In addition to getting references from your finalists, you’ll want bids. Get them from at least three different contractors, and make sure they’re all based on the same criteria. Find out what each contractor’s estimated timeframe is for the project, and whether there’s a waitlist. A good contractor should offer a warranty. Three years is fine; one year usually isn’t enough. Look at the warranty in writing, and make sure you understand any limitations or exceptions written into it.
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Recently I had the outside of my home painted. The contractor wrote a good contract, but I failed to realize that some things were not in it. It reminds me of the car dealer who offered a good price on a new car but failed to mention that it did not include tires. My contractor failed to specify that lattice under a porch was included. So the painters did not paint it. To his credit, he did instruct them to paint it when I brought it to his attention. If I had the job to do over again I would look for an individual who came with referrals from happy customers rather than a franchise owner..
Second: all the tricks of the trade in regard to "cheating" customers is for hustlers and cheaters and NOT established businesses. At the end of the project the job should come out looking professionally painted as specified in the contract. A selected color that takes multiple coats that was not calculated by the contractor should cost more money. It's not the fault of the painter.
Your painting contractor should be able to tell you which premium products they use, and why. High-end materials and products perform better, look nicer, and last longer - if your contractor uses low-end options to drive your cost down, they’re not doing you any favors. When reviewing your proposal make sure a specific product is listed, not just a paint manufacturer. Every manufacturer has contractor grade options.
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The most important part of painting your home’s exterior is picking a transparent and reliable company. At A Touch of Color Painting, we are a locally owned mid-sized company striving to provide the Triangle area with the best exterior paint jobs. We specialize in exterior house painting and repairs. With over 15 years of experience for each of our painters, we offer the professionalism and quality that cannot be matched! We pride ourselves in quality craftsmanship and professionalism from the start to finish on every project. We have been providing services to the Raleigh, Wake Forest, Cary, and Chapel Hill areas since 2004.
Sorry it is difficult to trust almost anyone in the trades. It is easier to do the work myself and not deal with strangers in and around my house. When I have to hire someone I tell them up front that I'll be checking every detail, pay extra to purchase the materials myself, and if they don't want the job - well good! I always fine someone who will work with me as I pay a bonus for that.
If a company has a formal training program, it’s a safe bet that they have their act together. They can do training in-house through regular meetings of their employees. They can have field training systems in place, usually coordinated with classroom training sessions. They can also use trade associations, such as PDCA (Painting and Decorating Contractors of America) or paint manufacturer’s representatives to stay up to date with the latest materials and techniques.
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A true professional should be able to supply you with a list of previous work and happy customers. Speaking with a previous customer will help you get insight on how your potential contractor works on the job, stays close to deadlines and keeps you up-to-date on your home painting project. Be slightly skeptical if he or she only has a small number of homeowners who are available to speak with, as they could be relatives or friends.
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Using the right software makes your job much easier and helps you get the best possible results. You can easily find the right paint combinations to please your client and quickly order the paint from a nearby store. A good field service management application, such as mHelpDesk, allows all departments of your business to smoothly coordinate their efforts, eliminating wasted time and producing happy customers.
Paint will be your next-biggest cost, at anywhere from $20 to $70 or more per gallon, depending on the sheen, the grade you’ve chosen and any special features. Some paints, for instance, are mold resistant. Others suppress smells or require fewer coats. Some have a lifetime warranty. Paints with warranties, however, may not be worth a higher price. In Consumer Reports tests approximating nine years of wear, only a few exterior paints and stains with lifetime warranties held up well. But “you’ll grow tired of the color long before a good-quality paint wears out,” Bancroft says.