The initial feeling of excitement when you decide to have your house painted is a rush for sure! Buuuuut it can wear off quickly. You begin to realize how many things need to be done between the moment you decide to paint and the moment the painting is completed. Fantasizing all the different color options is only one task on the list, and not the first! So first things first! You need to decide WHO will be handling your paint work for you. Step 1 is a huge decision! It will impact the whole process, so here are some helpful things to consider when you choose your contractor!
Reputation and Stability
Most of us take the time to look at online reputation before we call for an estimate in the first place… but is that enough? The crucial question is “Which business page has the most Facebook likes?!?” Winner! Done! 😉 Kidding… If only it were that simple! While you can put some weight into the way a business interacts with the social community; it is much more important to see if they have actual references and reviews about the experience they provide to their customers. If they do not have online reviews; can they give you references in another format?
Even a well liked business with lots of good reviews can be irresponsible though… And just because something bad hasn’t happened yet doesn’t necessarily mean they are prepared for it. Make sure the contractor you want to hire has a good business insurance policy and worker’s comp for all employees. If the contractor you want to hire uses sub-contractors; make sure they have these things too! A contractor whose stability is based off of more than social perception is critical!
Experience and Service
When we think of “experience”, we tend to just think of “how long” the contractor has been in business for. That is not the best way to look at it. Someone could be running a painting business for 50 years and only paint one house a month. On the flip side: Another contractor could be 5 years into their business, but have experience running 4 jobs a week. While you want to be sure that your contractor knows what they are doing, it is also important to ask about the “experience” they offer.
Does the contractor provide a clear outline for the services they will provide for you? Do they have a warranty on their work or materials? To find out how to spot a good warranty; click here! Is their communication with you going to make you confident that you are a part of the plan? Or will you be left in the dark, hoping they don’t finally show up for the project when you’re in the bathroom. 😉 (A personal fear of mine haha!) The quality of your experience depends greatly on the quality of your contractor’s service and communication.
It is pretty common in the trades for a contractor to come and go as they please. Everything happens on their time, with very short notice for you, in most cases. This can leave you under-prepared for the conversations you want to have with them, and frustrated with poor communication. They can leave just as quickly as they came and not really care either way whether you are satisfied with the service you paid for or not. The final bill can be hugely different from the quote you received, and you can’t expect communication to improve at this point.
Now not all contractors behave this way! But you definitely want to have a conversation with your contractor about what you can expect during the process; from the first estimate to the final bill.
Click Here for our handy list: 17 Critical Questions for Your Contractor!
Thank you for your time! To schedule an estimate with Sir Paints A Lot, click here! Have an Amazing Day!
Well first off- during business hours ;). This is a topic that has various answers in different parts of the country with different weather patterns and workforce balances; but here in the PNW we get so many calls for exterior work that people are hoping to get done sometime next week. They are very disappointed to discover that the soonest we can get them in is next summer.
Below I will cover some common misconceptions about when to book a paint estimate! Hopefully this will help you plan out your paint project without any major setbacks! Remember… These are misconceptions- the answer you seek is in the fine print 😉
1. I shouldn’t schedule an exterior paint estimate until my paint fails.
We all want to get the most life out of our paint jobs! (Unless the color is too hideous to behold 😉 ). However, if you wait until the paint is Already peeling, then you’re going to be paying extra anyway. The additional prep-work required to deal with peeling paint adds up! You’re also going to risk damaging your siding if you leave parts of it unfinished and exposed to the elements. (This also costs more…Especially if no one can fit you in until next summer). This is one of those situations where trying too hard to get the most bang for your buck can really backfire.
So how can you tell when your house needs repainted? In general, once your paint has begun to fade, the next thing that happens is it flakes or peels. This blog goes into more depth if you are curious!
2. I should schedule an exterior paint estimate right before I want it done.
In an ideal world, we could talk about painting on the weekend and start the very next week! However, reality is far from that. With all the shortages in our current economy; workers and materials are not so quick to come by. On a good year, exterior season runs from May through October. If you call anytime in that time-frame; expect that you might not get on the calendar until the next May-October. Exterior work books 6-12 months out right now, so it is important to choose a contractor whose business is likely to be around another year. (free tip 😉 )
Sometimes you can call during the winter months (Nov-April) and get in for the upcoming summer. Occasionally you might get lucky and be able to snag a spot even if you call in early summer! Just keep in mind that if you put it off too long; you’ll be stuck with whatever painter you can get and it probably won’t be the one you want! The same rule applies if you have a particular set of dates you want your painting to take place on. If you take too long to book your estimate, you’ll be stuck with whatever dates we can fit you in for! Plan 6-12 months ahead when it comes to scheduling your paint estimate so You can choose the painter you trust!
3. I can use my estimate from 3 years ago to get on the calendar now!
This goes hand in hand with the misconception before this… Say you got your estimate ahead of time just like I advised, but you weren’t quite ready to commit and get yourself on the calendar… So you held onto it a couple years until you were sure you were ready! You call to get on the books annnnnd the unfortunate news is that 3 years is a long time for a paint job. The estimator will likely have to come back and assess the current condition of your paint. If your paint has worn down considerably, extra cost might need to be added for additional prep-work.
Not to mention all the rapid changes in our economy. Everything from wages we pay employees to the cost of our masking tape has gone up. Whatever your estimate had written down for cost of labor and materials is likely not the same. When you schedule your estimate you should be ready to commit to a project in the near future, but also be aware that it might not begin for 6-12 months. If you Are still holding onto an old estimate and you would like to work with that painter still; give them a call! Just remember that the estimate will need adjusted!
4. Interior work doesn’t have a long wait time!
While this is usually true, if you call in the wrong season it is a different story! Here in the PNW a good rule of thumb for interior paint work is to schedule it during the rainy season! If you call for interior work during the summer you will quickly learn that our calendars are filled to the brim with exterior work. We might be able to get you in on a rainy day if one shows up though, so don’t hesitate to call! Just remember the weather is out of our control! If you call about interior work in the rainy season, you can get on the schedule during that same rainy season. No problem.
5. I’m going to sell my house so I should wait until I’m ready to list it!
The Fresher the Better right?! Its common for people to repaint their house before selling to boost curb appeal and profit! Sometimes people know they will be selling their house and moving in the summer and would like a full re-paint (interior and exterior) but want to hold off on the interior work until they are out of the house. At the time of the estimate; they’re not exactly sure when that will be. I have Good news! Because we can not control the wind and weather, our schedule is “approximate” until its right down to go-time.
If you call and get on the books, we can move your project around here or there as needed. If you wait until you are ready to list your house to scramble and find a painter…. well… That is just added stress to an already busy time and we likely will not be able to help you even if we want to. Same rule applies! Try to plan 6-12 months ahead if you can!
Maybe the last time you had your house painted you didn’t have to plan so far ahead. Maybe you lived somewhere sunny and exterior work was a year round thing so it just didn’t occur to you. Hopefully this blog helps you see the current reality of the PNW painting season. We are doing our best at Sir Paints a Lot to keep up with demand! If you realized while reading this that it is time to book your paint estimate- click HERE to schedule with us! Thank you!