8 Questions to ask before you get exterior painting done
The way the outside of your home looks can say a great deal about you as the homeowner. A good first impression is always an important one and that’s why you want people to drive past your home and see nothing but curb appeal. Not to mention that the look of your home can affect its resale value. This is one of the reasons you might want to consider an exterior paint job. Or maybe you want to add elemental protection to your home.
Whatever the reasoning, the easiest way to achieve these goals is to hire exterior painters and let them worry about it. But it isn’t that simple. You don’t want to hire just anybody.
If you don’t know much about the process of exterior painting it won’t be hard to get overwhelmed by the choices with everything from available paint choices to who it is that’s going to be doing the work. To help you figure out the best painting companies to bring your exterior painting job to life we have compiled a list of questions to ask before you hand over the reins.
Are they licensed?
This one is a big one. Any painter you hire should be insured, especially if they are working on the outside of your home. Typically, you are going to want a company that has both liability insurance and worker’s compensation insurance.
For you an exterior painting company being insured means that if something happens to your home, or if there are damages done by the painter, you will not be expected to front those costs. The worker’s compensation insurance means that if something happens to a worker, you aren’t responsible for those costs either. These two things protect both you the homeowner and whoever you choose to hire. These programs exist (and are important to have) because problems really do happen.
Do they offer a portfolio or references?
This one can is pretty self-explanatory. You don’t want to hire someone if they can’t show you examples of their previous work. This is because without those examples, you don’t know what you’re getting in to, or how quality the work actually is. How do you know if their work will be truly satisfactory to you if you can’t see it?
Today it is easy for exterior painters to have pictures of their work accessible for you. You’ll want to see high-quality pictures of workers working in them. This lets you know these are real pictures and not just stock photos. You’ll want to see evidence of a job well done.
There is also the fact that often customers will leave reviews online. Check those out to see the first-hand experiences of homeowner’s dealing with them.
How long has the painting company been in business?
This is mentioned because it is important to know that the business you are hiring has good standing within your community. If they have been around for a while, you know that they’ve amassed a reputation and will work hard to keep that reputation up. It makes it extremely less likely that they’re bad contractors who will skip out before your job is even done.
In addition, if they’ve been in business longer, the above question should be even easier for them to answer. With local exterior painting companies, you should be able to see their work in your community. If they haven’t been in business long this isn’t to say don’t hire them, you can still take a chance, but you’ll just want to be a little more thorough and conscious of what’s going on.
What kind of paint do they use?
The type of paint used can tell you a few things about your exterior painting contractor. First, you want them to use the best paint available to ensure good, long lasting results. Lower quality paints can dull over time and you don’t want to (and shouldn’t have to) have your walls painted again for a while after. You shouldn’t sacrifice quality of paint for a lower price. Secondly, you want to know what they know about the product.
A good exterior painter should know what works best for your project and what recommendations he can make about them. Experience counts here and they should be knowledgeable about the latest products to help you with your final decisions. Obviously, your exterior painter should know the materials he is using personally and why he is using them. If a painter uses specifics products, you should feel free to ask why. You want quality.
What is their preparation process?
If you know even a little bit about the painting, you know just how important proper preparation is for your exterior painting project. If painting preparation is not done correctly, it could compromise your entire job. Your paint could start peeling immediately or have an uneven appearance. With the money, you’ll be paying to have this done right, that probably wouldn’t make you very happy.
Exterior painting preparation includes cleaning the outside of the home and checking for any damages. Damages should be repaired, holes and cracks filled and sanded, peeling old paints scrapped away and removed. The exterior of your home should be primed and ready to go before paint is even thought about being applied to make sure you know what their process entails.
Be sure to also ask about their clean-up process, it doesn’t hurt to know.
Will they give you it to you in writing?
It’s important to know what the time constraints will be for your project before you get started. A good exterior painting contractor will often write up a document guaranteeing the quality of the work as well as what they will be doing and a timeline in which that will happen. It is also your right as the homeowner to ask for such a write-up.
This document includes all the specification you might want to know, from the estimate to the entirety of the project from the materials used to the amount of preparation work. This document should also alert you to any guarantees or warranties that are offered. Get everything in writing.
What does their bid look like?
When paying for someone to do work in your home, the cost is always going to be a concern. The saying “you get what you pay for” is a saying for a reason. Getting the lowest price should not be your only concern. When you’re paying for someone who is licensed, with the skill and experience needed to do your job properly, the lowest bid is probably not going to be the best answer. But this doesn’t mean you have to go with the highest price either.
It’s often a good idea to get a few bids and estimates. You’ll want the prices to be within a similar price range, or else something could be not right. Bids that are way low could be an indicator or shortcuts being taken. So, whatever you do, don’t base your entire job on the price or you might end up unhappy.
How do you feel?
One of the most important things to think about when it comes down to who is doing your exterior paint job, and one of the things that may be overlooked, is to trust your gut. If you don’t feel like you would be comfortable having someone working on your home, find someone else. If you’ve asked all of the questions above and you still don’t feel satisfied or confident in hiring them, don’t do it. It’s your home and at the end of the day, you are the one who has to live with whatever work has been done.
For this reason, whoever you consider hiring, make sure you ask them every question you have and that someone will be available to answer your questions every step of the way. You may be paying someone to do the work for you, but it is still your job, that you have to live with.
We work hard to make sure all of the above is taken into account and taken care of from the beginning of your exterior painting job to the completion. We hope that this list can help you decide what questions to ask your exterior painter before you get started. If you do have any other questions, please contact us here or call us directly.