“Now is the perfect time to begin selecting a reputable contractor who will perform a quality exterior paint job,” states Debbie Zimmer of the Rohm and Haas Paint Quality Institute. One of the best ways to find a reliable contractor is to check with peers for recommendations. Once you have a few contractor candidates in mind, Zimmer offers the following steps to assist with choosing the right professional for your painting project.
1. Personally meet each contractor and obtain written estimates from at least three painting professionals based on the specified work to be completed. In addition, check references and verify insurance coverage.
2. Specify the work and proposed painting process. To make a fair comparison, make sure each contractor submits a written bid based on the same materials, surface preparation, number of coats of primer and paint, and each type of surface that will be painted. Make sure these quotes include when the work will start and expected completion date as well as the crew size. Inquire about how your planting and landscaping materials will be protected during the project.
3. Warranty protection. Reliable contractors will back up their work. Discuss the warranty in detail; does it cover both labor and materials? How long is the warranty and what is the procedure to resolve problems? These are important questions that should be addressed prior to the start of the project and included in the written bid.
4. Presentation and responsiveness. Is the contractor responsive, punctual and businesslike when returning phone calls or arriving for an appointment? Is the submitted estimate complete showing the breakdown of material and labor costs as well as payment terms?
5. Paint quality. Will the contractor select and use premier quality paint? A quality acrylic latex paint may cost more initially, but will save money in the long run because of its long lasting durability.