Painting is an investment and can cost you a lot of money. That’s why you should never mistake hiring the wrong painter based only on price or ready accessibility. Understandably, you’re on a budget when I need to hire a painter near me. But if you’re too concerned about the price, you might end up hiring an unlicensed and unqualified painter that will cost you a lot more.
This is where the importance of references enters the picture. How would you know the painting contractor’s workmanship and professional conduct if you didn’t talk with some of their past clients?
This is why as you’re interviewing painting contractors, don’t forget to ask them for references. Reputable contractors who stand by their work are more than willing to provide you with references. The golden rule is to have at least three to five references from every painting contractor you’re interested in hiring.
Now that you’ve done your due diligence in researching painting contractors in your area and have gathered a few references, it’s time to think of the right questions to ask when discussing with references. It’s better to dig deeper; that will prompt each reference toward sharing and detailing their past experiences with the contractors. Such experiences are the key to helping you determine if they’re the right painter for your project.
What type of work did the contractor do for you?
Ask each reference what type of project they hired their contractors to do. Did they hire the contractor for interior or exterior painting only? Or was it to install custom crown molding with painting or staining? Suppose you’re hiring a contractor for a complete kitchen remodel; you’ll want to talk to someone who had similar work done, not just painting kitchen cabinets. This is one of the reasons why you should get at least 3-5 references – you’ll always have a backup.
Were you happy with the way they communicated?
Communication is essential and goes beyond the type of project the painters did. No matter what, you should hire a contractor who communicates with you clearly, consistently, and courteously.
Did the contractor stay on budget? If not, why not?
While an estimate shows the original total cost of the project, it doesn’t account for unexpected extra charges that may arise along the way. The reality is that many contractors never manage to stay on budget. But it’s important to remember why many contractors have gone over the budget, as some things are beyond their control, such as unexpected dry rot or termite damage. These unpredictable costs that go beyond the original budget shouldn’t necessarily discourage you from hiring the contractor.
If the contractor didn’t stay on budget, ask the references if they informed them about the additional costs in advance and whether they provided a clear explanation behind the extra costs (it can be a materials upgrade or other repairs).
Did the contractor provide you with the schedule?
Ask each reference if the contractor provided them with a project schedule and explained its details. How did the work progress each day? You should have access to the contractor’s timeline, as well.
Did the contractor get the job done on time?
Concerning keeping the references in the know about the project’s daily schedule, ask the references if the contractor finished the job on or before the project’s end date.
Also, ask each reference if any delays hampered the job from getting finished on time. If there were indeed delays, find out the reason. Was it because of the unpredictable weather? Or was there the unexpected additional prep work? Or did the client suddenly change their mind about the paint color and want the contractor to redo the walls?
Was the crew courteous and respectful?
Naturally, homeowners would prefer to have only courteous contractors in their homes who are also respectful.
Would you hire this contractor again? Why?
The “why” is particularly crucial since it allows each reference to elaborate an explanation beyond a simple “yes” or “no.” Be careful to take note of the things they like most about the contractor. It might shed some light on a different aspect of their professional experience with the contractor that you might not have noticed or considered. Hiring the contractor back will be the best recommendation you can get.
When I need to hire a painter near me, it’s highly encouraged to do a lot of asking around. By using this list of questions for customer references, you’ll be on your way to hiring the best contractor for your next painting project.