Home Interior Painting: How Often to Paint and How to Spot Scams When Hiring Local Painters
Painting is one of those projects that tends to get set aside until it’s absolutely necessary. Unless you want to change up your home’s color scheme, you might not want to bother investing time and money in a new coat of paint. However, your current paint job won’t last forever. At the very least, your paint will gradually lose its fresh appearance and protective properties over time. In most cases, interior walls eventually get scuffed and scratched, bubble underneath, crack and peel, and so on.
You’ll have to repaint your interior at some point. The question is how frequently should you do so? And when that time comes, you must think about whether you wish to tackle this job on your own or hire local painters instead. Outsourcing your project will cost you more in the short run, but going it alone might result in various problems that require fixing and touching up down the road. If you do decide to hire painters, you must choose a provider that is experienced and trustworthy. There are plenty of bad actors out there looking to make a quick buck off unsuspecting customers, and you don’t want to fall victim to their schemes.
How Often Should You Paint Your Home Interior?
Let’s start with a basic rule of thumb: generally speaking, home interior painting should take place every 5-7 years if you want to keep your surfaces fresh, bright, and well-protected. Certain rooms and areas in particular might require more or less attention depending on their level of use. Hallways and kids’ rooms, for instance, can usually use a good touching-up every 2-3 years, as their surfaces are more susceptible to scuffs, oils from hands, and other minor damage. Bathrooms and kitchens, because they deal with temperature fluctuations and high moisture levels, can benefit from a refresh every 3-4 years. Living rooms, dining rooms, dens, and adult bedrooms typically fit the standard 5-7-year rule.
There are other exceptions to this rule as well. Obviously, if you’re itching to introduce a new color, even if you painted a year or two ago, nothing is stopping you from taking another crack at it. Also, if very few people live in your home and you don’t receive many guests, you might be able to go 10 years or more without needing to repaint your interiors. It really depends on your preferences, budget, and specific living situation.
Spotting Scam Artists
Whether it’s only been two years since your last paint job or ten, the hunt for local house painters can undoubtedly be a drag. You don’t want to set fire to your wallet, but you also want to make sure the job gets done properly and on time. In many ways, the internet has made it both easier for scam artists to get their foot in the door and for potential customers to spot these frauds. Your vigilance and patience will pay off as you navigate these waters. Here are some red flags and tips for identifying scammers.
The Price isn’t Right
Small numbers are seductive when it comes to hiring a paint contractor. However, keep in mind that the lowest bid does not guarantee the highest quality results. In fact, the opposite is often true. That isn’t to say you should seek to spend as much money as possible on a paint job -- rather, if a provider’s pricing falls far below their competitors, it’s worth wondering why. Perhaps the painter is inexperienced and needs to get a foothold in the market. Or, the contractor might be cutting various corners to drop their prices so low. Conversely, beware of price gouging, where companies artificially raise the price of their products and services due to some glitch or shock in the market.
The bottom line is this: if the estimates seem way off in either direction, look elsewhere. Otherwise, you might end up overpaying for no reason or suffering from a poor paint job to save some money in the short run.
Your Contract Lacks Detail and Assurance
When comparing estimates, the numbers aren’t the only figures to consider -- every detail matters. Your home painting contract should be as clear-cut as possible to reduce any confusion or “surprises” that might come up later. Scam artists often deploy this trick wherein they offer a flat fee for their painting services but, as a result, neglect important preparatory steps such as sanding, minor repairs, etc. Additionally, they may purposefully avoid mentioning certain necessary tasks (i.e. applying a second coat, repairing a small hole, etc.) so they can tack on extra fees after the fact.
The best way to avoid these malicious outcomes is to make sure every part of the job is itemized in the contract before you sign. You and your provider must be in complete agreement regarding their responsibilities and scope of work. This way, if anything does come up, it will either be included in the existing contract, or you and your contractor can renegotiate the terms depending on the situation. In any event, you won’t be left in the dark, and you won’t have to go way outside your established budget.
This painting scam can be tricky to spot, but it’s worth knowing about because it’s fairly common. Instead of using only high-quality paint products, disreputable painters might mix in cheaper paints with the premium product and/or water it down to get more coverage for less money (while still charging you the full price for the paint, of course). In addition to siphoning money from you, the customer, these tactics result in thinner, less durable coatings. One way to check for this trick is to ensure the paint cans entering your home have not been previously opened. There are times when water might be mixed with paint (i.e. to reduce stickiness of deep base paint), but this should occur openly and only after the paint has been brought in, not ahead of time.
Getting Ahead of Dishonest Painters
The red flags described above mostly occur once you’ve already made contact with (and perhaps hired) a painting provider. By that point, you have less time and recourse to abandon them and find a better, more reliable alternative. This is why it’s important to spot potential scammers as soon as possible. Fortunately, technology has made it much easier to do so. Here are some simple steps to take to separate the wheat from the chaff.
Read Reviews Carefully
Don’t hesitate to dig into every review you can find on a given contractor. Be mindful of each review’s origin as well. Savvy scammers can find ways to flood their online reputation with positive marks via bots, paid reviewers, fake accounts, and more. With a careful eye, you can pick apart real responses from fraudulent ones -- if positive reviews share similar text and tones, lack specific detail, or the reviewers lack personal info (i.e. a picture or relevant location), they’re suspect. As for negative reviews, read these carefully as well, noting the particular grievances previous customers have had. If the contractor in question has a bad overall reputation, don’t bother with them.
Dive into Their Website and Social Media Pages
It pays to go straight to the source, too. If a prospective painter lacks an online presence, you might want to go with a different company for a few reasons: 1) reputable interior house painters will be eager to show off their portfolio and market their services online, while disreputable painters might wish to conceal their work, 2) a lack of online marketing/presence conveys a lack of professionalism, and 3) lacking a social media presence decreases accountability and communication avenues. That said, scammers might be very much online -- this doesn’t mean that they’re legit, however. If a provider’s portfolio is clearly stacked with stock images and/or their social media is outdated, it’s difficult to gauge its integrity.
Lastly, the best way to shine light on a scam artist is to keep asking questions. Trustworthy painters will be happy to answer whatever they can, and admit when they’re not sure about something. Scammers, on the other hand, might give flippant or inexact responses, provide unrealistic answers to even the most complex inquiries, and/or avoid extensive communication altogether. Either way, you want to work with the provider who’s willing to work with you, not the one working against your interests.
You might not need to paint any time soon, but when the time comes, do your best to steer clear of scam artists. Several painters service Nashville, Brentwood, and Franklin, TN, but none offer the level of transparency or workmanship that Nash Painting does. To learn more about us, our services, and our values, call us at 615-829-6858 today!