When to hire a professional

Painting a room in your home can be a rewarding experience.

If everything goes right, you not only get a freshly painted room that looks great, but you may also get a feeling of pride knowing that you did it yourself.

But before you start, here’s a small checklist of things you’ll need…


√ Paint (obviously)
√ Primer (if needed for any unpainted surfaces)
√ Brushes (1 for each different type of paint)
√ Paint bucket
√ Roller pan / Roller frame / Roller nap
√ Drop cloths
√ Ladder(s)
√ Painters masking tape
√ Patience (lots and lots of patience)
√ Spackle
√ Drywall tape and mud (if needed)
√ Spackling tools
√ Caulking and caulking gun
√ Sand paper
√ A steady hand
√ Clothes that you don’t mind getting paint on
√ A free day or two with nothing else to do


If you already have these things, then you’ve probably painted a room or two in your time.
If not, then this could represent a significant investment in time and money.

Even if you usually do your own painting, perhaps you’re just too busy to paint a room, but you still want, or need, to have it done.

Whether you’ve done all of your own painting, or have never painted a room, there may come a time when you’ll want to hire a professional. But whom do you hire?

Here are a few guidelines to use when choosing a painter.

Ask them about their work experience.

How many years have they been painting? Perhaps they have some pictures of past jobs.

Inexperienced painters may be a little cheaper in price, but you’ll probably find out you get what you pay for. Think about it this way – If you pay a little more than you think you should… your talking about pennies. But if you pay less than you ought to, and the quality of the work is crappy… then you’ve lost it all.

Don’t necessarily go for the highest price either, thinking the quality must be better. I’ve met painters that charge $50 or more per hour, and won’t do any better of a job than one who’s much less expensive. Your best bet is to find someone who’s competitively priced and who has a proven track record.

When it comes to price, keep in mind that the prep work is usually the most time consuming and labor intensive part of any job. Therefore, it’s usually the most expensive part of any job. So if the cost seems a little high or unusually low, ask specifically what’s going to be done before the paintbrush comes out. This may help you to determine the value for your dollar.

Are they professional in appearance?

Are they wearing painter’s clothes that are reasonably clean? (Not counting paint of course)

If someone shows up for an estimate looking like a total slob, then you may not want him or her swinging a paintbrush in your home. This type of standard should apply to all professionals, not just painters or other tradesmen.

On the other hand, don’t judge your painter on the basis of dirty clothes alone. They may have just come from another job, and believed that showing up for your estimate on time was more important than going home and changing clothes.

Be sure they have references.

Multiple references are better. Anyone can have a couple of references from a family member or a friend, so ask for 4 or 5 and don’t be shy about calling a few. You can never tell how qualified someone is from their own advertising, but you can get a pretty good idea from the people who have done business with them in the past.

 

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