Questions to Ask a Residential Painter in Bergen County
Painting your New Jersey home is going to be a big undertaking; you need to know it’s going to be done right. No matter how much money you’re spending on this project, you want to know it will be money well spent. That’s why you need to be prepared beforehand with a list of questions to ask every painter you may hire. Following is a checklist from top residential painters in New Jersey of questions to ask all contractors who may be setting foot onto your property to perform work.
What is your experience?
More homeowners have been scammed by shifty, shady contractors who are here today and gone tomorrow. These nefarious characters will waltz into your life, give a big ‘song and dance’ about what a fabulous job they’ll do painting your home, and then, after they get some cash off you, they’re gone, never to be heard from again. Don’t let this happen to you. First, look into the past and experience of your home’s potential residential painter. How long have they been in business? How many other homes have they painted? And where do they do business from? If you don’t get specifics on all of these questions, move on to the next referral.
Can I see photos of your finished work?
Make sure you get names of at least three other clients whose homes they’ve painted. Get their phone numbers, call all of these clients, and don’t be afraid to ask if you can stop by for a few minutes to check out the work performed—the worst you can get on that last request is a ‘no.’ If you can’t check it out in person, insist upon photos that include both the exterior of the home as well as the interior; you want to make sure that the home you’re looking at is the correct one. (This often can be verified by checking online sources such as Zillow that will provide photos of the home.)
Are you insured, and will you provide a warranty?
Sometimes, no matter how much beforehand research you perform, a poor job will be performed. Naturally, the more research you do, the better your particular results will be, but there’s always a small chance something could go wrong. That’s why the questions of insurance and warranties are vital questions to ask. All residential painting contractors you hire need to be fully insured.
Do you use friendly paint products?
You need to know if hazardous paints will be used, even if you’re not planning on being around for the work being performed. Even dried paint can have an odor. Ask for the details on types of paint to be used. Get it in writing when you get the estimate.
Will my work be subcontracted out?
You need to know if subcontractors will be used. If you learn the work will be subcontracted out, you’ll need to do more research on those subcontractors; that’s just the way it is. It’s also not a bad idea to do background checks on everyone who’ll be stepping onto your property.
Will you give me a detailed estimate?
Don’t just ask it—insist upon it. Never, repeat, never allow any contractor to begin work on your home without first receiving a detailed estimate that includes the entire scope of the work to be performed, detailed itemization of work to be performed, and estimated costs. Also ask if labor is separate from materials.
‘Time is of the essence’
Remember that phrase—you’re going to need it. All contracting work is notorious for taking longer than anticipated; that’s simply the nature of the beast in this business. That’s why it’s vital that you write on your contract these words: Time is of the essence. While there likely will be a delay here and there throughout the work being performed on your home, you need to know in advance—and you need your residential house painter to know as well—that you’re not going to deal with substantial unnecessary delays, and you’re not going to put up with every other job taking priority over yours, regardless of your cash outlay.
What about cleanup?
You need to know beforehand what will happen when the job is done. Ask what types of tools will be used to protect your home throughout the job. Ask how messes left will be handled. And ask if these messes will be cleaned up on a daily basis.
Whether you’re painting the interior of your home, the exterior, or any combination thereof, now you’re armed with a list of questions to ask when contacting a residential painter near you. Don’t leave home without it!