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  • Nate Huff

Things to Consider When Hiring a Painter


Inside or out, your home will eventually need some new paint. You’ll want to keep it looking good and protected for years to come. However, painting your house takes time, and resources, that you simply may not have. Should you decide to hire a professional painter, we’ve put together a list of things to consider before you sign on the dotted line.


1. Should I do it myself or hire a professional?


You might think painting is an easy task until you’re 2 weeks into it, exhausted, and only half way done. Then there is the cost of all the supplies, ladders, paint, brushes, etc., that come with painting. Professional painters do this for a living and are usually quick, have all the right painting tools and, no offense, can probably do a much better job than you. So when weighing out whether or not to hire someone, consider those factors into your decision.


2. How to Prepare for a Professional Painter.


Should you decide to hire a painter, you’ll need to get things ready for them when they arrive. Most painters will cover up the furniture with cloth or plastic sheets, but you still need to make sure it’s not in the way. Removing things like outlet covers and switch plates can save time as well. Set up a place for them as a “staging area” so they have a good workspace. Take some time to clean the walls, remove the dirt and dust, since paint sticks these substances to the wall permanently.


3. Is The Contractor Licensed and Insured?


You might consider your own homeowner’s insurance to be enough, but you should really make sure your contractor has insurance and is properly licensed. If they have employees, make sure they have workmen’s compensation insurance to protect the workers while they are on your property. Also, make sure the contractor has the proper license for your property and the scope of the job. While your checking, look to see if the contractor has any unresolved complaints.


4. Where to Look for a Reputable House Painter


Search engines are obviously the best tool to use when looking for a good painter. “Just Google it” is a common phrase in todays culture. This method works well if you want to interview a lot of painters and get a lot of quotes and estimates. Another place to look is to ask friends and family if they have used a painter and who they would recommend. You’ll get the good, bad, and the ugly from people you trust. A third place to look is review sites like Angie’s List, Yelp, and Google Reviews. Here you’ll get unbiased 3rd party insight into companies you may have already received a quote from or are considering calling.


5. What to Expect from a House Painter?


A professional house painter should show up on time and stop before it gets too late. It’s convenient for you, and allows them to complete the job quickly. They should do a thorough walk through of the house, inside or out, before even giving you a quote. They’ll want to take measurements and probably take some pictures and notes. A professional painter should talk to you about colors and make sure you are happy with the final decision before starting. Before they leave the site, once the job is done, they should leave the place as clean as when they entered it. They should also offer touch ups after the fact in case a mistake was made. This doesn’t mean you should get them to do extra work just because you changed your mind, but simple touch ups can sometimes be needed.


6. Understanding the Estimate and Pricing


There are 2 types of costs when it comes to painting, indirect and direct costs. Indirect costs come from things like monthly payments on equipment, a work truck, overhead and benefits for the crew. These are things that customers often overlook when they get an estimate, but they are still directly tied to your painting project. Direct costs are what you usually think of. Things like paint, labor and gas. These costs vary widely depending on where you live and what type of paint you want.


7. Other Questions to Ask a House Painter


There are a lot of good questions you can ask your house painter. You can get to know their personality, but also their expertise. This list certainly isn’t exhaustive, but it’s a good start.

  • How long have you been painting houses?

  • How experienced is your crew?

  • What do you need me to do before you start?

  • Do you caulk and fill cracks?

  • Do you pressure wash the outdoor walls?

  • Which paints do you recommend for the job?

  • Do I need any major repairs before we start?

  • How long will the project take to complete?


Doing your research and asking the right questions can go a long way before hiring a house painter. Every painter is different and considering what’s more important to you in regards to cost, schedule and quality is an important step.


If you have any questions about hiring a painter, let us know, we’ll be glad to help!


- Nate Huff – Greenwood Painting, Inc.

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