Contractors (of pretty much every kind) don’t have the best reputation. It seems like a very, very long time ago, a very mean person gave the rest of contractors a bad name. And maybe in your own experience you’ve found the stereotype to be true– that contractors are inconsiderate jerks. And many probably are.
But not all of them.
As with any profession, there are people who are willing to do the bare minimum to get by in their daily jobs– and then there are people who go above and beyond every opportunity they receive. When you enjoy the work you do, the latter is much more likely to happen.
You can’t always help some of the people you’re forced to deal with throughout your day– may it be a lousy waiter, a cranky customer service rep or an uncooperative automated machine, some people we just have to put up with for certain services. But there are certain jobs that we need done that we should need (and deserve) to be selective about.
Having your house painted is one of those jobs.
When it comes to your home, where you spend probably a majority of your time and invest a lot of pride in, you’re allowed to get picky. Not only are you trusting your painting contractor access onto (and often INTO) your property for a designated period of time, but you are also investing a lot of time, trust and money in this person to get the job done correctly, cost-efficiently, and in a timely manner.
So how do you hire the right painting contractor?
1. Word of mouth. Surely you’re not the only person in group of family/friends and community that has needed their house painted in the past few years. Ask around for referrals. This way, you can get honest opinions from people you know. You could also go to your local Home Depot, Lowes or Paint Store to ask for a referral. (After all, chances are these stores are very familiar with the local painters).
Also, if you come across a contractor you may want to use, don’t feel shy asking them for references. If they are trustworthy and go above and beyond to satisfy their customers, they should have no problem providing you with this info.
2. Get estimates. Most painting contractors should give you free, onsite quotes. If they don’t offer you a free estimate, move on to one of the many that will.
3. Inquire about the company background. Are they state licensed and insured? How long have they been in business? Are they family owned? Do they believe in green building? What kinds of paints do they use (Low VOC paints, etc)? These things matter more to some people than others, but asking these kinds of questions will give you a better idea of the kind of company you are dealing with.
4. Search online. Use Google to find local contractors that specialize in house painting in and around your city. Do they have a website? Do they have Google reviews?
4. Talk to them about the specifics of the job. What might make the job particularly difficult (strangely shaped rooms, wall ornaments, etc). Do you only want them to come at certain hours of the day, or certain days of the week? See if they are flexible. Initially dealing with potential problems could save you a lot of wasted time and energy. Also, simply raising these concerns can tell you a lot about a painting contractor– based on how they react/respond. Do they seem genuinely willing to work around your individual needs to get the job done? Or do they seem annoyed? If there are certain colors you’re considering, but can’t decide– talk to them about that– even if you haven’t hired them yet. Painting is their profession and they should be experienced. It’s important you feel confident they know what they are doing. Certain colors make rooms look bigger, smaller, etc. Its their job to know these things so you can consult with them.
5. Ask about pricing. Do they charge by the hour? Or by square foot? Or by the job? Decide which kind of pricing works best for you and for your home. Shop around and compare prices.
6. Pay attention to what they do just as much, if not more, than what they say. It’s a rule of life. Don’t take their word that they are a trustworthy company and that they are courteous. Do they call if they are going to be late? Do they do their best to conveniently work around your schedule and meet you half way? Or are they always unavailable, tardy, and inflexible?
7. Trust your gut. Most people know within minutes of talking to someone whether or not they like them. At the end of the day, you are looking for the best house painting company, not a new best friend. But if you get strange vibes from someone, or your instinct tells you they are not someone you can communicate and work well with, move on. There are a lot of unreliable contractors out there, but there are also a a lot of really good ones that will far exceed your expectations if you let them.
At the end of the day, it is important that you feel comfortable and confident with the person you are trusting with the appearance of your home.
What has been your experience with contractors in the past? Have you ever dealt with someone in business that has completely exceeded your expectations?
About West Shore Painters
West Shore Painters, a division of West Shore Construction Corporation, has been in business since 1985. Family owned and operated, West Shore specializes in house painting in Palm Harbor, Tampa, Largo, Clearwater, St Petersburg, Seminole, and all surrounding Southwest Florida communities. They use low-zero VOC paints and specialize in green building. West Shore is also Florida State Certified & Licensed#CBC044653.
To speak with a professional house painting contractor in Palm Harbor, Clearwater, St Petersburg, Tampa Bay and surrounding Florida areas today, call (727) 488-8058 for more information.