How to Choose a Painting Contractor

One of the things you need to know is that every painter starts off as a guy trying to make a buck, we all started out there. Almost all painters start out with the best intentions, it just boils down to their level of experience. As a professional painter, I can tell you some stories. In my early years I made some pretty big messes. I, like most guys thought I could paint. I took on some jobs and found out that there was a lot I didn’t know. Luckily before I got into too much trouble I got a job working for a painting company on the North Side of Chicago. I was very fortunate to learn the painting business from a real professional, Steve Walsh. Steve taught me the ins and outs and helped me develop my craft. What I’m trying to say is yes anyone can paint but very few can or want to paint professionally. If you’re going to pay someone to paint your home you want a professional.

Having over 15 years in the painting industry I can tell you how to spot the contractors that are no good. The first type of guy to look out for is the side business guy- once he gets a signed contract he is nowhere to be found. This is the guy who may or may not have a full time job, aside from his side job painting business. Over the years painters move around and get to know each other, so I’ve worked with all types. This type generally has a gambling or drinking problem that forces him to get out and make extra money. These guys will pick up day labors, college kids and the town drunk, stick them in your house and call them painters. After you sign the contract and most importantly hand over that check for 50% of the job, he does not care about you anymore. By the way never give 50% down if its a big job give only enough to cover material or insist to pay upon completion this may just send this type awayvisit their website.

The next type of guy is the handy man painter. This guy is usually not much handier than the average home owner. He may or may not have a little professional experience. The handyman painter will try to get you to pay him by the hour, this is a big mistake for you! Almost every time you will end up paying more, if you pay by the hour. The only time it’s acceptable in the painting industry to charge by the hour is for wall paper removal and maybe for extras the customer ads on during a painting project. Don’t get me wrong a lot of these painters are honest and will do the best they can for you but remember most of the time they are not much cheaper than a real painter, and a lot of the time you will pay more in the long run.

There are a couple more important warning signs to look out for when choosing a paint contractor. Number one is any contractor that comes to your home and does not pull out a tape measure and take measurements. These guys are just pulling a price out of the air. As painting contractors all we have to sell is our time and the only way to get an accurate count of man hours is by using a mathematical formula. One must get the exact square footage measurement of all areas that are to be coated in order to come up with a fair and profitable quote. Another thing to look out for is anyone pushing Home Depot or Lowe’s paint (Beher or Valspar brands) these paints are garbage, they don’t hold up any professional knows that. Any painter who is in the business can open an account at a quality paint store like Benjamin Moore. Benjamin Moore’s mid grade paint is actually better than Beher or Valspar and with a contractor’s discount it’s cheaper.

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