the coolest tools you can use. Our focus is to help everyone. Whether you're a professional contractor, or just someone looking to hire one. Whether you're a pro, or an average Joe, we got you covered. I've been involved in a professional painting business for over 15+ years, and we are pretty sure thousands of jobs later we have likely seen it all.

As the business owner, the primary estimator, and from time to time the painter on higher quality finishes, I've been asked all sorts of questions along the way. To be honest, it's true what they say. There's no such thing as a bad question. In painting, and house painting, communication and clarity is key both the higher customer service, and the contractor should be in a position where they have a mutual understanding of what work is to be done and how it is to be done. 

If you're worried about being to annoying because you ask too many questions, don't be. From my perspective, or from other professional painters and contractors perspectives, I'd rather clear up your questions and concerns before the work starts, rather than halfway through, or better yet, at the end. The last thing anyone wants is to waste time and money.

I think it's important to know that these questions shouldn't come across as an interrogation. You're simply collecting information to eliminate any ambiguity. You're investing a lot of money after all, so the least they the painters or contractors can do is, be concise and detailed in their overall process. So with that said, here are some of the key questions you should ask a potential painting contractor.

Number one, how long have you been in business. Every year hundreds of newbie painters and decorators fire up in Calgary, and all of them think they are the best and fastest painters in the world. Lots of kids and fake it till you make it contractors in and around town. Even more so in January and February when the local college and university students are out in full force trying to catch those big baller high priced paint jobs in the low season with 500 other pro painters watching.

Finding out how long the painting company or the house painters has been successfully running a painting business with workers and painters will help provide you with some valuable insight in a company. It's not easy for a bad painting company to be in business for many many years, but often times it can be quite difficult to verify this sort of information. Most painters should have completed hundreds of houses per year and have a contract book or invoice book full of hundreds of happy customers and clients they have done business with.

If possible, ask for their website, or better yet, an online contractor database like homestars, which can totally be gamed with fake reviews, which can help verify the company even a bit further. Your best bet is to simply ask them for the contact details of the last hundred or so happy customers and painting clients that they recently did work for. This should tell you almost everything you need to know.

I know from experience as a business and a painter, once you open yourself up to scrutiny of review-based websites, you really make sure to stay on top of your game, and you're more likely to improve your services. Those fake reviews good or bad can come out of nowhere. It's obvious with the work force that some other local painting companies have, and the amount of work they appear to be completing that there simply isn't enough hours in the year to bang out a hundred paint jobs a week.

Word of mouth is still a tried-and-true method of finding good people. Everyone knows a great paint job and a good painter when they see one. It's the lowest paying trade in the trades industry, yet requires the most amount of skill and dedication. After all, everyone will be seeing your open and exposed work, while the majority of everyone elses work is completely covered up.

It's worth considering someone who successfully worked for someone you trust. Like a friend, or a family member, or even your next door neighbor. Just try not to hold it against your friend or family member or neighbor if the quality of the paint job isn't what you expected. You should take responsibility for whom you hire from the start of the job until the end. 

Number two. Who's going to be doing the painting. It's a good idea to verify who will be doing the actual work because, in 0 cases will the entire team show up for that initial estimate. Usually it'll just be one, or maybe two people, and oftentimes the estimator is just the estimator. They won't be doing the painting itself. This is something that you would want to clear up from the very start to avoid confusion.

If the estimator won't be there to start the project, then get them to explain the company's management process. Who's going to be running the show. It also may be a good idea to ask if the company uses employees or subcontractors. If they use subcontractors, be sure to ask if they're people they've used to consistently over a long period of time. 

Sometimes companies will hire subcontractors that they don't work with regularly to save costs, which could lead to inconsistent workmanship. Not always. Once a pro painter, you the painter doesn't tend to lose that skill. It's like learning to ride a bike. You never forget. At the very least, the team that starts the project, should be the one that finishes the project on most projects. Not all, but most. It's always a good sign. 

Number three, do you have liability insurance and do your employees have workers compensation. There are a lot of fly by night painters and decorators in our parts. WCB will fax you over proof of your painters wcb status in just minutes. Your painter should have at least 1 million dollar liability coverage, its just a couple hundred extra per month. And this will protect you from any incidental damage caused by the contractor. 

Workers comp is also a pretty important thing to ask about. Just to make sure the workers are also covered. WCB fees are typically only 3.5% of the cost of labor to insure a pro painter. It doesn't take too much, but your local painters and decorators with wcb likely need to be city registered and registered in the business registry before they can even apply for WCB.

To be sure, you can ask to see copies of all necessary documentation. WCB can be faxed over the same day or the next day, most painters look and estimators carry proof of liability insurance in the wallet or pockets like a drivers license and you should be able to sniff out if your pro painting company is covered and can get you covered legitimately. 

Number 4. What's it all cost. This may seem like a simple and straightforward question, but it can be quite tricky to answer. Painting projects can be quite a fluid process when you factor in all the potential changes that can happen throughout. For example you may decide to change your color halfway through. Please don't do that. Or you might take away a room that you initially want to done. 

If you're not positive about every aspect of your project, it might be worth asking your painter if you have the option to make these kinds of adjustments, and what the costs involved would be. It's also important to clarify who's buying the paint. You don't want to be stuck in a situation where you've completely budgeted for your project only to be left with a $1,000 bill at the end for all the paint that was used. If the painter can solidify the total price without any added fees on at the end of the job, that's ideal. 

Number five. How long is it going to take. Ideally the painting company you're talking to should be able to estimate the length of a project with fairly solid accuracy if they use the same or at least a similar team on a regular basis and the job is not too complex. Most paint jobs finish up in a single week or two weeks unless you have a huge house and are painting everything.

They should have a solid idea of how efficiently they will work, as long as the scope of work remains unchanged. The timeline should stay fairly concise. One week, two weeks, a week and 3 days, etc. Here's an example. If contractor A estimates 4 to 5 days in, contractor B thinks it'll take 2 to 5 days, I personally would feel better with contractor A, because it seems like they have a firmer grasp on their own pace of work. 

Be prepared to provide a bit of wiggle room in your schedule, as there are several variables in a project that can extend the timeline a bit. Lots of scratches, dents, and dings in the wall, split caulking on the trim, horrible paint job from the last painter to clean up. Whether plays a big role with exterior projects, but can even impact interior ones too. High humidity levels may impact paint drying time for example, which could mean the difference between getting 1 coat done in a day rather than 2. 

Number 6. What type of paint do you use. This is a multiple component question because the type of paint means a lot more than just the company. This is an important question to ask because it allows you to be informed on the finish, and most importantly, the grade of paint that will be used. We talked about different paint grades up top if you want to check that out afterwards. 

But essentially, you have different levels of quality within the same company. Contractor grades are your baseline, and then it only goes up from there. Higher quality paints tend to last longer, and give you a better return on your investment if you use the right tools and the right painters to paint out your work. Paying more for paint does not mean you get better professional painting results. That's on the painters and contractors doing the work for you.

50% or more pricing increase for the paint might seem like a lot, but when you factor in the increased performance, ease of use for the painter, the longevity, and the look of the finish, it'll be well worth it in many cases. But not always. We've seen $20 a gallon paint hold up as well as or equal to or better than a $100 gallon of paint. Most times its the painter and the painting, not the paint that you use. Sad but true. A $15 professional painter can wreck your house with a $500 pale of paint in no time.

Number 7. Where will you start the work. This is where you can start to feel out their work process. While it might be necessary to get every painstaking detail on their method, finding in which area they're starting the work in should open up a conversation of how the work will be done. All companies will work in different ways. Some will tackle a bit of everything all at once, while others will work in a more streamline fashion and go room by room. 

See if they're open to collaborating with you. Perhaps you'd prefer to have access to your kitchen as much as possible. Ask if they could prioritize it by maybe getting it out of the way first, or perhaps waiting a bit until they get until the end. You don't want to turn their work plan on its head, but it's a positive if they can make adjustments that will improve your quality of life during work hours. 

Number eight. What is your prepping process before painting begins. Prep is so important everyone. Proper preparations will most certainly make or break a painting project. If your painter paints walls by grabbing the brush first, and then the roller second, on the first coat, its pretty obvious you probably are about to hire in the wrong painters.

Rolling in first, brushing in second, and then going about getting the walls patched up ensures that it's very difficult to miss all those dents, dings, and scratches all over the place. You can't seem to miss them once the wall is wet or the color has been changed. It's pretty obvious. Some companies will take lots of time to cover all the floors, furniture, fixtures, appliances, and others that just go right into painting with maybe a drop sheet or two. 

It doesn't really matter. But if your house is under 3000 square feet you should expect even a single painter to get into your house and at least roll out all of the drywall on your walls and inside of your closets in one day. If your pro painters can't do that for you than you probably really have the wrong painters and decorators in there. Even the $15 per hour just started last week wall painter can roll out a 3000 floor square foot house per day. Most without breaking a sweat.

You want to find out which end of the spectrum your painter falls on, find out who's responsible for any protective coverings to be used during the project, who's moving the furniture away from the walls, etc. Most painters want more money to move your stuff. Covering is usually free but you are hiring a painter or a painting contractor or a painting company. Furniture moving is a little side deal you can make with some painters, while other painters will do all the moving and return for free.

I don't advise you to go in with the expectation that they'll automatically be doing it themselves, and also the opposite is true too. If you're already paying to have someone remove and replace all the outlet plate covers then don't do yourself just leave it to the painters. Most painters like happy customers and moving a couch or two or the kitchen and table chairs ain't a big deal. Most painters aren't going to be interested in moving that tv on the wall that costs more than the paint job the painter is on.

Number nine. Will there be a proper cleanup. Cleanup can be a hotly contested topic, and it's something that should be addressed early, ideally, before the painting contract is inked and the project starts. Painting is by nature messy. The level of mess can range significantly and even with sufficient floor covering, minor paint spills and microsplatter can still sometimes occur. 

When you factor in things like drywall repairs and sanding, and stucco, removal of things can get even messier, depending on your project. The level of cleanup required could be significant, so be sure to confirm if your painter would be in charge of that, or someone else. Now this is something you'd want to confirm first with the painter that you're going with.

But normally a painting company will utilize proper coverings, or move them afterwards, and then give the floors a bit of a clean. Unless they're coming with a professional cleaner themselves you probably want to still bring someone in afterwards who's dedicated to cleaning. That way you're letting the painter focus on painting rather than floor scrubbing. 

Number 10. Does your work come with a warranty. This last question is a bit trickier than it seems. You're not just asking for warranty on the workmanship, but the products they're using as well. So let's start with that one first. Remember when you ask about what paint they're going to use. Well make sure they honor that if you're request premium paints like aura, emerald, or marquee. 

Make sure that's what they're actually going to be using. You don't want to pay for a Ferrari and end up with a super cycle. If they're using good paint, those paints are usually backed by the company that makes them, which gives you yet another avenue in the event that problems happen down the road. Most if not all paint on any shelf will work and hold up 10 plus years or longer. That $20 gallon and that $100 gallon are basically both going to work, and work well.

Generally speaking, good quality paints should look fine for five to 10 years minimum .I've repainted houses that hadn't been painted for 20, 30 years, and they still looked fine, and there was no $100 gallons of super high end paint way back then. So that shows you the quality of some of these products, and how you can basically pay for as little or a lot for paint without really compromising.

As for the workmanship side of things, companies will usually have a touch-up policy. Most paints and companies will be prepared to touch up past projects because things happen. Even to the best of us can miss a small touch up on a 12 bedroom house. We generally always take a real good look for quality service before we turn the paint job over to the customer.

Two-month touch-up period is reasonable because it'll allow the paint to fully cure, and it'll give the customer plenty of time to live in this space, and see if there are any deficiencies. It's not uncommon to see some of these warranty periods go as far as one or even two years, so just make sure you check that with your painter now for the sake of everyone involved. 

When possible try and have all the touch-ups done in one visit once you've seen one thing that needs to be fixed. Why your painter took your money and left while you have touch ups on the wall to be completed sounds like a lazy painter and a lazy painting crew. All tools and materials are on site, it takes 20 minutes to look over everything while being picky, why walk out the door before the job is finished.

I'd recommend doing a full and complete inspection in good lighting so that you don't have to organize multiple trips. So I hope this will help prepare you for a smooth painting project. Picking the right paint and the right painter is so crucial to getting the best paint job that you can. No matter what paint or primer or stain you use, 99% of the time its the painter doing the work that is going to save and carry the day. Keep your painters happy, and you'll be a happy customer with a great paint job.

Hiring pro painters and decorators ain't easy. We got a couple hundred painters and painting companies in town local to us, and it just takes a few days to call all of those painters up and lock in a free painting estimate or a free painting price quote. 1/2 Price Pro Calgary Painting can probably help you save a whole lot of time and a whole lot of money on professional house painting. Give our friendly Calgary Painters a call today and you could save yourself hundreds, maybe even thousands off a better paint job.