Certain projects are best done by professionals rather than a DIY. Now that you have decided to hire a professional painter for your property, there are certain pointers to be taken care of before starting the project. You'll want to make sure that the painters are delivering the best quality work. Asking questions to the painting contractor prior to hiring is the best way to avoid any kind of mishaps and regrets by the end of the painting project. Make sure all your questions are well answered and the communication channel is open all the time during the project.
Points to be considered and asked a painter
Insurance - Public Liability and Workers Insurance(PCBU)
Experience and Reviews
Products and tools being used
Safety measures and home protection
What should I do
Let's look at each of the paints in detail
The first question to ask any painter even before proceeding with the estimate is if the contractor has a license to paint. As painting is a trade work, any painter/contractor in NSW should have a license to do any kind of residential painting worth $5000 or above including labor and materials. Unlicensed painters may give you a lower quote which can be tempting but they fail to provide with required insurances and workmanship guarantee. The first reason that they are unlicensed could be that they do not meet all the requirements to be awarded a license. Hiring an unlicensed painter could even lead to disasters of an unimpressive paint job, damage to the property which could result in you spending much more than intending to for the paintwork.
2. Insurance - Public Liability and Workers Compensation Insurance(PCBU)
Any painting contractor should have Public Liability Insurance, not less than $1million. This protects the homeowner from any kind of damage to the property caused due to the painter. If it's a PCBU, all the painters working for the company should be covered by Workers Compensation Insurance in addition to the Public Liability Insurance, to protect the painters from any injuries happening during the painting process.
3. Written Estimate
It is always a good practice to get written quotes which mention all the activities carried out by the painters for the amount of price estimated. This ensures the homeowner is informed of the tasks painters do during the course of the painting project. This further helps the homeowner if any part of the project has been missed or if the contractor changes the price at the end of the job without prior notice. Check what all are included in the estimate before accepting it. Written estimates are proof of the contract for the painting project between the homeowner and the painting contractor. Any additional tasks or changes in pricing should be mentioned and updated due course in the estimate before finally converting it to an invoice. Homeowners should step up and get a written estimate before letting the painting contractor start on the project.
4. Experience and Reviews
Reviews play an important role in choosing contractors. No one wants to hire a contractor who has negative reviews for their services be it in any industry. When it comes to painters, hire the ones who can work within your budget but at the same time have decent and good reviews. Hiring unprofessional painters can result in crappy paintwork followed by spending more than the estimated price, in correcting the blunders. Check for the experience of the painting contractor. An experienced painter could potentially do fewer mistakes than a novice painter.
5. Painting Process
When it comes to the actual painting, many clients are not aware of the steps involved. This makes them more vulnerable to fall for shoddy paint jobs. Painting involves cleaning, preparation of the surface with appropriate products and finally using the correct paint type for a particular surface type. You should always ask the painter or painting contractor about the process, products, and tools used for painting. Doing a little bit of research from your end makes it easy for you to understand and catch the missing steps, if any, explained by the contractor.
It does not matter how good a paint product is, poor surface preparation leads to paint failure by the paint not adhering to the surface, chipping too soon, or cracks in the paint. Make sure cleaning, sanding, and cracks are filled with the right products for a smooth and even finish of painting.
6. Workmanship Guarantee
Firstly, there are two types of warranties, one from the manufacturer for the paint, and the other from the painter for the application of the said paint products. A painting company's or painting contractor's warranty should cover you against the issues caused by the workmanship. It is reasonable that a painter should provide a warranty for their service against the paint peeling, flaking, or blistering from the surface.
Make sure you receive a guarantee on the workmanship of the painters, in writing. When the painters are confident about their skills and techniques, there should be no reason why they wouldn't want to provide a guarantee on their painting execution. In the guarantee, make sure all that is covered are listed clearly. It should specifically say about the workmanship rather than the paint products warranty. The guarantee shouldn't be any less than 3 years as the defect tend to show only after 2 years of painting.
7. Products and tools being used
There are many paint companies selling products which are almost similar or sometimes one better than the other. Doing some research will help you in understanding the pros and cons of each other. Talk to your painting contractors on which products they intend to use and which products you would want them to. When coming to tools, some surfaces need traditional paintbrushes to be used, and some locations a roller and some an air spray. Do not let your painter choose low-quality products as they are cheaper compared to other good brands in the market. Cheap products are just that. You might have to use more products or end up spending more in the coming years as a consequence of using lower quality paints. Painting is a long-term investment in your property. So choose your paint products wisely to have a smooth and even finish that lasts for a long time.
Many painting contractors these days are using sub-contractors to do painting jobs. Is this bad? Yes! With sub-contractors, the actual contractor pays only a flat fee and need not be bothered about anything like insurance, supplying tools, etc. They do not have control over these sub-contractors which will eventually affect your painting project if they are not on good terms. Since they get a flat fee, they do not spend the actual amount of time to be spent, rather they try to finish the job quickly by cutting around the corners. The contractors will look for a sub-contractor that charges them a low fee, but this could result in low-quality work. And there is no guarantee that background checks have been done on the sub-contractors. When hiring a contractor make sure the painters that are going to be on the project are the workers from their own payroll.
9. Safety measures and home protection
It is imperative that you inform your painters if there are any hazards expected in the property so that they come prepared. For eg., older homes may have lead and asbestos present in the paint or on their property which needs special treatment. This could potentially put the painters at risk. Some painters who are qualified to deal with them can charge you extra for this on their estimate.
Painters as well need to take care of the property while painting by not damaging any part of the property, or the client's furnishings, or the decor. All the work areas should be covered properly prior to beginning the painting project. Any damages to the property or furnishings will be covered by the Public Liability Insurance of the painter/contractor. Check with the contractor about the measures being taken for your home protection. Ask them about the cleanup post the painting service.
10. What should I do
You may not be involved in the painting process, but there could be some tasks that you need to do before the painters come and do their job. Keep the property in a position that it easy for the painters to finish the paintwork. Some painters move the furniture wherever required but not everyone. So you may need to move some furniture and create space, remove wall decor or furnishings to make it trouble-free for the painters. Ask them about the tasks that need to be done from your end.
Once you ask the questions and get the responses, you can decide if the contractor/company is right for painting your property. You can get estimates from different contractors and choose the best.
That being said, if you are thinking of painting your home, office, commercial property, give us a call.
We specialize in painting home interiors, exteriors, office spaces, strata, commercial properties. With painters from our own payroll, we also provide 10* years of written guarantee on our workmanship.
Once you become a Tidy Painting Services client, you'll remain one!
* - 10 years for fresh painting jobs
7 years for repainting jobs