So you’ve decided to get your house painted but you don’t know where to start. Or, you know what you want, but the thought of making the wrong decision on who you choose turns your stomach. I know choosing any tradesman can be daunting, however, have a little faith in your intuition. There’s a good chance you’ll be able to narrow your choice down based on your ‘good egg’ radar. Here are some other factors to think about before choosing a house painter that’s right for your job.
How to hire a painter
Quoting your job
Most painters offer a free quoting service and it’s important to get your tradesman out to quote the job in person. Some jobs have a higher than average time needed to do the prep work. The longer they take to have a look around, the more realistic the quoted price will be. During this time, ask your painter how big their crew is and how many days they think it will take to complete the work. I would also ask for this on your quote.
It’s important to make sure your expectations are clearly communicated. The number of coats of paint and the level of preparation required will vary considerably. Know what level of result you want and talk to your painter about that. Some painters, like Darren, want to walk away from a job and know it’s the best result possible. If you want to pay less, live with imperfections on the walls, or only one coat to cover something up, then this needs to be clearly communicated. Remember it’s their reputation on the line.
Do your homework
Check out references, read reviews and ask to look at some past jobs. If you can see a history of positive results then this is a great indication your painter’s work is consistent. If your painter has a crew, ask the level of experience and what they will be doing on your job, if successful. It’s always good to ask friends, neighbours and relatives for recommendations. This will help support the final decision on who you choose.
You can also check they are licenced and if they have had any insurance claims through service NSW.
Signing an agreement/quote
Your painting quote should also come as an agreement which will have a place for you to sign and date. Look over your agreement carefully because this will act as a legal document if something was to go wrong. Make sure your painter has included everything you agreed on and everything you chose to leave out.
The agreement should include the painters business name and address, phone number, email, licence number and ABN. You can also ask for a copy of their public liability and workers compensation insurance certificates, if applicable. If your painter doesn’t have coverage, you could be liable if, for example, one of his crew happens to drop a plank on your neighbour’s car or someone gets hurt on your property.
Know your paint
Ask your painter to explain what paint he’ll be using and why. It’s important for you to know he’ll be using paint with a durability guarantee. Darren uses Taubmans because he believes it’s the best value for money paint and they stand by their product. It’s also good for you to understand a little bit more about different sheen paint levels and where they are used. You’ll need to know how to look after your paint because paint maintenace is important.
Pay for what you get
Price is always a tough one because everyone has a different perspective on what’s affordable. You just have to keep in mind that you’ll most likely pay for what you get. If your choice in quotes is the cheapest one, I would also think about why it’s the cheapest. This could mean fewer coats of paint, less prep work or less quality. If it’s considerably higher, I would look at how many crew members they have or if their work history is more commercial rather than residential. It will come down to what you can afford, how much trust you have in the painter, your expectations and remember…your gut feeling. It plays a big part in choosing a good house painter and you need to feel comfortable with them in your home.
Also, keep in mind you’ll most likely be paying around 10% upfront to cover paint costs. This will also allow your painter to schedule your job into their working calendar.
Good house painters will generally have work scheduled ahead of time. If you’ve got an idea on when you would like your home painted, lock them in and pay the deposit. If you leave it to the last minute you could be very disappointed.
Hopefully, these insights into choosing a house painter will help you make a more informed decision on the perfect fit for your job.