Hire the Right Contractor

The following issues should be considered when evaluating your contractors. Please feel free to modify, (add or delete) any items to suit your particular needs. We caution against the over-evaluation of your contractors that is we would personally recommend painter and decorator north London if you don’t have the time to go through the whole article. Remember that the right contractor will do what they said, do it when they said they would, do it right the first time, and make good for any problems that may arise. Good Luck! Price

In choosing the best price, make sure that you compare apples-to-apples”. Compare what is in writing (not what is said) in regard to surface preparation, protection of your personal property, what type of materials will be used, and how many coats will be applied. Remember, the lowest price and the best price are very seldom the same!

Promptness

If a contractor will keep their appointment for an estimate, it’s more likely that he/she will be prompt in arriving to and completing the job when they say they would

Communication

How a contractor answers their phone when you are trying to give them work can be a good indication of how available they will be after they get the job. What does their proposal say about their communication?

Licensed

Is the contractor licensed in accordance with both State and Local regulations (see License requirements)? In some states, if a consumer hires an unlicensed contractor the consumer’s recourse against that unlicensed contractor is very limited should a problem develop. Ask to see their contractor’s license and then call the proper authority to verify if the license is current and if there are any unresolved complaints against the license. More than two or three complaints is probably not a good sign.

Liability Insurance

If something is damaged by the contractor (it happens) and the contractor is not properly insured, YOU HAVE A PROBLEM! Unless you personally view a current “Certificate of Insurance” assume the contractor is not properly insured. Don’t think twice about calling the insurance company to verify that the insurance policy is current.

Workmen’s Compensation Type Insurance

Guess who pays if the contractor him/her self or one of their employees is injured while performing work on your property and the contractor is not properly insured. This type of insurance is different from Liability insurance. Again, unless you personally view a current “Certificate of Insurance” assume the contractor is not properly insured.

Warranty

A written warranty is a must. However, remember that any warranty is only as good as the company itself. Will the contractor be around for the length of the warranty. Be cautious of exaggerated warranties. They may sound good, but what are you really getting?

Written Proposal

A well-written proposal/contract will include a complete description of exactly what will be done to what surfaces, in what time frame, and for what cost. Unfortunately, the value of a written proposal is only understood after a problem develops. However, a well-written proposal can be the very thing that prevents you from reaching a problem point.

References

Any contractor is able to produce a list of good references. Ask the contractor for the names and phone numbers of their last (or current) 3 or 4 clients. Call them and ask (a) did the contractor show up like he/she said they would? (b) Did the contractor do what he/she said they would? (c)Did they perform their work in a complete and clean manner? Would they hire the contractor again in the future? If possible, drive by and look for yourself at the quality of their work.

Image

The image of a company can be a good indication of the way that they work. Is their estimator clean and uninformed (or at the minimum in clean painters whites), or are they covered in paint and need a good lesson in hygiene? Are the contractor’s trucks well-marked, clean, and organized? All of these things can reflect the work habits of a contractor.

Quality

Quality can be a very subjective item. Your definition of quality and a contractor’s definition can easily be very different.