Finding a good painting contractor

Choosing the right painting contractor isn’t an easy task.  Having someone you don’t know, in your home or even outside, can feel like an invasion of privacy.  Can I trust him or her to do what they have contracted to do?  Here are some practical suggestions from a contractor’s standpoint:

1.        Don’t pay for advice. 

Websites like Angie’s List charge consumers. Similarly, Service Magic charges the contractors.  Don’t rely on any one website, which requires money, to recommend a contractor.  A much better approach is through friends, neighbors and/or social networking.

2.       The internet itself is a good place to start if you don’t have any personal recommendations.  But, when you see a company that looks good to you, here is how can you qualify them further.

3.       Phone the contractor and describe what your project looks like.  How the contractor treats you on the phone will tell you a lot about who you are dealing with.  Is he timely in responding to your call?  Does he sound like he is really interested in making your project his?

4.       Is he knowledgeable and qualified to complete the scope of work you are asking him to do?  Does he have experience doing this?

5.       Will he provide you a list of satisfied customers that would use him again?  This is fast and easy to do with email.

6.       If the contractor has references to prove he is competent to do the painting/coatings he is recommending, then ask for a face-to-face visit.

7.       Ask for a written proposal after you have explained what you want and he has explained his recommended options. 

It never hurts to speak to more than one contractor and get multiple bids.   The reason you want to go through the process more than once is that everyone is able to make a good impression, but your second call or face-to-face meeting will confirm what you already know. After meeting a few contractors you should have a pretty good idea of who to hire.

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