Choosing a House Painter? It Pays To Know What’s in Your Estimate!
Here’s a closer look at what’s included, what isn’t, and the questions you need to ask
If you’re planning a house painting project, picking a painter is the natural first objective. For most homeowners (maybe yourself included), this involves collecting a handful of estimates, chatting through your project goals, and seeing who makes you feel most comfortable. It’s the first step in an exciting, transformative process!
So, now that you have those estimates in-hand, how do you pick your pro?
If your answer is “ Pick the lowest price,” you aren’t alone! And, we get it. Here at Nash Painting, we’re homeowners too, and we understand the need to stick to a budget.
Before you make the final choice, however, we’d like to give you a little food for thought to help you make sure you’re trusting your home (and hard-earned dollars!) to the right painting company.
Why Shouldn’t You Just Go with the Cheapest Estimate?
Not all estimates are created equal, and neither is the experience and quality offered by your prospective painters.
When you’re presented with a low estimate, it has to be made possible by costs being cut somewhere else in the process (otherwise that company wouldn’t be in business).
So, that begs a crucial question…
What Is Your Cheap Estimate NOT Telling You?
Lower price points are often made possible by one, several, or all of the following:
A lack of surface preparation. This reduces labor time, but it also reduces the longevity and quality of your finished product.
Cheaper quality products. Premium paints can cause a little initial sticker shock, but they more than pay for themselves over time by offering a superior lifespan, color retention, surface protection, and value.
No insurance coverage. Here at Nash Painting, for example, we will never be able to beat the prices of a fly-by-night painting operation that doesn’t carry the proper credentials or coverage, and we have no interest in even trying. A lack of insurance leaves YOU, the homeowner, liable for damage and injuries.
No guarantees. Warranties and guaranteed work offer you peace of mind, and also ensure that the company you pick is invested in the work they are completing.
9 Questions To Ask Your Professional Painter
To help you make the best decision for you and your home (because that’s what we ultimately want), we’ve put our industry knowledge and inside perspective to work for you. Here are 9 key questions to ask your painter before signing the dotted line!
And, to offer a little additional context, we’ve plugged in our own answers to the questions so you have a point of comparison.
Q. Do you take a deposit?
Our Answer: No! Payments are due upon completion, and after a successful walkthrough with the supervisor assigned to your project. We want to be sure you’re happy before anything else.
Q. Do you have Workers’ Compensation and insurance?
Our Answer: Yes! We have 2 million dollars in liability, and full Workers’ Compensation coverage.
Q: What brand and products do you use for each substrate?
Our Answer: We use products we believe in, and that we know from experience perform to our standards. Specifically, for interior painting we use Sherwin-Williams Cashmere for walls, Sherwin-Williams Promar Ceiling on ceilings, Sherwin-Williams Cashmere Medium Lustre on trim, and Sherwin-Williams Emerald Urethane Enamel on cabinetry and built-ins. For exterior painting, we use Sherwin-Williams Super Paint.
Q: Is all labor and material included in your proposal?
Our Answer: Yes! No surprises or hidden charges are waiting for you.
Q. What process do you use to protect furniture and flooring?
Our Answer: First, we move all furniture to the center of the room and carefully cover it. The floor’s perimeter is then masked with tape and paper, and we cover open flooring with drop cloths or paper. Total protection and containment!
Q: Do you move furniture, and is it included in your proposal?
Our Answer: We are happy to move furniture as-needed at no additional cost. Unique/valuable items like pianos or antiques are NOT included, but we will discuss all of this with you in advance so that there are no surprises. We will do our best to navigate wall-mounted televisions as well, but we do not take responsibility for rehanging/wiring/installing electronics.
Q: What is your process for prepping substrates before the finish coats?
Our Answer: Preparation and attention to detail is 80% of a successful project! Because of this, we take the time to do it right. First, we pole sand walls to remove hairs, drips, and imperfections before filling nail pops and stress cracks. Next, we spot-prime all raw drywall and mud with one coat of wall finish paint. After that, we cut and roll two coats of finish paint using proper PDCA application methods to avoid flashing.
Q: What quality control process do you have in place?
Our Answer: We have a specific process that our crew leaders are responsible for executing. Our field supervisors are also responsible for a mid-job checklist survey to verify that basic procedures are being completed and quality is up to our standards. After the work is completed, we perform a job quality control walkthrough with you AND the field supervisor. A job questionnaire is also filled out by the field supervisor to track the quality of the specific crew that worked in your home. If there is any critical feedback, corrections and training are implemented to improve our team. In short, we’re relentless learners, we care about every step, and we want to ensure that your job is completed to the highest standards!
Q: Who is available during the process for questions and concerns?
Our Answer: Our friendly office staff, your field supervisor, and sales rep are available to answer questions or address any concerns. We keep the communication flowing!
The Big Takeaway? Think Bigger Than Price, and Ask Your Questions!
Our whole purpose here is to help you look past the price. As attractive as that low number may be, it’s crucial to see the bigger picture and make a real investment in quality. Otherwise, that rock-bottom estimate may actually turn into the most expensive one in the pile.
If you have any other questions, we encourage you to reach out to our Nash Painting team. We are here to assist with every step and stage of the house painting process!