10 Things Some Paint Contractors Don’t Want You To Know
As paint contractors, we’ve heard some pretty strange stories from our customers. From estimates that were so far off, you could see them orbiting the moon to painters who know nothing at all about paint … much less how to apply it correctly. And of course, it’s those types of contractors that tend to have secrets. So, exactly what are those dirty little secrets?
Before you hire someone to paint your home, check out this list of things some paint contractors won’t tell you:
1. They are not licensed.
Here in Michigan, the law requires that a paint contractor have either a Residential Builder or Maintenance and Alteration license. Any paint company operating without a license is doing so illegally and should be reported to the State of Michigan. Verifying a license is easy at the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs website.
2. They do not use their own employees.
Unfortunately, it’s a common practice for paint contractors to use sub-contract painters or worse yet, people that work “under the table”. What is the point of hiring a paint company if they’re going to hire other paint contractors to do the work? Have these people been screened? Are they insured? No telling. Which brings us to the next point.
3. They do not have the proper insurance.
If you hire a company that does not have insurance (or the proper insurance) you’re running a huge risk. In the event that a painter damages your property or sustains an injury while on your property, YOU could be held liable if THEY aren’t properly covered. A company should (at the minimum) have a $1,000,000 liability insurance policy.
4. They are not EPA “Lead-Safe” certified.
It is law that a paint contractor be EPA “Lead-Safe” certified to work on a house that contains lead paint. Any house built before 1979 needs to be tested for lead paint and if the test is positive, only a certified contractor can do the work. To not follow the proper guidelines for preparation means your painter could be putting you and your family at risk!
5. They don’t use contracts.
Believe it or not, some paint companies advertise that they don’t make you sign a contract … as if that’s an asset! It’s kind of funny actually … they’re called Paint CONTRACTors. The whole point of a legal document is to protect the parties involved. With a clear contract, your contractor knows exactly what’s expected and you know exactly what to expect.
6. They don’t know how to estimate.
We’ve heard paint companies claim they can “eye-ball” a project or base an estimate on the square footage of a home. Fact is, neither provides a sound method for estimating. The “eye-ball” method simply won’t be accurate and could end up costing you more than you anticipated. The floor square footage of a home only gives you an accurate way of measuring floor space. Your paint contractor isn’t ordering your flooring. A paint contractor needs to know the square footage of your walls and ceilings and how many linear feet of trim and casing there is in your home.
7. They don’t know how to paint.
Yes, we just said that! People buy a franchise, take a course on estimating and sales and they’re off like a rocket thinking they know what they need to know. You made a huge investment in your home … you need a contractor who understands the best methods for painting and maintaining the surfaces of your home specifically.
8. They don’t advertise.
Some say that this is a good thing since they aren’t passing the extra cost of marketing on to the customer. We say – what have you got to hide? Usually, it’s some or all of the things listed above. When you’re proud of your company, you want the world to know.
9. They don’t offer a warranty.
We know that having your home painted can be costly and you want the most for your money. Reputable companies will offer a warranty. Top-notch, reputable companies will also put you on a maintenance schedule. This is especially cost-effective for exteriors since you are addressing small sections versus having to re-paint the whole thing again.
10. That solvent-based paints, stains and lacquers are harmful to your health and the environment.
Let’s face it, solvent-based products are bad for you. They off-gas and release harmful VOC’s into the atmosphere that deplete the ozone layer and compromise indoor air quality. There are healthier options for you, your family and the planet. Some Paint Contractors don’t care enough to educate themselves, much less their customers.
Getting the results you want require a true pro! Ask the right questions to find the right paint contractor!