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Important Questions to Ask Your Painting Contractor

Important Questions to Ask Your Painting Contractor

When it comes to having work done on your out-of-town vacation home, it's not always possible to be on site while the work is being done. You may feel like you're taking a risk every time you have to complete a project, but there are some things you can do to mitigate that risk.

One of the best ways to get a feel for the caliber of the people you will be working with is to ask questions. The answers you get will be helpful, but even beyond that, the candor with which they answer (or evade answering) will be give you some insight. Here are some important questions to ask:

Do You Use Subcontractors?

When a painting company uses only their own employees for the work they perform, they have direct control over the quality of the painting. Each painter on the job is accountable for timeliness, quality, cleanliness, and overall professionalism.

Sometimes a company that hires 1099 “subcontractors,” in an effort to avoid paying taxes and workers compensation, has trouble with quality. There is less control (or even knowledge) of exactly who is entering the client’s home, and if there is a problem on the job, this “subcontractor” may be difficult to hold to account. Beach Painting performs its work with its own employees, who are covered under our liability insurance and workers compensation insurance.

How Do You Screen Your Employees?

A painting company that cares about its clients and its reputation will take the time to screen their potential employees. It is worthwhile to ask the painting contractor whether they do background checks on their new employees, and if they have a method of testing their painting skills.

At Beach Painting and Beach Construction Group, we do run background and reference checks on all potential employees. We also require that they pass a written exam. All new employees are put on a probationary period of up to 90 days before they are considered full-time.

How Long Have You Been in Business?

Unfortunately, anyone can (with a minimal investment) buy a van and equipment and call himself a painting contractor. Many of these fly-by-night companies go out of business within the first three years.

A company that has been in business for over 20 years will typically still be in business if you have a warranty claim. Furthermore, a company with some history will have a professional staff and will be able to provide a list references and addresses of recently completed projects.

Who Is My Contact Person?

When you work with a quality painting contractor, you are likely going to find an effective and organized office with dedicated personnel who oversee the projects. If the person who gives you the estimate is also going to be the one painting your home, it could be a red flag that the company has insufficient infrastructure.

Many owner-operators of painting companies spend more time working for their business than working on their business. They can be difficult to reach by phone and slow to return your calls. You should have one contact person who can answer your questions, keep you up to date on job progress, and ensure quality control.

Other Considerations:

Look for professionalism in your painting contractor. It’s usually pretty easy to spot – the contractor either has it, or he doesn’t. Is the proposal detailed and clear? Does the company have a website, clean identifiable vehicles, or even an office? These are signs that the company is serious about its business and its public image.

Any serious contractor should carry insurance and should not hesitate to provide you with an ACORD certificate as proof. Even the best contractors can have an occasional mishap. What separates the good contractors from the bad ones is how the mishap is handled.

Another sign of professionalism is a contractor’s involvement in trade organizations. Beach Painting Contractors is a member of the Painting and Decorating Contractors of America (PDCA), the Outer Banks Chamber of Commerce, and the Outer Banks Homebuilders’ Association.

Often times, the best price isn’t the best value. By asking the right questions and taking your time, you can find a painting contractor that will provide you with excellent service and peace of mind.

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Why Customers Choose Beach Painting

  • Expertise - we have the experience and versatility to take on the most demanding painting and residential construction projects.
  • Integrity - we only use the highest grade materials and take the time to do the job correctly.
  • Dependability - our employees are directly employed (not subcontractors) and covered under our liability and workers' compensation policies.
  • Professionalism - we carefully measure all components of the work and provide a detailed scope in our estimates and proposals.
  • Longevity - with over 20 years of steady growth, we have become the largest full-service painting contractor on the Outer Banks.
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