Repainting the rooms in your house is a great way to revitalize your home's interior, but doing it yourself can be time-consuming and difficult. Hiring a residential painter saves you time and ensures a professional job, but choosing the right painting contractor is not always a straightforward task. Selecting a painter that will complete the job in a timely and professional is especially crucial if you are painting a large number of rooms since any quality issues will be magnified throughout your home. Your initial interview and estimate are essential tools for the selection process, so knowing what to expect is vital.
Before you contact any contractors, have some basics information about your project available. At a minimum, you should know how many rooms require painting and the overall square footage of the project area. If you will be relying on your contractor to supply paint, then you should know the brand and colors before working out any details. The more information you have, the more accurate your estimates will be.
Don't Rely on Phone Estimates
When hiring any contractor to work on your home, always schedule an in-person interview and estimate. There's nothing wrong with accepting an estimate over the phone, but treat these as rough costs only. When comparing final estimates, use only those received after the contractor has viewed your home in person. Even experienced painters can't provide detailed information if they haven't seen your rooms, since everything from your style of baseboard moulding to the height of your ceiling will affect the overall difficulty of the job.
Expect a Full Walk-through
If your project includes multiple rooms, then prospective contractors will want to perform a full walk-through of each room that requires painting. For new or unfurnished homes, this walk-through is likely to be reasonably brief. If your rooms are currently furnished, however, then you can expect several questions. Many painters will be unwilling to move furniture, so there will likely be questions about how to deal with any furniture that's in the room. Will you move it beforehand? Is it acceptable to cover the furniture during painting? Be prepared to have answers to these questions before a painter arrives for a walk-through.
An in-person estimate isn't just a chance to learn how much a paint job will cost; it's also your chance to interview potential contractors. Before you schedule any estimates, prepare a list of questions. Be sure to ask about time frames, supplies used, or any other concerns that you may have. If you are meeting with and comparing multiple contractors, then try to ask a similar set of questions to each one. Contrasting their answers can help to provide a great deal of insight into which painter is right for your particular project.