Basic Principles for Choosing a Painting Contractor

Choosing a Painting Contractor:

It sounds so easy.  You get a name from a friend, Google it, or even try Yelp, Angie’s List, Houzz, or others.  Yet if it is so easy, why are complaints so high in the industry?  Something doesn’t add up.  To find success in choosing a painting contractor, we suggest you follow a few golden rules.  Let’s dive in.


Define Success

We are not talking about straight lines and good coverage.  While important, those are baseline expectations that every painter had better offer.  In fact, if we had a nickel for every so named “XYZ QUALITY Painting Company” we wouldn’t need to write blogs anymore.   The truth is, you’re going to judge the experience more than the work itself (within reason).  You simply didn’t realize it until now.  When you’re thinking about choosing a painting contractor, ask yourself questions like:

  • Am I okay with lax emails and phone calls being returned? Or do I need someone who is on it?  A point person.  On task.
  • Do I value written word or am I okay with a verbal agreement?  What is the risk of either?
  • Does the staffing level of the “painting company” match with how long you want the project to take?  Does it make sense based on the project size?
  • How important is a warranty or a “sure thing” for you versus rolling the dice?
  • Do I expect follow up or responsiveness if there is an issue?
  • Who will actually do the work, a subcontractor or employees and do I trust either?


Trust Capitalism

We hear it often, for good reason.  You get what you pay for.   Our capitalist system lets the crème rise to the top and you know where the other stuff goes…    So really, why would painting be any different?  Just because it’s a relatively simple task doesn’t mean it doesn’t follow economic principles.  That said, there is no denying that the best painters charge what they’re worth.  On the other end of the spectrum, the lower cost painters charge only what they can (and often have headaches that come along with it).   So when you’re choosing a painting contractor, be smart, invest wisely, seek value that makes sense for you!


Trust Yourself

That instinct you have will guide you.  What feels like a good fit probably will be.  What doesn’t sit right with you definitely won’t work.  And going against your gut will be like trying to convince yourself that you like something that you don’t… whether that’s raw oysters, dark beer, the Chicago Bears, or a minivan. The right sales representative, consultant, painter, or paint company, should feel like the perfect fitting shoe.  You’ll know.


But… I Don’t Trust Myself BECAUSE…I’m Too Trusting!

Don’t be afraid to ask the hard questions!  The right contractor will be transparent.  Ask to see proof of insurance and the limits and types.  Note they should all be set high, and you’ll want general liability, work comp, and commercial auto; ideally with an umbrella to cap it all.  Ask about some jobs that went bad, why, and how they were handled.  Do the stories add up?  Get things in writing.  Actually call the references or even visit their homes if possible.  Look at trade affiliations and call to see if the member company is active, or just using a “badge/sticker” to make themselves appear well.  When in doubt, make a few more calls or inquiries until you find someone who wants your business, values you, values your business, and will stick by your project through thick and thin. For more information on choosing the right painter for your home or building, get in touch with us today.

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