7 Key Things to Check before Choosing a Painter

Painting is one of the biggest investments you are going to make in your home

It is important to know how to find the best painter for the job. You are probably at the stage where every time you get home you see the peeling paint or the knocks and marks on the walls or worse still are faced with the colour that seemed like a good idea at the time. Time for a freshen up. You start planning the new look, imagining how it’s going to look, and how it’s going to feel.
Then the big decision. How do I pick the painter who is going to create what I want, to provide a job that is not going to crack and peel in six months time? How do I choose a contractor who is trust worthy and reliable and who I feel safe to have in my home?
Here are 7 Key Strategies that if used, will give you all the information to arm yourself to choose the painter who is going to provide you with high quality workmanship and service in a timely manner. Skip any of these steps and you leave yourself open for problems.

Strategy 1

The prospective Painters Initial Presentation will be an accurate indicator of how reliable they will be if you give them the job.

Actions speak louder than words. Painters will promise you the world. However initial presentation of a prospective painter will predict how they will treat you as a client over the course of the painting job. Things to look for:

  • Notice if the contractors who quote on your home turn up on time to quote, and get a written quote back to you in a timely manner. If the painter proves to be reliable before they start the job they are more likely to start and finish your house on time.
  • Are they neatly presented and polite. This will be an indication of how well they will treat you and your home if they get the job.

Strategy 2

The Painter’s ability to communicate effectively can be the difference between a great job and a disastrous one.

When painters turn up to do the quote notice if you are able to communicate effectively with them. Painting your home is a big decision. You need to know that your painter understands your vision of the desired result and bring it to reality. Ask questions and don’t use a painter if they can’t clearly answer your questions and solve your problems. This is important with colour schemes, preparation of surfaces, products to be used and how to take care of the painting after it is finished.

Strategy 3

Always check prospective Painter’s licences and insurances.

This is an area where people leave themselves open to being ripped off. Painting is an industry that is open to people passing themselves off as painters. It is imperative to check licences and insurances as you leave yourself wide open for a shoddy job or worse still not being covered for insurance if damage is done to your property.

QBCC License

It is law in QLD that Painting contractors are members of the QBCC(Queensland Building & Construction Commission). The QBCC license is a verification of consumer protection provided under QLD legislation. It is a licence issued to trade contractors to show the licence holder has met certain financial, experience, technical and managerial standards. This ensures peace of mind that the contractor is stable, reliable and has demonstrated his or her capabilities in the industry.

If there is a dispute this organisation, The QBCC will mediate between you and the contractor and direct them to fix their work if they are at fault.  Ask to see their QBCC card and record their licence number noting if it is current. Also do a search for your contractor on the BSA website www.bsa.qld.gov.

Professional Indemnity Insurance-

Professional indemnity insurance provides a safe guard for the client and the contractor. It covers damage to people on the work site and damage to property. If they have a BSA licence they will be covered as it is a requirement for licensing.

Strategy 4

Your quote is your contract – make sure it covers all aspects of the work to be done.

Gone are the days of a piece of paper with one sentence describing your job and a price underneath. Choose the quote that gives you every detail of work to be carried out. This includes what will be painted, how the surfaces will be prepared, what products will be used where and how they will be applied.

When you decide on a quote check it and seek advice on anything you don’t understand. When you are satisfied with it sign it and get the painter to sign as well. If they are not prepared to sign the quote DO NOT USE THEM. If you have both signed it is legally binding and makes the job of lodging and investigating a future complaint if problems arise easier.

Strategy 5

Ask the contractor for details of past work and recent clients

Ask prospective painting contractors for testimonials from previous clients and examples of their work. A good contractor will keep records of these and be open and willing to give them to you.

Ask if you can contact previous clients and ring them. Ask questions such as

  • What was their quality of workmanship like?
  • How easy were they to deal with- answering questions listening to needs, solving problems?
  • Did they feel safe and trust the workers when they were in their home?
  • Did they provide good customer service?
  • Did they stick to agreed costs and timing?
  • Did they clean up after themselves?

Strategy 6

Colour is one of the most important things to be clear about. We’ve all heard the joke “I said cream not green.” A quality painter will be able to advise you on colour schemes to achieve the look and feel you want for your house.

A fatal mistake that people make is thinking that they can choose a colour from a tiny swatch. As a rule of thumb on the interior a swatch will come up a lot darker on a wall. You need to choose a painter who can help you clearly see how the finished product will look. There are computer programs available that simulate what a colour will actually look like in your home. Ask the person quoting on your home if they can assist you with this. Choosing the wrong colour can be costly. It takes time and more paint to get it right.

Strategy 7

Ask each prospective painter what sets them apart from their competitors.

You are a consumer and it is in your own interests to get the best deal. Ask the contractor what he guarantees, what extra services he provides. Things like moving furniture before and after painting for free, a free touch up service after 30 days, guaranteeing their work. Asking these simple questions will get you extras at no cost to yourself. It also shows that the contractor has spent time on devising ways to provide excellent customer service and satisfaction.

I hope this report has been Informative and helped you gain a Clearer Understanding of the steps you need to take to ensure a Quality, Lasting Paint Job. If you have any questions or would to discuss your painting needs with us give us a call on 0420 300 522 or email me at glenn@gmppainters.com.au.