If you are wondering “what is the best house painting company near me”, then its a sign that your beloved home needs a color refreshing. Consumer Reports says that colors you pick for your home’s interior and/or exterior can lower the time it takes to sell your house and a fresh coat of paint could even prompt a higher selling price.
Debbie Zimmer of the Paint Quality Institute agrees. She notes that trendy shades of blue always make a home more desirable, but suggests home sellers avoid green unless they’re in no rush to sell.
Realtor Dominick Cardone of the National Association of Realtors always recommends white, gray and tan to clients in a quandary about colors when they’re about to put their homes on the market.
Eager to stay in your home? The sky’s the limit if you’ve always wanted to paint interior walls fire-engine red and school bus yellow. Just remember that when time comes to cover outrageous primary colors, you’ll need twice as much paint to do the job.
If you think making color decisions is your only dilemma, wait until you begin to do the dance of the house painting contractors!
Finding the right paint specialist in your area may seem a no-brainer at first blush, but it’s no stroll down the paint aisle to find the right one.
You troll the Internet. Call Cousin Jake. Query neighbors about house painting contractors’ experiences. Your objective? No regrets over the finished look of your home or the balance in your bank account.
Table of Contents
- How to select the best house painters
- What services do painting contractors offer?
- What will your house painting project cost?
- Homeowner beware
- Will painting my house really increase its value?
How to select the best house painters
Is there a one-size-fits-all approach to finding the perfect painter? Not unless you live in an alternative universe. Of course, criteria differ, and your only goal may be to conduct a search for “house painters near me” because that’s all you care about.
On the other hand, many homeowners take this search more seriously because there’s a lot riding on the contractor you choose.
For that reason and more, having guidelines that take you beyond your criteria of recruiting house painters in your area can be invaluable. Ask these 10 questions when interviewing candidates to pre-qualify contractors on your short list:
10 things to look for in house painters
- Does the painter belong to a union? The International Union of Painters and Allied Trades has been around since 1887. Membership may factor into your decision because union training standards are rigorous and certifications offer assurances of excellence in workmanship.
- Is the contractor licensed? Licensing adds to a painter’s credibility and gives a homeowner recourse in the event something goes wrong during the job. The Department of Labor & Industries maintains a list of licensed painters on their website, or check with state authorities for verification.
- Does the house painter carry insurance? This could be the single most important question of all to ask, whether you live in a modest cottage or a celebrity-worthy mansion. At the very least, a painting contractor should carry general liability insurance plus workers’ compensation insurance.
- Is the painter willing to give you references? Once upon a time, this was the most popular method of assessing the work of a contractor, but in today’s world, self-promoting testimonials disguised as references have become commonplace. For that reason, ask for phone numbers rather than just relying on the testimonials printed on a brochure or popping up on a website.
- Can you run a background check to verify candidates’ credentials? Websites often act like Yellow Pages these days, but don’t rely solely on them to make your decision. A background check can let you know about a firm’s reputation, credit standing and more.
- Is the painter amenable to accommodating your time schedule? You’re the exception if you haven’t heard horrific tales of painters showing up days late, breezing past deadlines and taking so many jobs at the same time, workers are harried, unpredictable and unreliable. Those reference calls could offer accountability assurances of painters you favor.
- Is the contractor willing to bid your job? Ideally, having three bids from which to choose is ideal, and painters are used to crafting estimates. Besides, you’ll get excellent cues about performance if you establish a bid deadline and a few candidates don’t meet it.
- Will the painter offer you a written warranty or guarantee that covers his or her work? Plenty of contractors are confident enough to offer a 3-year warranty on the job, but if a contractor is only willing to offer a 1-year warranty—or if that warranty is based on a handshake rather than a certificate—it’s okay to be skeptical.
- Do you feel comfortable with the contractor? This is no insignificant question. If your job is big enough, a painting crew will invade your private space at all hours to undertake the job and if, for any reason, you feel uncomfortable, don’t ignore the feeling. This is where background checks can be extremely valuable decision-making tools.
- How long has a contractor been in business? You want a painter who has been there and done that—a resource who knows the territory. College kids are great. Veterans are greater. Painters who have been on the job the longest tend to deliver more reliable time and cost estimates and may have less turnover. Consummate professionals belong to organizations like the Better Business Bureau, Chamber of Commerce and trade groups.
What services do painting contractors offer?
Canada’s Centre for Occupational Health and Safety posts a comprehensive list of general responsibilities undertaken by professional house painters. Not every contractor does every task on this list, but to get a general idea of what to expect, browse this list.
Painting contractor Services:
- Make job time and budget estimates and prepare documentation following negotiation.
- Produce agreed-to proof of insurance, licensing, certifications and other background material.
- Provide you with a work contract. If a contractor has no standard form, you can make your own using this template.
- Discuss and choose paint and trim colors with homeowners.
- Re-arrange and cover all furnishings with drop cloths to protect home contents.
- Assess problems related to old homes (mold; mildew; lead-based paint; asbestos and other hazards).
- Assemble all materials onsite (ladders, paint pans, brushes, rollers, sprayers, drop cloths, safety gear).
- Prepare interior/exterior surfaces for painting (e.g., remove wallpaper; sand drywall; remove exterior soil).
- Fill interior wall holes with caulking to seal drywall and ready it for painting.
- Power wash and clean exterior walls to prepare them for painting.
- Sand all surfaces before applying primer coats.
- Paint all agreed-to surfaces, trim and architectural features like window frames and doors.
- Maintain a daily “clean-up schedule” while the job is in progress for the safety of homeowners.
- Undertake a daily assessment of time and material usage to stay on deadline.
- If stipulated, stain bathroom and/or kitchen cabinets, exterior decks, porches, fences or unattached garages.
- Undertake a thorough clean-up once the job’s done by removing tarps and drop cloths.
- Dry and/or wet-vacuum floors and return all furnishings to their pre-work places.
- Tour property with clients to address questions before the final payment is made.
What will your house painting project cost?
Assessing a typical painting job cost could remind you of throwing darts at a board during a carnival and hoping you hit the sweet spot that guarantees you a prize.
There are many variables to be considered: The cost of living in your state, whether you choose union painters, the size of your home, the amount of surface you need covered, patchwork and repairs required to prepare walls and any agreed-to accommodations arranged between parties.
That stated, the website Homewyse offers you a calculator to estimate your job based on your property size and zip code. Use it to estimate the amount of money you’ll likely spend having the interior of your home painted. Here’s an example of what you’ll find:
Interior Painting Cost Example
–Material costs for painting the interior of a 120-square foot home runs between $94 and $127.
–Labor costs for painting the interior of a 120-square foot home range from $222 to $540.
-If a homeowner purchases supplies or rents equipment for this job, add from $57 to $71.
-As you can tell, the per square foot disparity doubles the amount from $3.11 to $6.15.
Exterior Painting Cost Example
The Homewyse website also helps homeowners estimate exterior paint job costs. Use their algorithms to make calculations based on your zip code and home size:
–Materials for painting the exterior of a 125-square foot home run between $35 and $98.
–Labor costs for this 125-square foot job may range from $102 to $247.
-Homeowners who buy their supplies or rent equipment can expect to expend between $9 and $10.
-If the exterior of a home requires power washing, add between $21 and $50.
-In sum, this exterior painting job may run between $1.16 and $2.45 per square foot.
As a consumer, you have every right to demand proof of licenses, certifications, insurance, recommendations and other assurances that a paint contractor is on the up and up.
We live in a day and age of hyper-caution about everything from scam artists to predators. Some contractors lie about backgrounds and/or credentials. These are situations in which you could find yourself if you don’t apply due diligence when you qualify a contractor for your home painting project.
- -The contractor says they’re insured but stalls when asked to produce proof.
- -Painters passing off auto or health policies as proof of insurance.
- -Contractors who offer out-of-date paperwork as proof of licensing.
- -Warranties with walls of tiny print that negate assurances made by the contractor.
- -Falsified documents or paperwork featuring date changes that make them look current.
- -General contractors pawning off jobs on unreliable or less-skilled sub-contractors.
- -Painting crews made up of laborers who haven’t been background checked.
- -Contractors who drop off laborers and leave them unsupervised for days on end.
- -Painters who promise quality paint but substitute cheap/generic brands to hype their profit margin.
Will painting my house really increase its value?
If you suffered through the financial crash of 2008 and lived to tell about it, you know that when the market is under water, it matters not whether your home looks great or just acceptable because a depressed market drives home seekers to pick up bargains.
It took years for the real estate market to recover from the avalanche of shoppers seeking distressed, repossessed and fixer-uppers they were happy to paint themselves.
Today’s market is healthy and flourishing; it’s returned to equilibrium, says Kristine Tucker, writing for the website Pocket Sense. While there are no guarantees, your decision to paint your home’s interior, exterior or both remains one of the most inexpensive ways of all to raise your home’s value because fresh coats of interior paint have the power to completely change a room’s mood enough to seduce shoppers.
Getting house hunters out of their cars in the first place is the original challenge realtors face. Tucker’s research efforts included a visit to HandyAmerica.com where she learned that “an exterior paint job will increase the current market value of your home up to 200 percent, plus resale recovery.” It’s okay to be skeptical about this figure, but it’s reason for optimism.
Bottom line is that for picky people, a lousy paint job is a huge turn-off, which is why hiring the right contractor is essential to getting the price you seek. Little things like the drips, spills, uneven brush marks and obvious differences in paint intensity won’t work on your behalf, so it’s wise to use a contractor to do the job right.
And if you intend to stick around rather than sell, you’re going to take more pride in your home for years to come, so look upon your house painting contractor as the magician capable of re-defining the way your home looks by simply wielding a paint brush, roller and his unique skills.
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