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Choosing the Right Painter

By Derren Peters

There are a few issues you should consider prior to hiring a painting contractor for your home. The most important is making sure they are properly licensed as required by local and state laws to conduct business in their chosen field. The painter you're considering may post their license number on their own website; if not, ask them for it when you speak with them. Many states have an online database that lists all currently active contractor licenses; you can enter their license number to check their status.

The painting contractor you select should have a permanent office where they operate their business. They should have the necessary equipment, tools and skilled labor. From a customer service standpoint, they should be courteous on the phone, amendable to your suggestions, and be available to speak with you (and if not, they should return your calls in a timely fashion). They should be knowledgeable in their field and well versed with the latest techniques and materials in the field. Ask for testimonials and referrals. Check online review sites to see what other customers have said about their experiences dealing with this firm. You may brush off one negative review from five years ago, but a slew of recent ones should be reason for concern.

Once you've discussed the job, they should present you with a detailed proposal highlighting the total cost of the work, the time line for its completion, and the terms of payment. As a professional firm, they should also provide a warranty for any work they perform.

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