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Old 04-06-2009, 08:18 AM   #1
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How to find a painter


OH, I know you've all heard this story before-I had a job to do and I hate climbing on any roofs, at my age . Therefore, I hired a day-painter to paint the trim and siding of two dormer windows after I replaced a couple of pieces of trim on the windows. We agreed on pricing and of course he asked for some of the money up front, NOT! I only agreed to pay him after he finished painting what we had agreed to paint. He was doing a really good job and on the second day it started to rain late in the afternoon. We both had to pack up and again he asked for his money, NOT! I then agreed to pay him for what work had been completed and hold back the rest, this worked for him. It rained for three days and now I have not seen him yet. The two phone numbers he gave me-no good. The address on his drivers license-empty house. His drivers license number (I have a way to check)- expired license. Now I have word out for a Mafia type day worker, I have him/her a little work to do and I'll use the rest of the painters money to pay them. This should not take long, maybe break one leg, below the knee will do. Why? I now have to go buy another gallon of this custom mixed paint he ran off with, I have to go rent a ladder long enough for me to lay on the roof to support me so I can finish the dormer windows. If there is a next time, I will tell the painter to start at the top, at least I can finish the bottom level windows without climbing on the roof. Another lesson in life, David

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Old 04-06-2009, 09:54 AM   #2
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How to find a painter


So you went out and hired a good ole "Day Painter". I'm sure he was licensed, insured and bonded. I'm sure you checked his references. His reputation was probably well known from the ad/yellow pages/etc. that you picked him from. Let me guess, he was really cheap? You get what you pay for, I don't feel sorry for you at all.

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Old 04-07-2009, 06:08 AM   #3
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How to find a painter


Well sorry to hear about your loss and about the custom made paint that e ran off with. If you want to hire someone in your area than do try to find from craiglist in your area.

Dana
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Old 04-07-2009, 07:57 AM   #4
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For folks reading this thread (I think Thurman knows this already, and I'm in no way directing this at him):

Hiring a contractor isn't difficult. The task of weeding through the slugs out there, apparently, is.

The way to hire, sorted by increasing levels of risk:

1. Talk to your neighbor/someone at church/family/miscellaneous community group that has recently had this work done, ask if they would recommend someone, and call and talk to them (you should end up with 2-3 candidates). Get copies of their registration/license and proof of liability and workers comp insurance. Check references. Have a written contract. Call the town and see if a permit is required for your project, and have the contractor submit the permit.

2. Look up in the yellow pages. Call a bunch, talk to them, get references, and narrow it down to 2-3 outfits. Get copies of their registration/license and proof of liability and workers comp insurance. Have a written contract. Call the town and see if a permit is required for your project, and have the contractor submit the permit.

3. If you're really feeling salty, post an ad on Craigslist. Call 4-5 outfits and talk to them. Get copies of their registration/license and proof of liability and workers comp insurance. Check references. Have a written contract. Nail down anything that can be stolen. Buy the material yourself. Call the town and see if a permit is required for your project, and have the contractor submit the permit.

4. If you've hit your head recently, you might try to go down and pick up some day laborers. I'm not even going there, because some people might mis-read this and think I'm actually recommending this as a fourth option. I'm not.

Here's why you have to do the different steps:
a. Asking for recommendations cuts down your legwork.
b. Calling and speaking to a bunch of outfits and talking to them will weed out the people who don't return calls, are hard to get a hold of, are disorganized, etc.
c. Getting copies of their registration/license will arm you with info that you can use to go online and check their status at a state website to see if they're in trouble, or their license has been revoked.
d. Getting proof of liability insurance protects you if they back into your house, or burn it down, etc.
e. Getting proof of workers comp insurance protects you if they get hurt on your property. If they have workers comp insurance, it's less likely that you'd be sued if they cut themselves, fell off your roof, etc.
f. Checking references is just plain smart. Be wary of stunt-clients, though: less scrupulous contractors might give you fictitious clients (friends of theirs).
g. Having a written contract protects you in court. Having the contractor mail you back a copy of the contract is even better. Then if they swindle you, you can nail them for mail fraud as well, which is a federal offense.
h. Calling the town and seeing if a permit is required for your project - and then following the process - protects the value and safety of your property.
i. Having the contractor submit the permit puts the contractor in front of the building department, where they will be further scrutinized for licensing issues and code compliance.

A little about Craigslist: it isn't perfect. While there are honest folks there, sometimes it definitely resembles a cesspool of crooks. But if you do your homework, it might work out. I would caution everyone in how to post an ad: the lower the road you take in your wording ("do it for this, or don't call me", etc), the poorer the results will be. There is a way to write a great ad that will deliver a positive outcome.

In a nut shell, if you don't have a copy of their registration, a copy of their liability insurance, a copy of their workers comp insurance, a written contract, references that you have checked yourself, and positive results from a search of your state's division of community affairs website, and the job goes bad, then in all likelihood you'll have to look no further than the nearest mirror for where it all went wrong.

Last edited by Aggie67; 04-07-2009 at 08:00 AM.
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Old 04-07-2009, 04:14 PM   #5
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How to find a painter


OH Lord, I was not asking for anyone to feel sorry for me at all, I was just sharing this story that I thought a number of us had been through before. I did find the painter, it's not what you know in life, it's who you know. After finding the address empty, I knocked on a couple of neighbors doors and told them I needed him for a big job and had the rest of his monies to pay him. I left my phone number and it took almost three hours for a woman to call saying she was his "woman" and if I bring her the money she would tell him to call me. NOT! I lied! I told her that I had his $250 cash and would give it to him only, I only owe him $50. She told me he was at his sister's house and the address, I knew the street. I went over and found him there, he had multiple excuses as to why he had not gone back. I got my paint from him and told him that the D.A.'s office had the rest of his money and when they could determine if he had committed a crime such as "theft by default" or something like that he would get the money from them. I also informed him that I was dropping charges and would call them in the morning and he could go down and get his money from them. That made him happy and me also. Actually I had rather have his knee broken. Yes, he was a day painter/laborer, would I hire one again-Yes. It's about the only way around here to find anyone to do any of this type work. With local code enforcement checking license lately you don't see near as many people hauling ladders and lawnmowers around on the tops of cars/vans and in the trunks. My 2 worth, David
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Old 04-07-2009, 11:45 PM   #6
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What a bummer! Well - we are in the process of getting shafted by our small time contractor so I am feeling probably alot like you are right now. We now have to hire a flooring person, painter, someone to install a sliding glass door, finish the bathroom and the fireplace Aaaaaaaaagh! I WILL remember your painting story.
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Old 04-08-2009, 07:31 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thurman View Post
With local code enforcement checking license lately you don't see near as many people hauling ladders and lawnmowers around on the tops of cars/vans and in the trunks. My 2 worth, David
Just so everyone knows, I actively report unlicensed/unregistered contractors to my state's Division of Consumer Affairs. They're taking food off of my table. Craig's List is chock full of them, and they make it so easy to do a screen capture of the ad and forward it by e-mail to the enforcement office. I also always copy the ad's author, and include a link to the licensing application on consumer affairs web site. I don't want to deny anyone a means of supporting themselves, but the playing field should be level, everyone should follow the law, and the consumer should be protected.

I also applaud your local code folks for checking everyone's license status.

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