Many people renovate their homes each year due to either wanting a change or due to necessity. When this happens, one of the most common things that homeowners do is have their walls freshly painted. Whether you choose the same color paint or want something new on your walls, you are faced with two options: Do the painting yourself or take the time to hire a wall painting professional. There are many local painting professionals in the Atlanta area who are waiting to help you with your next painting project. But how do you decide which of these painters is the best for the job when all the advertisements you see claim they are the best? Here are some tips to help you distinguish those who are out for a quick buck from the reputable painting contractors in your area.
Ask for a free estimate
Why: Many painting contractors know that homeowners want to get the best price for their projects and are apt to shop around. By getting a free quote from a local painting contractor, you are able to compare prices for the job and cut out any that are out of your budget. This will keep you from experiencing sticker shock when you receive the final invoice for your job. Also, the estimate should detail what is included--the cost of the paint, the man labor hours and other details that a painting contractor charges for.
Who to contact for help: Research recommendations for a painting contractor. Ask potential painting contractors if they offer free estimates and if so, schedule an in-home consultation.
Tip: If a painting contractor refuses to give you a free estimate or does so without first seeing the scope of the work, be wary. Also, keep in mind the lowest price you get is not necessarily the best choice for your next painting project. In this case, you truly get what you pay for.
Choose an experienced contractor
Why: You might think that wall painting is not that difficult, but if it didn't involve labor and technique, you would probably attempt to do the job yourself. Experienced contractors know how to paint a wall so that it looks seamless, rather than shoddy. Painting the walls involves more than just applying a simple paint of coat. In some cases where there is existing damage, your walls might require filler and sanding down to create a smooth painting surface. If you currently have a dark color on your walls and you want to go lighter, a quality primer is required to lighten the walls before applying your new paint. Any painting contractor worth hiring will be able to discuss these details with you, and his or her knowledge should be extensive.
Who to contact for help: The best way to find an experienced painting contractor is through word of mouth--there is really no better advertising method. Who are people talking about in your neighborhood? Check online reviews. The more stellar reviews contractors have, the more work they are providing, which means they have many happy customers.
Choose contractors who are insured
Why: This is a crucial element of being a painting contractor--having liability insurance and workers' compensation. A painting contractor without insurance is likely one that does not take their business seriously. Hobbyists are common in the painting industry, and it is important to distinguish the hobbyists from the true painting professionals. Liability insurance is required if any damage is done to your home while the contractor is working. In addition, having liability insurance and workers' compensation will prevent the contractor from suing you if he gets injured while working. In addition to having the necessary experience and credentials, the painting company should always carry insurance.
Who to contact for help: The first step is to ask your local painting contractor for their proof of insurance. Check the certificates to make sure the dates on the certificates are valid. The painting contractor may not realize their insurance has expired, or he or she may be trying to con you if the dates are invalid. Pick up your phone and call the insurance companies to verify that he or she is covered. Doing so is in your best interest, and is especially important for the job at hand.
Tip: It is wise to choose a painting contractor who is bonded as well. While most painting contractors are reputable, if something goes missing from your home, the bonding will allow for replacement or reimbursements of your missing items.