After 30 years in the painting industry and numerous conversations with clients over that time frame, you hear many stories about painting companies or other trades, as well as the good, the bad and the ugly experiences they left a client with. I hope that the following information will be invaluable to anyone looking for the right painter or trades-person to do the job.

In an ever changing world that relies so heavily on the internet and social media with seemingly instant gratification, it can be difficult to sort out the best option for tradespeople to have in your home and trust with your project, with so many available options. The biggest complaints I typically hear, are after the initial appointment they never showed up for the estimate or they took a deposit and never came back, followed by, the job site was a mess and the communication over the course of the project worse…. or simply put the job quality was just bad. Many clients are also disappointed by the lack of experience on site. All of this, before we even touch on pricing structure for companies and price points for clients, all of which can vary greatly and affect the final outcome of the project.

It is important to know your budget, timeline, your expectations for quality of prep/paint and finished product for that budget. Painting costs will always be determined by the company’s own business model (labour costs and other overhead costs such as insurance, advertising, materials, etc). Least expensive is not necessarily the worst or most expensive the best. There are projects where clients require a full restoration and are wiling to pay the costs associated with that, and others who have a tight budget and just want a freshen up, along with every scenario in between. Communication is everything! A good company will be cognizant of your budget and needs and in return you’ll be grateful to not have any surprises during, or at the end of the project. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, you’re handing over your hard earned money! Do some fact checking online prior, pick three companies who have reputations that you feel are a fit, so you have varying price structures and personalities, then ask the right questions. Here’s a quick checklist:

Questions to Ask When Hiring a Painting Contractor

  1. How long have they been in business/trade experience?
  2. Do they have liability insurance/workers compensation/bonded?
  3. Can they provide references?
  4. What type of materials do they use?
  5. Will there be owner/management representation on site?
  6. What are the crews work hours each day? Do they work weekends?
  7. Do they guarantee their work, if so what is the warranty information.
  8. Do they require deposits?
  9. What is their job completion timeline?
  10. Will the estimate you receive be as close as possible to the real pricing. Nobody wants hidden cost surprises later!
  11. and finally… one of the most important, but the least talked about – trust your instincts! If someone comes into your home and you don’t feel comfortable with that person, you feel their may be conflict in personality or vision for the project… even if the price seems perfect for your budget, walk away. Business owners do it too! Sometimes people are not the right fit. In a perfect world this will be a long term relationship filled with many projects over the years. Have it start on the right note.

I hope this is helpful for folks looking to find the right painter, or other trades you may be looking to have work on projects in your castle. If you ever have any questions regarding painting feel free to give me call. I’m happy to try and answer your questions, even if I’m not lucky enough to work on your project.

Thanks, Gord.
Pro Palette Painting