As spring approaches and you start looking around your house at the things you want to get done. Whether it is just to freshen it up or a major update, how do you go about choosing a painting or remodeling company that’s right for your project?
There was a time when looking for a service company we would ask a friend/neighbor for a recommendation or open the phonebook and search the yellow pages. Usually calling the first one on the list or the one with the ad that stood out the most. Not much has changed, except now instead of the phonebook we use Google, Bing, or directory sites like Yelp or Angie’s List. And generally still call a company whose name is on the top of their list. Sometimes we read the reviews to get a feel for the quality of the company and the work they do, but how truly reliable are the anonymous online reviews.
So if you want more to go on than just calling the company who pays Google for an ad or has the most “glowing” online reviews, what should you do and how should you go about finding that right painting or remodeling company. First, even if you are getting a personal recommendation, you may want to call two or three different companies and ask for them to come out and give you a free estimate on your job. Then make sure you have a list of questions you want answered from each one so that you can do a fair comparison based on more than just the price of the job. What kinds of questions should you start with?
First when choosing a painting or remodeling company make sure they offer services that can cover your entire project whether it’s all in-house employees or subcontractors. You don’t what to end up being responsible for finding multiple contractors in various specialties and then managing the scheduling of them throughout the phases of your job.
Ask if the company is not only insured but also only employs or uses contractors that are documented. This may seem like something you as the home or business owner shouldn’t have to be responsible for, but either could have longer term ramifications. Even if the company has insurance if they don’t have enough coverage or the right coverage and someone were to get injured at your place there could end up being culpability on your side. The usage of undocumented workers is an illegal business practice and if you use a company that gets caught doing this they could end up getting serious fines or put out of business. If that happens and you have later issues with their work, there would be nothing you could do to get them to come correct the problem.
Which leads to one of the next major questions you should ask, does the company warranty their work and if so for how long? Any company that stands behind the quality of their work will provide you with a warranty to come back and fix any imperfections over a specified period of time. And find out if you will have one or multiple points of contact through not only the duration of the project but also over the course of your warranty period.
As part of their warranty on service, what warranty comes with the products they use. So make sure to ask about what brands they use for paint or other materials and then do your own research on the ones they are recommending. In additional to paint brands you should know what sheen of paint is best for the room or exterior you are having be painted. Maintenance, wash ability and look with will vary even with the same color depending on if you choose a flat, satin, semi-gloss, or high-gloss paint.
Make sure you know not only the time frame expected to do the work, but when the company thinks they will be able to get started on your project. Keeping in mind that delays can often happen that are not necessarily the fault of the company, make sure if you are on a strict timeline that you allow enough buffer to account for this.
As you make your final evaluations, comparing their responses to all your questions in addition to price, make sure to also ask yourself who did you feel comfortable with? Did you feel the sales person was upfront and honest with you? Did you feel that you could work well with their personnel? Having an open dialog between yourself and the project manager or crew during your project will play an important role in how happy you are in the end and should be considered part of your final decision making process in choosing a painting or remodeling company that’s best for you.
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