There’s nothing quite as noticeable about changing the appearance of your home as a new coat of paint. A great painting job can completely change the appearance of your home, both inside and out.
If you’re thinking about painting the exterior of your home, there are a few things to consider, like the handling of paints and solvents, and climbing a ladder. Plus, some paints will be lead-based, if it was built or painted before 1978. In many cases, it makes more sense to hire a professional to do the job. If this is the route you want to take, here are some tips to help you choose a home painter to do it for you.
1. Research References
Once you’ve got a list of potential painters, first make sure each one is licensed, and is covered by both workers’ compensation and liability insurance. You’ll also want to check their references; and this doesn’t mean you should just go by photos on their website, because photos taken from far away won’t show squiggly lines or brush strokes. Read reviews online, and if possible, talk to previous clients.
Ask for a list of contacts on house projects similar to yours. Look at homes that were painted at least three years ago, so you can see if the colours and materials the painter used have held up, and have withstood the elements.
Always check to see if you live in a neighbourhood with a homeowner’s association, since they will probably want to approve the colour. You don’t want to paint your home, only to find out you have to repaint it a different colour. This will waste a lot of money and time.
2. Get a Written Estimate
Always ask for a written estimate based on the painter’s inspection of your house. They should come to your house so you can walk them through each and every aspect of what you want done. This is when you’ll discuss colours, show paint samples, and ask for their opinion.
3. Be Specific About Expectations in the Contract
Make sure the contract specifies the work that will be done, how long it will take, the total cost, and the payment schedule. Also be sure to include the paint manufacturer’s name, the colour name, grade, base, gloss, where the paint will be applied, and how many coats will be used. Also make sure the contract says that the painter will apply primer. Further, the contract should say that the painter will be responsible for cleaning up when done, and will remove all the excess paint from window frames or anywhere else.
Be specific. Instead of “surfaces prepared,” the contract should say exactly how the surfaces will be prepared, like a power wash, disk sanding, bleach solution, and caulk in any gaps that are left before the paint is applied.
Always make sure the contract includes a quality guarantee. If the paint peels, bubbles, or chips within a certain amount of time, you’ll want the painter to come back to fix it for free. And after that guarantee time period is up, ask the painter if they’ll come back to do regular maintenance at discounted rates.
Exterior house painting can be really messy, which is why you should always make sure the contract says the painter will clean up after. Landscaping, driveway, and all other surfaces should be protected with drop cloths and any spills or drips are the responsibility of the painter.
Whenever possible, you should pay for the job in thirds; a deposit of less than 10 percent when you sign the contract, a third of the remainder when the job is half-done, and the remaining amount when the job is finished, all materials have been cleared, and any mess is cleaned up.