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Old 06-18-2007, 08:46 AM   #1
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How to identify a good painting contractor?


Now that I have undertaken painting the exterior of my own home and done some research, I realize that the two contractors from whom I got estimates last year were going to cut corners and likely cause both short term and long term problems....However, since I have now found that there are areas that I cannot tackle with the equipment that I have, I am planning to hire someone to do those areas.

Question for contractors who take pride in their work:

If I were to hire a painting contractor to do work on my home, what are the top five or so questions I should ask, and what are the answers that I should get? FYI House is a 1917 two story with original wood siding, lots of chalking, little mildew, little flaking.

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Old 06-18-2007, 04:43 PM   #2
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How to identify a good painting contractor?


You should find out if you have lead paint. You can get a lead paint test kit at any paintstore or hardware store. Do that first because there are many laws on how to deal with lead paint.
As far as the 5 questions. I am not sure. I can say this you want a contractor that makes you feel comfortable. This is after all your home. So talk with the contractor and be specific on what you want done, and that it is important to you that this gets done the right way. Get everything written up in a contract that specifies that all work will get done in a timely and professional manner. Make sure that both parties know how many coats are being paid for and what all extras may exist. When hiring a contractor it is about trust.

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Old 06-18-2007, 09:24 PM   #3
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How to identify a good painting contractor?


Re they licensed.
Show you referrals and photos of similar past jobs
Do they have worker's comp for their (legal) employees?
Do they carry liability insurance?
Do they give a detailed breakdown of the scope on their proposal?
Do they want you to sign a contract that has a payment schedule (not front heavy) and start and completion dates?

If yes to all of the above...pay them what they want if you care about your house.
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Old 06-19-2007, 11:44 AM   #4
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How to identify a good painting contractor?


Make sure they have experience in this kind of painting
Ask them how long they have been in business
There are alot of painters who have insurance,lic.,ect. but no experience in
painting, and know how.All the paper work is fine,but remember it does not
take genuis to get a license, or insurance. or a contract. Most of all, find
someone YOU are comfortable with doing the work. Getting a painting license
is not that hard, a 16 year old could get one if they wanted to.Don't get me
wrong it is all good but, nothing can take the place of experience!
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Old 06-19-2007, 12:36 PM   #5
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How to identify a good painting contractor?


Very important:

one word...



Begins with an "R"...







REFERENCES
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Old 06-19-2007, 02:18 PM   #6
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How to identify a good painting contractor?


Some great advice here

Lic. is good, but not needed in all areas/states

Liability ins. is good, the amount will vary by state/region
I'd like to see a million, but some states it's 1/2

Experience with this type of project is a good one

Detailed scope of work is not really a question, but extremely important
It should say the specific steps to be done, not "paint trim"

Atlantic has the biggest one though
References
A good referral beats just about anything
Ask your friends, neighbors, golf buddies....
Or ask the contractor for some names and numbers
Call them...they'll be pretty darn honest, right down to non-deal breakers like bad breath issues
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Old 08-13-2007, 01:19 PM   #7
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How to identify a good painting contractor?


Ask the contractor for references then take time to actually ask them questions about the quality of the contractor's job.
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Old 09-17-2007, 05:40 PM   #8
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How to identify a good painting contractor?


In addition to references, ask for the address of a recent job so you can drive by and see for yourself. Get our of your car and inspect the paint job closely, hoping no one inside calls the cops. (You'll probably want to politely knock on the door first and let the homeowners know what you're doing.)
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Old 09-17-2007, 06:11 PM   #9
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How to identify a good painting contractor?


Quote:
Originally Posted by skwpt View Post
In addition to references, ask for the address of a recent job so you can drive by and see for yourself. Get our of your car and inspect the paint job closely, hoping no one inside calls the cops. (You'll probably want to politely knock on the door first and let the homeowners know what you're doing.)
It's actually not out of line to ask the person who is referenced if they mind you coming over to look at the specific work.
We ask our clients if they mind us using them as a reference before they are put on our "reference" list. That way they are not surprised by a request for someone to "look at something" - tho, it doesn't happen that often...

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