Making sense of contractor’s estimates may be one of the most stressful parts of the remodeling process. One frequently asked question is “Why is there such variation in painter’s prices?” As professional painters, allow us to give you some insight into why we believe there are such cost variations among us.
Is your estimate clear and well itemized? You need to know exactly what you are getting for the money you are preparing to spend. Beware of the painter that tells you he will “paint the living room” with no further breakdown. How many coats of paint were included? Most colors require two coats to properly cover the surface and maintain color uniformity. Make certain that items such as ceilings, walls, closets, and trim-work are listed specifically if you wanted these included.
Make certain you know the answer to the following questions before you select a painter:
1. Is the company reputable and have you obtained references and/or testimonials?
-Your painter should work hard to uphold his reputation among the community. If you don’t know anybody that has used him/her before, perhaps you should keep looking.
2. Is the company insured with liability and Workman’s Compensation insurance?
-Unfortunately, there are many painters that are working with no insurance or workman’s compensation benefits for their helpers. This puts you as the customer at extreme risk if an accident should happen at your home or business.
3.Are there any repairs that need to be made prior to paint application?
-Your painting pricing should include all necessary preparation of the surface. Consider such things as fixing cracks, old holes, caulking or sealing gaps, etc.
-Also, there are many times the surface needs to be cleaned well before any coatings are applied. Painting a dirty surface will always lead to future paint failures.
4.Does the estimate include the small extra things such as doors, trim and/or closets?
-Make sure that your estimate is detailed enough to break down all areas included in the price. Many times a cheap price does NOT factor small areas that you may assume were actually included. Unclear expectations are rarely met, and result in frustration for all involved.
It is your job as the customer to make sure you are comparing “apples to apples” when getting multiple estimates. There is great variation in the quality of work you can expect when hiring a painter. A professional paint company may not always be the least costly option, but they are more concerned with providing a long-lasting coating. They are committed to using the best products and tools to accomplish your individual project.
Usually, 70% of a painting project has nothing to do with paint! This means that most of your labor is devoted to the careful preparation of the surface, as well as the proper covering of your floors and furniture. The application is important also, since you should expect clean, sharp paint lines and smooth, uniform coatings with no drips, runs, or paint splatter. Work sites should be neat and tidy with all furniture returned to original positions at the end of the project.
Like most things in life, you get what you pay for, and painting is no exception. Choose a painter that is reputable, detailed, and informed about the type of work you are requesting. He should be able to provide all the necessary tools and equipment needed for your project, as well as give valuable advice on the products he would recommend to insure a paint job that lasts for years to come.