Questions to Ask Painting Contractors in Pleasanton Before Hiring Them

Property owners can choose from numerous professional painting contractors in Pleasanton alone – not counting the nearby cities. The number of painting companies available makes hiring the right contractor more complicated than it looks.

You may own a house or commercial property and are looking for a decent painting service for the first time. Before hiring the right painter to update and beautify your space, you may not know certain factors and procedures. Although requirements for a painting contractor may differ in each state, some things in common should be addressed.

Key questions to ask painters before hiring them

A fresh coat of paint can improve, enhance, and revive a space of any interior or exterior of a building. But if the painting project lands in the wrong hands, it may look messy and not last long as it should, costing the property owner more money and trouble in the long run.

You can avoid falling into that pitfall; it’s crucial to ask every candidate on your list several critical questions as you screen them before signing the contract.

By asking the painting contractors these questions and getting proper responses, you will stand a better chance of having your painting job done twice.

How many years have you been a painting contractor? 

Make sure to stress ‘painting contractor’ in your questions since this is the specific skill you are asking them about. Many people may have started as general contractors and could include that time if you ask them about their time as a contractor.

What licenses, training, or other documentation do you have to prove you are qualified and legally capable of offering painting services?

This should be a simple question with an easy answer. If the painting contractor takes too long to answer, it is a sure giveaway that they are likely not the right contractor for the job.

Do you have insurance?

Don’t leave out this crucial question! If the contractor has proper insurance, you won’t be held liable for accidents or damage to your property.

Make sure the company you are considering hiring has two types of insurance:

  • General liability insurance: An insurance that protects your property from damage or loss by the contractor.
  • Worker’s compensation insurance: An insurance that protects the painters and you, the property owner (from liability), while they are working on your property. Worker’s compensation is costly, so many painting contractors will try to go without it.

If you need clarification on the validity of the contractor’s insurance, contact the insurance carrier to verify the insurance policy is active and current.

Does your company have memberships in the Better Business Bureau or trade organizations?

Painting service companies that are members of trade organizations, and the Better Business Bureau (BBB), are required to maintain a certain degree of customer satisfaction and specific professional requirements. Their active memberships in such trade organizations may be optional, but they can tell you of their commitment to meeting those professional standards.

Have you received customer complaints against you as a painting contractor with the Better Business Bureau or an online company like or

Chances are, every contractor has had at least one complaint or less-than-stellar testimonial. The better contractors will have nothing to hide. They will admit to the complaint, explain their take on the situation, and offer the person’s contact information so you can speak with them.

What has been the worst painting experience you have had?

Listen to how they describe it and what they have to say; it could tell you quite a bit.

What is the best painting experience you have had? 

Again, listen to what they say. Ask them why it was the best experience. Their answers could help you understand them better.

How do you screen your employees? 

Do you perform background checks? Knowing this information will help you see how serious they are about their business. If the company does background checks (which should include criminal background checks) on the workers, it assures you that there’s nothing to be concerned with the crew painting in your home or commercial property.

Do you employ your team, or do you use only subcontractors?

This question relates to the previous question. Many contractors would use subcontractors instead of hiring workers to cut down costs.

Employees are usually paid a set wage for each working hour. However, subcontractors are typically paid a fixed fee. By subcontracting the work, the contractor would not have to pay for employee benefits or social security taxes.

Hiring contractors who subcontract the work to others can put yourself and your project at risk through these scenarios:

  • The contractor may be tempted to hire subcontractors by offering them the lowest possible fee so that they can cut down costs and profit more from the job. This can result in low-quality work.
  • If the contractor uses subcontractors instead of employing workers, the subcontractors will likely not have worker’s compensation insurance.
  • Since the subcontractors are paid a flat fee and not paid hourly, they may be tempted to cut corners to finish the job more quickly.
  • If the contractor does not know the people on the crew, it increases the probability that they have not performed background checks.

How many jobs is your company currently doing right now? 

This question lets you know if they will have their employees spread too thin to do your job correctly.

Do you have other outstanding bids that you are waiting for responses? 

Where will your job fall in order of importance if the bids turn into jobs?

Can you provide references?

Any reputable painting contractor is confident of the work they’ve done for their clients. Therefore, expect them to be able to give a list of the references they’ve recently worked for. This list of references will allow you, a potential customer, to speak with past customers who had a first-hand experience with the contractor. Be bold and ask the references if you can visit their property to check out the paint job in person.

Request the contractor for a portfolio, too. Painting contractors may update their websites regularly but usually have photographs of their works to share with you.

What is your preferred method of payment? 

Some contractors will ask for an advance to ensure they have the right paint and materials for the job. But if they ask for the entire amount upfront, consider this a red flag – so move on and look for other contractors.

What guarantee do you offer that you will show up for work on time? 

Once you have agreed to hire a painting contractor in Pleasanton, you will want to be sure they arrive when they say they will and complete the job when specified. Will they reduce the job cost if they cannot meet the agreement?

What is your policy for clean up at the job site? 

Reputable painting contractors will clean up the job site each day and at the end of the project to ensure the site is not unsightly and safe for people to be around.

Will you be on-site each day while the job is in progress? 

If not, who will be in charge? Will you provide your cell phone number in case there are questions?

This list of questions is not exhaustive; you may think of other questions to ask. However, these questions should help you know if you have found the right painting contractors in Pleasanton for your residential or commercial painting needs.