Hiring a painter
Planning a home improvement project? Use the following tips to find the best painter for your needs.
Ask for Referrals
Get referrals from sources you trust, like friends, family members and neighbours. You can also ask your local Benjamin Moore retailer for referrals.
Interview Painting Contractors
Before you hire a painter, ask the following questions:
- Are you a member of any national or local painting contractors' associations?
- How lon have you been in business?
- Do you subcontract your work or perform it yourself?
- Are you bonded and insured? (All workers should be insured for injury and liability.)
Check References Personally
Ask each candidate for at least three references from past customers—and be sure to follow up with each reference personally. If possible, visit each job site in person to evaluate the work and see how it has held up over time.
Ask for Written Estimates
Request estimates, in writing, from at least three painting contractors. Be sure to meet with each candidate in the location you want painted, so that you can review the property together. The more specific and clear you are about what you want, the more precise each contractor's estimate will be.
- Specify which surfaces you want painted (walls, trim, mouldings, ceilings, etc.).
- Communicate exactly what colours and sheens you want the painter to use—and be sure they're included in the written estimate. To see how different colours will look on you walls, use our free Personal Colour Viewer™—an interactive colour-selection tool.
- Be wary of contractors who bid too high or too low.
Think Beyond the Price
There's more to hiring the right painter than price. Before making a final decision, ask yourself the following questions:
- Does the painter project a sense of professionalism and experience?
- Is he or she courteous and business-like?
- Is he or she busy? (Good painters usually are.)
- Does the painter return phone calls and provide estimates in a timely manner?
- Does he or she arrive on time for appointments?
Review the Contract
Take time to review your contract carefully and make sure it includes the following elements:
- Specific details about what is being painted (house, trim, shutters, etc.)
- What exact primers, paints, colours, and sheens will be used on each surface
- How many coats of paint will be applied
- Preparation (protecting furniture, plants, patios, etc.)
- Cleanup procedures
- How much time the project will take, from start to finish
- When and how the contractor will be paid