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Residential House Painters: How to Choose a Painting Contractor

If you do not have time to paint your house on your own, you will need to find a professional painter to do it. Besides being more convenient, hiring a professional painter will guarantee a higher quality paint job, than if you do it yourself. Unless you have a lot of time, experience and professional quality equipment, you may want to hire a painter.

Finding the right painting contractor for your painting project can be overwhelming for some. Many homeowners don't know where to start or who to trust. There are a number of simple steps you can take to ensure that you hire a professional painter who will paint your walls to your satisfaction.

Family and Friend Recommendations
Your family, friends and co workers can be the best resource when searching for a painter. If your friends or family were happy with a painter, then chances are you will be, too. Spend time asking your friends and family questions about the painting contractor they used. Include questions about whether the job completed on time; the cleanup was thorough; and whether the painter agreed to come back for necessary touch-ups. Keep in mind that each person has his own idea of quality. Inspect the painting work completed at your friend's house so that you can determine if it is the quality that you want.

Online Resources
There are several reliable Web sites on the Internet that provide information on dependable contractors in your area. These sites have reviews of contractors and usually list only licensed painters.

Local Paint Store
Your local paint store can be a good source for finding professional painters. Many local painters have close relationships with their paint supplier. Many paint stores have referral lists based upon who they feel are reputable painters.

Better Business Bureau (BBB)
The Better Business Bureau is a good source for researching information about a specific painter. You can also do a search for painters who are in good "A+" standing. You can search the BBB online or contact your local BBB branch office. If the painter you are interested in had a complaint against him, find out the nature of the complaint and how it was resolved.

Proper Credentials
Some cities and states require painting contractors to have a license. Make sure your painting contractor is licensed, insured or bonded if required in your area. Ask to see licenses and make sure they are valid.

Contract and Warranty
Be wary of a painter who does not want to give you an estimate and or contract in writing. You should be provided with a detailed estimate, including the cost breakdown of supplies. The contract should also detail how many coats of paint are needed, and if any necessary wall repairs will be completed. The exact products and names of the paint should be included as well. Also ask about paint manufacturer's product line and the warranty for the paint. A paint warranty should be for three years. A timeline should also be included.

Additional Tips:
* Customer satisfaction - How important is customer satisfaction to you? A professional painter who is pleasant to work with is a good sign that your contractor cares about what he is doing.
* Do not be afraid to ask a lot of questions.
* Conduct a search on the Internet of the name of the painter and of the company. See if you find any questionable information.
* Never pay for the entire job up-front.


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