It is wise and often necessary to use some discernment when it comes to picking a painting contractor for any professional painting project you wish to be done. Certainly, in my experience from years in this industry, there is unfortunately no standardized level of quality, among contractors out there, which makes choosing one rather tricky.
To avoid being disappointed the obvious starting point one might think of is to ask the references of a contractor they might be considering whether or not the contractor did a quality job on their previous projects. However, the “did they do a quality job?” question is generally unhelpful, in my experience, because the answers to it are highly subjective.
For example, I've heard people boasting about their freshly painted house and what a good job was done, only to visit the property be met with dismal workmanship that, perhaps, is more easily visible to an industry expert’s eye than a client’s. Likely, standards on quality workmanship may vary from client to client too. For example, for some people, having a little bit of paint on the window panes after a contractor paints the frames is acceptable—I have witnessed this.
In my opinion, choosing a painting contractor needs to go beyond just asking the “did they do a quality job?” question. Here are 10 (better) questions to ask when doing your reference checks on a residential painting contractors, so that you may gain holistic insights on the type experience to expect.
1) Was the owner of the painting company present and accessible during the duration of the project?
2) Were the individual team members the same throughout the project?
3) Did the the contractor meet the agreed upon deadline? If not, were clear details as to what caused the delay communicated?
4) How did the company deal with snags or setbacks?
5) How did the painting staff treat you and your family, were they respectful of your space and belongings?
6) Did they keep the work environment clean and tidy?
7) How did they go about protecting your furniture and valuables?
8) How did their payment structure work?
9) Where they punctual and did they arrive on site each day?
10) Was there anything that stood out for you?
These 10 questions will tell you much more about the contractor including; their supervision/leadership structure, team work ethic, time management skills, attention to detail, courteousness and general likability, cleanliness, and payment requirements. These are absolutely crucial factors to consider upfront, before deciding to pick a contractor.
Bonus Atmore Painters Pro tip: When a painting contractor provides you a reference list make sure to inquire with the reference person as to when the painting work was done. References should be clients no longer than 2 months old. A painting contractor should be as good as their most recent job!