The Homeowner’s Guide to Planning Home Painting
Looking for a painter? Here's what you need to know.
Before you commit to hiring a painting service for your Main Line home, be sure to choose a business that will be straightforward with you and look out for your best interests. There are a few common things to look for when you’re taking price quotes from a painter, but a little know-how when scoping them out can make sure you get the best work done on your budget.
Avoid “Hidden” Costs
When you’re getting a price quote from a painting company, consider all the potential costs of the project, like for instance the price of materials. Different paints have different costs. One price quote might be for a basic quality paint, may not even include paint, or may apply just one coat of paint. If you want a better quality product, your cost could increase. For example, a cheap gallon of paint could be under $10, while a top-of-the-line could be over $60 per gallon. The finish of a paint, such as matte paints compared to glossy paints, can also affect the price quote. Make sure you know what you’re getting, and that the price you’re expecting matches up with the product you ultimately want. One good question to ask is how many coats of paint are included in the price, because there are some companies that will charge extra for providing the industry average, which is two coats.
Make sure you know the price of labor, and how the company bills you for it, as well. Some companies charge by the hour, others by the job. Be on the lookout, too, for companies that charge extra to properly prepare the surface for painting, rather than just doing it right as part of the standard package.
Offer a Comprehensive List of Services
Companies that offer a whole range of home improvement services in-house (like carpentry, drywall repair, etc.) save you the hassle of subcontracting – you can get a more accurate quote up front if you know the labor won’t be outsourced.
The Main Line is fortunate to have a lot of beautiful homes that were built before 1978 – however, that means homeowners are also much more likely to have lead-based paints on their walls. When repainting a home that has lead-based paints, your contractor needs to follow the lead-safe work practices set by the EPA. It requires certification. Unfortunately, many companies aren’t certified and don’t follow those practices, potentially putting your family’s health and safety at risk. Sometimes, contractors may even charge an extra 20 percent for the “bonus” of following lead-safe practices. This upcharge is not only unethical, it is illegal.
Reputation & Trust
Ask your neighbors which professionals have they used for home improvement projects and who they trust. Check out reviews on websites like Google+ or Angie’s List. Look at what people are writing about the painters themselves, like if they are “courteous,” “timely,” “neat and clean,” and “respectful.” If you do, we’re confident that the conversation will keep coming back to one name: Nolan.
Photograph courtesy of Nolan Painting.