The Maslow hierarchy of needs implies that shelter is a basic need for human beings. It must be fulfilled before any other need can be met. Given the significance of a home, most people spend their hard-earned money to invest in making their home as comfortable and cosy as possible. The interior and exterior design of the home proves to be a major statement about its overall appearance and beauty. In particular, the choice of colours used in painting the different rooms of the house certainly has a positive effect on the mood and attitude of the occupiers. Therefore, every homeowner should invest in the painting of particular rooms according to their use and the preference of the users. Although some home owners choose the DIY project in painting their room, getting a professional painter goes a long way in delivering the desired quality. Unfortunately, some of the painters may perform terribly, leaving you extremely disappointed. On the other hand, some may charge too much, making the project uneconomical. Consequently, choosing the right painter is the first step in ensuring you get the quality that you desire. Here are tips that can guide you in choosing the right painter around you.
Tips on How to Choose a Painters Near You
Choose Professional Painting companies
The main aim of painting a room is to integrate the functionality factor with the aesthetic value of the room. If you have already made the decision to hire a painter rather than to do it yourself, it would be prudent to ensure that you get professional services delivered. This implies that the painter you choose should be a professional with several years of experience. You can get this information by interviewing the potential painters and performing a background check to confirm this information. Often, two years of active experience should be acceptable.
What About Subcontractors?
You should also consider the type of painter that should be hiring. Here, some contractors work through their own employees while others use subcontractors. You should prefer the employees that are linked to the company under a binding contract as these are less likely to be careless during the job or deliver poor quality of work. On the other hand, the subcontractors may not have a binding contract with the company and this may affect their credibility. Moreover, the employees, under their agreement with the contractor, have insurance covers while the subcontractors do not have such a provision.
While any painter may present his prior work and claim to have been in the industry for long, the credible ones will provide their legal licenses. Ask to see their legal documents and insurance policy for the company and their workers. This will ensure that you do not carry the extra burden of being responsible for the safety of the workers while they are on your site. Choose contractors with valid licensing to ensure they are the professionals they claim to be. This will protect you from unnecessary frustrations, ensure you get quality services, limit the time you spend on the project, and save you from having to spend extra money.
General Costs Involved when hiring Painters
The final cost of painting a house is dependent on several factors. Ask your contractor to make a rough estimate on the costs that will be involved in the project. He should make an elaborate plan on the quantity and quality of materials that will be needed to complete the project. The plan should be drafted professionally, and explanations offered for taking each decision. The contractor will also offer suggestions on the latest trends at this point and advice on choosing the most current colours and finishes that will give your house the oomph it needs. Besides making the needed budget, the contractor should provide the estimated price charged for the project. While the bidder with the lowest charges sounds desirable, you should not rush to making this choice without regard to the quality of services they deliver.
Apparently, most of the professional workers will not come cheap. However, you can negotiate and get a bargain that is appropriate to your budget, without compromising on the quality of the project. In choosing the best bidder, you can consider at least three of them. Consider the overall benefits of each of the bidders, and chose the one that guarantees the best services at the best price. Although the bidder you choose might be a bit expensive, choosing the right one will prove beneficial eventually due to the quality you get, that may last for a long while before you need to repaint the house.
What to Expect for The Price You Pay
The costs of the painting project range from the prices of acquiring the raw materials to the charges paid to the painter. Besides acquiring the charges offered by the painter, you will need to cover the purchase of the raw materials. The cost of the paints, for instant, depends on the type and quality of paint you purchase. The flat paint sells cheaply, followed by eggshell or matte, then satin. The semi gloss and gloss paints head the price list, charging quite highly as compared to their counterparts. The differences in price depending on the sheen of the paint are not high, in that it can be as low as a dollar per gallon difference. Moreover, the difference in price may depend on the hue of the paint. Darker paints cost higher than their lighter counterparts do. The difference may be as high as $20. To avoid being affected by these price differences, ensure you have discussed and written down the paints you desire while drafting the contract. This will prevent any rude shocks that you may get when you contractor chooses more expensive options than what you had in mind. This should be done for the expected prices of all coats and primers.
When you choose the right contractor, you expect to get an amazing return on your investment. You hope for a high quality product that will be worth the costs you incur in completing the project. This is because the right contractor is professional in his dealings, and he ensures he follows the directions you offer. You also expect to find a painter you can work with easily, take advice from without Moreover, the project will be completed on time, with reduced frustrations and wastage.
Exterior VS Interior Painting Contractors: What Is The Difference?
Most methods and tools used by exterior painting contractors are similar to those used by interior contractors. However, the ingredients of exterior paints and interior paints differ. Since paints are primary components when painting, we shall look at how interior and exterior paints differ.
Therefore, what is the difference in composition between the interior paints and exterior paints?
There are two types of exterior and interior paints that a painting contractor can chose from, oil-based and water-based. Oil-based include alkyd paints; while water-based include acrylic and latex paints.
For exterior paints, most contractors prefer oil-based since it resists dirt. Also, the water-based latex paint is commonly used because it is more durable than the oil-based paint. The exterior paints are made to cope with external factors such as temperature, humidity, sunlight, among others. They also have an added advantage; they take fewer days to dry, unlike the alkyds paints. The outdoor paints contain additives for durability, dirt resistance, resistance to cracks and protection from ultraviolet (UV) rays. Also, most exterior paints have mildewcide additive to inhibit the growth of mildew and mould.
On the other hand, indoor painting contractors prefer water-based paints mostly because the oil-based paints have fumes. The interior paints do not have additives to resist dirt; instead, their composition is designed to make the paint withstand sticking, scratches and scuffs (for instance, around window frames). It is also intended to hold up cleaning (for example, scrubbing artwork or removing tomato sauce splash using alkaline cleaner).
Both outdoor and indoor painting contractors understand that additives are the main components of both paints. The other three elements differ in exterior and interior paints including liquids, binders and pigment. Also, exterior painting contractors cannot use interior paints on external because they lack environment specific additives.
Difference Between Pigment, Binders
Let’s have a look at the difference between pigment, binders and liquids in both exterior and interior paints.
The pigment is the element known to provide paint with colour. Indoor paints may have organic pigments although some organic pigments fade fast. Thus, contractors cannot use them for exterior painting purposes. On the other hand, outdoor paints do not contain the pigments that fade quickly to increase for longevity.
Binders are used to bind the pigment and offer the painted surface the required adhesion. Exterior paints need to resist the harsh environmental effects. Therefore, binders used in outdoor paints help in combatting chalking, cracking and increase moisture control. On the other hand, binders in indoor formulations provide resistance from abrasion, which is not a priority quality in outdoor paints.
Interior VS Exterior Liquids Used
The types of liquids used also differ in both exterior and interior paints. Indoor paints especially the interior water-based paints such as the latex contains the lowest volatile organic compound (VOCs). VOCs are solvents in the liquid paint component but evaporate at room temperature. VOCs are known to cause both short and long-term health problems, from dizziness and headaches (short-term) to liver damage and respiratory diseases (long-term). They are also associated with some types of cancers. Therefore, interior painting contractors are advised to purchase indoor paints that contain low-to-no VOCs. On the other hand, exterior paints do not meet the low-to-no VOCs requirement. For that reason, interior painting contractors should never use exterior paints for indoor purposes.
How to Communicate With the Contractor
While interviewing the potential contractor, take note of the kind of information they offer. The communication from the contractor tells a lot about their competence. For instance, a reputable contractor will need to understand the fine details of your project beforehand. He or she will take time drafting the needs of the project and preparing before embarking on the real job, on the other hand, incompetent painting contractors will rush to do the project since they are only interested in being paid. This will result in shoddy work that may need to be repeated several times before meeting the desired results.
Ask detailed questions from your painter regarding the best choices to be made for a desired home design. The answers you get will help you gauge whether the painter can deliver what is required of him or her. You may also appreciate the kind of information you get from the painter on how you can enhance your project. For instance, a knowledgeable contractor may discourage you from choosing a dull colour for your baby girl’s room. He will then help you choose a colour with which you will be comfortable, without sacrificing the happiness of your daughter or son. Such a knowledgeable contractor will not let a mistake to happen as soon as the contract is in place.
Choosing a painter, who claims to be compatible with your needs, will save you a lot of uncalled for pressure and frustrations. This is because you will be able to communicate your needs to the contractor, and he or she will understand you easily. He can seek for clarifications and offer advice easily since he has a clear idea of the outcome that you are looking for. This strong duo will create an amazing product that will automatically change the coziness of the house. Below you will find a section with the 10 best questions to ask when looking for a painting contractor near you.
The Credibility of the Painter
Before settling for the painter who will be working on your project, you may want to counter check the credibility of the information you have gathered. Here, you may ask the contractor to provide a few references that you may call up or even visit to see their handy work. This is the most essential part since some people may have provided false information on their documents or their competence. If the prior customers were dissatisfied, you would definitely have saved your hard-earned money. However, if the clients seem to be contented, they will increase your confidence in working with the contractor. Either way, this step will prove essential to your search of a credible painter that will not disappoint you.
Ensure that the contractor you choose is knowledgeable in his field of work. You will gather this information by seeking the advice of the contractor on various factors regarding the project. The professional ones will offer clear and credible advice while the less competent ones will not. This will help you make a decision regarding the painter you will choose for your work. It also communicates about the experience of the contractor, dispelling any fears you might have abhorred.
10 Questions to Ask Your Painting Contractor
When you decide to look for a painting contractor either for interior or exterior paint job, you need to find a professional painter. But how do you know if the painter is the best fit for the job? You need to ask the right questions. Painting contractors vary in quality of services provided, and some may have no experience or license. They also affect the outcome. Depending on the answers you get, you will be able to choose the right contractor saving you both frustration and money.
Below are ten questions you should ask your potential contractor before hiring:
1. How long have you been in the painting business?
It is recommendable to choose a painting contractor who has been in the industry for not less than five years. This helps you make sure that you are not dealing with a fly-by-night painter who can leave the town even before the project is finished.
2. Are you insured?
To avoid lawsuits, hire a contractor who has professional liability insurance, compensation for workers, and general liability insurance. Request for copies of insurance certificates for verification purposes. Then, to verify if the certificates are valid, contact the insurance company. If you hire a painting contractor who is not insured, you might be liable for injuries and damages that could occur during the job to the workers and property.
3. Do you offer any warranty?
A dependable painting contractor provides warranty on his or her work including labour and materials. Ask him/her what happens if the job isn’t completed as expected. Will the contractor provide 100% job satisfaction? Although quality issues rarely happen when a professional handle a painting project. A reliable contractor should supply all the necessary labour and materials to amend poor work quality or defective materials at no cost.
4. Will you use employees or subcontractors?
Most painting contractors hire subcontractors instead of employees to reduce their costs. Subcontractors are paid a fixed rate, and the painting contractor does not have to pay for employee benefits and social security taxes. However, hiring a contractor who works with subcontractor can put you at risk:
- The subcontractors could be offering the lowest rates, so the contractor makes more money from it. This can lead to low work quality.
- Since subcontractors are paid at a fixed pay rate, they may cut corners to finish the job faster.
- Using subcontractors increase the chances that the contractor has no workmen’s compensation insurance.
The above scenarios affect the quality of work and the safety of your belongings and property. Hence, hire a painting contractor with real workers.
5. What products do you use?
The quality of products used on your painting job impacts durability and appeal. The quality of coatings including paints, stains, calk and other materials differ. Expensive paints are usually rich in ingredients such as titanium, binders, and resins that last longer and look better. Therefore, ask for information about the materials that your contractor intends to use for the project.
6. How much will the project cost?
A low cost should not be your first or only consideration when hiring a contractor. Low prices do not guarantee high-quality results. Although a contractor might be reluctant to state the exact cost, he/she should offer you a good-faith estimate. The reason could be the price increase in the cost of materials. The price of a paint can increase before the project is completed, which the contractor has no control. Also, if you want to add something or to change colour, it can change the estimated cost.
7. How long will the painting project take?
This is a vital question if you have an urgent need for a contractor. While some painting contractors may have tight schedules, extending months, others can begin immediately. Also, the quoted time for completion differs from one contractor to the other depending on the size of their working team.
8. How much wall prep is required?
You should have the contractor put the entire preparation process in writing and make sure he/she signs it. Always confirm that wall preparation is properly carried out before painting commences. All bad spots and holes on the walls should be repaired. Also, the surfaces should be sanded or scraped to remove all the old paint. Wall prep is as important as the painting process, which helps prevent premature cracking and peeling.
9. Are you involved in community service?
Some people may feel that community involvement is important when interviewing a painting contractor. Giving back to the community shows that the contractor is confident that he /she offers quality work and cares about homeowners he/she works for.
10. Who will manage the project?
It is important to know who will manage the painting project, especially if the project requires employees. If the person you work with during the estimation process will not be the one to manage the project, insist on meeting the project manager. This will help you determine whether you feel safe and comfortable working with them.
What to Pay Attention To: Final Round Up
When choosing the right painter contractor near you, pay attention to the experience he or she claims to have. Countercheck the information from credible sources, and ask for references to review the contractor’s prior work. You may also need to pay attention to the quality of services delivered to the clients by visiting some of the people on the references list. Moreover, you can check the feedback of prior clients on their website or social media sites if they have any. All this is geared towards checking the credibility of the contractor lest you are cheated.
Pay attention to the compatibility of the contractor with you. You can realize this by observing and communicating with him beforehand, and gauging whether it will be easy to work with the individual. You do not want someone that will intimidate you and deliver his preferences in your space.
Check for the cost of the contractor, and ensure that you could not have gotten a better deal. Cutting costs may prove counter-effective, but you may be missing a great opportunity by making a rushed decision. Thus, you should pay great attention to the cost benefit of the contractor before settling on the right one.
You may also need to pay attention to the type of paints that the painter purchases. This is because some fraudster painters may agree to use the most expensive paint in the industry and charge you accordingly, but mix the qualities when making the purchase. You may not notice the difference if you do not pay attention to the fine details. Some may even mix water with the paints to increase the quantity. This implies that you need to be there to oversee the project and ensure you get the services for which you paid.
In brief, getting the best home painting contractors around you may seem like an easy task. It is not! It requires patience and integrity, as well as commitment. You will need to ask critical questions and require detailed answers before making your choice. Counter-check the information you gather from credible sources such as the contractor’s references. You will also need to consider the prices of the required materials and discuss the budget estimates with the contractor. Conduct a background check to ensure that the prices you get are competitive and credible. Following these tips may not safeguard you against unprofessional painters, but it will enhance your chances of getting the right painter. The time and cost spent in hiring the right painter will reflect in the quality of services you get.