A group of professional contractors recently spoke with a group of homeowners about what to consider when hiring a painting contractor. The homeowners were advised to seek out as may quotes as possible, however, the speakers reasoned that prices should not be the deciding factor when choosing contractors. The expert panel of contractors further added that if homeowners simply based their hiring decision solely on the lowest bidding company, they may be depriving themselves of contractors who have higher quality materials and who are more highly skilled. When choosing Toronto contractors, customers need to evaluate how the contractors will do the prep work, the quality of primers that they intend to use, as well as the quality of the paint.
The decorating professionals also added that homeowners need to ask the potential painting contractors certain questions to better help them make the appropriate hiring decision. It is important that the customer learn how long the contractors have been in business, if they are able to provide references, if they belong to any contractor associations and whether or not they offer written guarantees on the quality of their work. In addition, it is important to determine whether or not the contractors have insurance, and if they are licensed and bonded. Furthermore, the homeowner may want to know whether the painting contractor performs the work themselves, or the work is “subbed out,” by a subcontractor.
Most importantly, the homeowner needs to feel comfortable interacting with the painting contractor. It is very important for a homeowner to feel as though the contractor is courteous and professional. Also, determining whether or not the contractor has a full work schedule is also important. Most higher quality contractors are very busy, however, “busyness” does not guarantee quality work. Returning phone calls and email correspondence is also important, as is timeliness in keeping appointments. Checking references is a crucial component in the hiring process as well. After the painting contractor has been hired, it is essential that the homeowner review the written contract to make sure that it is reflective of the agreement between contractor and homeowner. Items to check on the written contract include which paint colors are to be used for the job, how and when the painting contractor will be paid for services rendered, how long the painting job will take, how will the prep and clean-up be handled, and how will the contractor protect furniture, plants and other items in the home or outside, if the job is an exterior paint job.
Depending upon the contractor, as well as the homeowner’s personal preferences, the contractor will either purchase the supplies, or if desired, the homeowner will purchase his own supplies, in accordance with the contractor’s recommendations. It is important to note, however, that some painting contractors may not wish to use the materials supplied by the homeowner, because they do not meet their quality control specifications. In these cases, the contractor and homeowner need to compromise on which type of supplies will be used. References and recommendations from family and friends are also important things to consider when making a hiring decision. If family and friends are unable to supply the homeowner with this information, online review sites are generally very telling. Most often, however, online review sites are scant with information concerning small, local businesses, as they focus more on larger, more visible companies. The Better Business Bureau and Chamber of Commerce are also good resources to rely on when making the decision to hire a painting contractor.