TOP TEN TIPS TO ENSURE YOU HIRE A PROFESSIONAL PAINTER
1.KNOW EXACTLY WHAT YOU WANT DONE Before you ask for a quote be clear on what you want to achieve. Do you just want to change the colour of a room? Do you want a quick once over so you can rent out your property? Or do you want a professional finish free of dents, holes, imperfections that will look great in all lighting day and night and last for years to come. Consider your time frame. Does the contractor have a long list leaving you waiting too long for your project to be started? Once started, does the contractor have a team of people, to get in and complete the job causing the minimum of inconvenience to you the homeowner? How long did the contractor take to quote your job? Is it an estimate or firm price? The longer the contractor takes to get to know what level of work you want, what level of preparation is required to get your job to that standard and what your needs are, the more accurate the quoted price will be.
2. IS WHAT YOU ARE QUOTED FOR THE SAME AS WHAT YOU ASKED FOR? Does the quote detail what in fact you will be paying for? Are the processes detailed in the quote going to achieve the finish you wanted? What is their preparation, how will each surface be prepared before painting? The preparation counts just as much, if not more, than the final coats of paint and how straight their lines are. What paint will be used and how many coats will be applied?
3. HOW WILL YOU AND YOUR ASSETS BE PROTECTED? How will the area be prepared before work commences? Will plants and outdoor furniture be protected? How will fittings and fixtures be protected? Do door handles etc need to be removed or will they be painted around? Does the contractor hold adequate insurance should an accident occur? Do they have an appropriate health and safety policy and procedure in place? Are they using the best team, with the best standards under quality supervision? Did you know that the homeowner can be held responsible for damages should a contractor have an accident, a ladder be dropped on a neighbours car or an employee being injured for example if the contractor does not have the correct procedures and insurances in place for protection?
4. WILL THE WORK BE UNDER WARRANTY NOT JUST THE PAINT? Does the contractor offer a warranty on the labour not just the paint? In most cases the labour costs are higher than that of the materials. Is the company a fly-by-nighter and just around for the rebuild? Will they be around and in business long enough to honour any warranty offered? Will they deliver on their promises? A company that is established in an area for 5 to 10 years is likely to be more reliable and trustworthy than a new business or someone from out of town. After all they have a reputation to uphold. Is the contractor affiliated with and supported by their local registering body. Being a member of the Master Painter’s Association NZ shows a level of commitment and reliability to the home owner and the trade.
5.DO THEY COME RECOMMENDED? Can the contractor provide recommendations of both recent and long standing clients? Do they have testimonials available on request?
6. DO THEY APPEAR PROFESSIONAL? Does the contractor appear professional? Turn up on time? Have an interest in what you are asking and show genuine desire to assist you? Do they appear courteous? An unkempt appearance may indicate a general lack of care on the job? Are they going to show up when they say they will or will you be left hanging?
7. DO THEY DELIVER WHAT THEY PROMISE? Is the contractor punctual? Do they keep set appointments? Call when they say they will call and get the quote to you when they said they would? Do they offer you the service you deserve? Professionalism and integrity is unlikely to improve on being awarded a contract so it needs to be demonstrated right from initial contact.
8. WHAT QUALITY ASSURANCE IS OFFERED? What quality of paint and products will be used? Will the contractor use top quality products 100% of the time or do they get swayed by inferior cheaper products that make their quote appear better? A good quality job using quality products will last over time and protect your assets and investment in the project. A little extra cost initially can save hundreds later when a job lasts as it is expected to.
9. ARE THEY EXPERIENCED IN BUSINESS AND PAINTING? Is the contractor trade qualified? Does the contractor have experience in both business and painting? Will they have the knowledge to recommend the correct procedures and products for your project? Do they know how to achieve the best results? Is everyone on their team suitably experienced and able to work to a high standard and achieve the same results? Do they have the backing of their professional body?
10. WHAT ARE THEIR BUSINESSES PRACTICES LIKE? Have you been made aware of the terms and conditions of the contract? Do you know what your obligations are as well as that of the contractors? What happens if there is a dispute? Do you know when payment will be required? Are payment schedules in line with the construction contracts act? Do you know exactly what you are getting for the money you will pay? Many a job can go haywire when things are not written professionally and clearly. Written professional quotes protect both you and the contractor and ensure things run smoothly. A verbal agreement can sky rocket in price leaving you, the home owner, dissatisfied and out of pocket.