How to select a paint contractor

ceiling damage repairYour home is probably your most valuable financial asset. That’s why when hiring a painting contractor, it’s important to follow these simple common sense guidelines.

Choosing a Contractor
Beware of painters who . . .

  • Pressure you for an immediate decision.
  • Ask for money up front.
  • Can’t produce a current certificate of insurance.
  • Only accept cash instead of a check or credit card.
  • Don’t specify the material or just happen to have paint left over from another job.


Follow these tips for selecting a reputable trustworthy contractor . . .

  • Don’t be pressured into a decision by a pushy salesperson. Get quotes from at least three reputable painting companies. Get a referral from a family member, friend or co-worker who has recently had a painting project completed. Other great resources include your local Better Business Bureau and Angie’s List. Look for companies who are “Accredited” and have great ratings.
  • Beware of a contractor who requires a substantial down payment before any work has begun. An unscrupulous contractor will take
    your money and disappear. On larger projects it is not unreasonable for a contractor to require a deposit of 30% when work begins and draws as the project progresses based on work completed.
  • Any reputable contractor will carry and can produce proof of commercial liability insurance. This insurance is necessary to protect your home and its contents, as well as the contractor from any accidental damages.
  • Be wary of a contractor who works on a cash basis only. This may be an indication that they aren’t paying taxes and can’t be found if the project doesn’t go as planned. A reputable contractor has a known history, references, Better Business Bureau ratings and long term advertising in place.
  • Products and materials that will be used on your project should be specified in writing. Be wary of painting contractors who “just happen to have some paint left over from a previous job”. Remember, price and quality often go hand in hand.


It is important to choose a painting contractor you can trust, so outlined below are a few additional common sense guidelines to consider:

  • Get a detailed written proposal specifying scope of work, products, pricing, etc.
  • When getting proposals from several contractors make sure you compare apples-to-apples keeping the criteria the same for each contractor.
  • Make sure you have your paint colors selected in advance to ensure a smooth start to the project.
    Remember, you are going to allow this contractor and crew into your home. Do you trust him and have a good rapport?
  • Don’t consider price alone. Trust, paint quality, the company’s reputation, and years in business are just a few factors that should be considered before deciding.
  • What warranties or guarantees are offered on the materials and workmanship?
  • Get specific answers on how long the project will take and how many workers will be required to complete the project on time.
  • Incidental responsibilities such as moving furniture, removing window coverings, and clean up should be specified in the contract to avoid confusion.


Beware of painting contractors who solicit door to door, have no listing in the local phone book or with the Better Business Bureau and no website.

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