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how to hire the right painting contractor

How To Hire The Right Painting Contractor

By | Blake Truline, Uncategorized

How to Hire The Right Painting Contractor

One of the most commonly asked questions when deciding to start a painting project is, “How do I hire the right painting contractor?”.

One trip to any popular search engine or directory for queries like “San Diego painters” or “San Diego house painter” will populate your screen with dozens of local results. While this is a great place to start, you often will want to dig a little deeper to understand exactly who it is that will be hiring. This post will hopefully help you make the right decision next time you need to hire a professional.

Start by reading online reviews, asking your friends and family, and then compiling a shortlist of 3-4 contractors. Look into the contractor’s experience, check if they are licensed, bonded, and insured, and if they have any affiliations with local commerce groups or professional organizations. Obtain estimates from your shortlist and be clear of your needs. Never hire solely on price and beware of subcontracting. The contractor should always provide you with a clear and complete contract and provide guarantees/warranties that last at least two years which guarantee the quality of their work. Now that we’ve hit on the high-level concepts, let’s look at each of these points in greater detail below so you can add them to your hiring a painter checklist.


 What is A Painting Contractor?

Before we delve in, you might be asking yourself, “what is a painting contractor and how is it different from a painter?”. Good question. To put it simply, hiring a painting contractor can help to removes all the risks and responsibilities from a potential client. They carry with them general liability and workers compensation insurance which will protect you from any liability should an accident occur. A well-reviewed painting contractor will remove any concerns over the quality of their work as they possess a higher quality of craftsmanship. Their reputation is on the line with each painting job, and if anything goes wrong, they will be much more likely to fix it to preserve their reputation. Lastly, a painting contractor will always supply all of their own supplies. This means all paint and equipment. You will not need to purchase your own paint directly from the store which can remove any issues such as defective paint or a wrong color. Now, the checklist!

Due Diligence

how to hire the right paintnig contractorThis step is the most important and therefore we’ve listed it first. The first thing you can do is start with a search for painters in your area. Your goal is to compile a short-list of 3-4 companies that you will contact. We recommend you visit at least 2 different search engines, for example, Google, Yelp, Angie’s List, Home Advisor, etc… Before you look at the company’s description of their services, look at past-customer reviews. These are far more honest and cut through a lot of the “fluff” companies can place in their service descriptions.

When reading past reviews, try to look for potential red-flags that recur in several reviews. If you notice a lot of the same problems, that’s an immediate red flag. Another red flag can be if the company doesn’t seem to respond to negative reviews or attempt to make things right. It is human to make mistakes, but you can learn a lot about a company by how they respond to negative reviews. When you are conducting your initial due diligence, check if the company mentions that they are licensed and insured. If the company does not openly disclose this, that could be a potential red flag.

Another great way to compile your list is to ask your friends and family if they can refer any good painters in your area. This can often be more effective and efficient than an online search.

Credentials

Check to see if the company is in good standing with the Better Business Bureau (BBB). See if they are affiliated with painting organizations like the Painting and Decorating Contractors of America (PDCA) or are involved with a local chamber of commerce or business group. While this doesn’t 100% guarantee their work, it conveys the message that they are committed and reliable.

We are a proud member of the PDCA here at TruLine Painting. Unsure of why it is important to hire a PDCA member painting contractor? Learn more about the strict code of ethics here

Also, check sites like Yelp, Home Advisor, and Angie’s List to see if they’ve won any awards. This typically means they are highly reviewed and recommended.

Verify their state license and credentials by checking your state’s Contractors State License Board. Here in California, you can use the Department of Consumer Affairs License Verification System. To find your states, simply google “[insert state] contractor license verification”.

Are they lead-based paint certified? Lead-based paint has been outlawed since 1978, however, there are painting contractors that are not properly-certified or do not abide by the rules laid out by the EPA. Failure to comply with the EPA’s Lead Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule (RRP Rule) can result in daily fines of up to $30,000 per day. This can be for this such as not obtaining certification, not supplying pamphlets to customers, not properly containing or cleaning up an area, and withholding information. Always check with the painting contractor beforehand. 

Some cities like San Diego may have different rules, so make sure your San Diego Painting Contractor understands this.

Also, check with the Better Business Bureau or your local consumer affairs agency to see if there is a history of any unresolved complaints.

Obtain Estimates

Once you’ve compiled your shortlist, schedule estimates with each company. A good painting contractor will always want to see a project before giving you an estimate. If the company tries to supply you with an estimate over the phone, that’s a potential red flag. No two painting projects are alike and the estimate they give you will likely be inaccurate. It also conveys the message that the company is either too busy or doesn’t value your needs.

What to Expect From A Painting Contractor Estimate

The estimate should contain at the very minimum the following information:

  • Labor
  • Materials
  • A detailed explanation of prep work
  • Total number of coats that will be applied
  • The time frame of the project
  • Brand and model of material to be used

A sign of an experienced estimator is one that takes the time to talk to you about your needs, walks the entire area to be painted, and makes thoughtful suggestions.

Be Clear Of Your Needs

San Diego Painting Contractor

The old cliché “communication is key” stands up here. It’s very important to be upfront with the painting contractor if you have a tight deadline, want a certain “look”, or have issues like an uneven surface that needs to be painted a specific way. A good painting contractor will always listen to your needs and try to find a solution to those issues. Don’t be afraid to ask any questions you may have, there truly isn’t a stupid question when you’re paying money for a service. During the initial phone call or estimate, be sure to address any and all concerns with the estimator.

Never Hire Solely On Price

Always dig deeper than comparing painters solely by price. You may find a painter that advertises an enticingly cheap special, but if you read the fine print you may notice it doesn’t include the price of paint, prep work, additional rooms, etc… So, what once seemed like a good deal is now more expensive. Additionally, the cheapest company may not offer guarantees or may not be properly licensed and insured. Conversely, going with the most expensive company does not always guarantee the best results.

What matters is the quality of work, past reviews, communication, and the thoroughness of the painting company. Additionally, be aware of painters that subcontract out work. You always want to work directly with the company that will be painting your home.

BE AWARE OF UNLICENSED CONTRACTORS: Most homeowners insurance policies do not cover damages done to your home by an unlicensed contractor. Want to learn more about the dangers of hiring an unlicensed painting contractor? Read our article here to find out how they can cost you up to $750,000!

Just a side note, we are not saying the cheapest painter may not be the best option. You just need to make sure you do your due diligence before hiring them (like you would with any other option).

Examine the contract

Make sure you obtain a complete contract from the painting contractor. The contract should always include all of the contractor’s basic information including:

  • name
  • address
  • all phone numbers
  • contractor’s license number
  • all the details included in the estimate

The contract should also always clearly state what is and isn’t included in the contract. Be sure to ask for a copy of their insurance and license. If the contractor doesn’t have insurance, you will be held liable for an accident. For example, if one of the painters need to use a ladder and accidentally fall, you would be on the hook. That’s something nobody wants to deal with.

The contractor should also always provide a guarantee and warranty on their work for at least two years.

Gut Feeling

This one does not require much explanation. Always trust your gut feeling and always go with the painting contractor that makes you feel 100% satisfied. Painting your home is one of the most important decisions you’ll ever make as a homeowner. You will be seeing it every day as you come home for years. So think to yourself, do you really want to be reminded of a negative experience? Consider what that’s worth next time you make your decision.


Bottom Line

Conducting a little due diligence can go a long way when looking to hire the right painting contractor. With these tips, we hope you will hire the right painting contractor. If you have any further questions, please don’t hesitate to ask. We’re happy to help!

Looking for a licensed, insured, and reputable painter in the San Diego area?

TruLine Painting San Diego

We would be honored if you would give TruLine Painting the opportunity to earn your business.

With over 25 years of industry experience and hundreds of 5-star reviews online, we deliver results that perform a “cut above the rest”. We are your one-stop-shop painting contractor and offer interior and exterior painting, general contractor services, cabinet refinishing and staining, power washing, window cleaning, and much more. To learn about all our services and to schedule your free estimate, please click here.

 

TruLine Painting Gives Back

TruLine Painting Pays It Forward by Donating a Car

By | Blake Truline, TruLine Giving Back

TruLine Painting – Paying It Forward In Times Of Need

Please visit Steve’s GoFundMe Page Here

March 1st, 2019

It’s always been my belief that the world would be a much better place if we all could “pay it forward” at some point. Well, when I heard the news about my friend Steve Jepson’s recent hardships, I knew it was my time to “pay it forward.”

In December 2017, Steve was diagnosed with severe kidney failure and has been undergoing multiple treatments of dialysis each week. Because of his rigorous treatment regimen, Steve, a local real estate professional, has been unable to work. He is a devoted father to his 9-year old son, Steven, who is mid-spectrum autistic. Raising a child who has autism certainly comes with its challenges. Steven is not yet potty trained and requires special care throughout the day. To further complicate the situation, Steve’s car recently stopped working which has required him to rely upon medical transportation to get to and from his dialysis treatments.

Steve Jepson and his son, Steven

Steve (left) and his son Steven (right)

When I reached out to see how I could help Steve, I approached him with the idea of setting up a GoFundMe page. The idea was to help raise some funds to get him a new car and get him back on his feet. What he didn’t know was that I was planning to give him a car in addition to setting up the GoFundMe page.

My only request from Steve was that once he got back on his feet, that he too would “pay it forward” by helping TruLine Painting in our efforts to raise funds for the Autism Tree Project Foundation (ATPF) and our homeless outreach campaign. ATPF is a local organization dedicated to improving communities in San Diego County by assisting with education, advocacy, research and mentoring for families impacted by autism. ATPF has helped thousands of family’s including Steve’s which makes this situation that much more special.

Needless to say, Steve was 100% on board with our idea. His reaction when he received the car was priceless – he immediately was thinking about how he too could “pay it forward.” That’s the beauty of paying it forward. One small act of kindness can create a snowball effect that will continue to improve the community. I hope that we can help Steve get back on his feet and back to doing what he loves.

TruLine

Want to learn more about how you can help?

Visit Steve Jepson's GoFundMe PageIf you’re unable to help but would still like to help, even just clicking the share button on this post goes a long way.

Lastly, we encourage you to think about ways you too can “pay it forward.” Even the smallest acts of kindness can make a huge difference.

Curtis Gabhart

President, TruLine Painting

President, Gabhart Investments


 

About TruLine Painting 

TruLine Painting is a full-service and one-stop shop painting contractor focused on delivering a 5-star experience to every customer. In addition to providing award-winning interior & exterior painting services, we also provide stucco repair, carpentry, cabinet staining & finishing, power washing, window cleaning, and much more. This ensures we are the only contractor that you will ever need to hire. With over 25 years of industry experience, we have become San Diego’s premier painting contractor. We believe the proof is in the painting and that’s why we invite you to look at our gallery of past projects and dozens of five-star star reviews from satisfied customers.

Contact:

4569 Mission Gorge Place, Suite N

San Diego, CA, 92120

619-663-5878 – Office

CA Lic #872552

 

angie's list super service award

TruLine Painting Wins The 2018 Angie’s List Super Service Award

By | Blake Truline, Uncategorized

The award reflects the company’s consistently high level of customer service

 

San Diego, California, Wednesday, January 23st, 2019 

TruLine Painting is proud to announce that it has earned the home service industry’s coveted Angie’s List Super Service Award (SSA). This award honors service professionals who have maintained exceptional service ratings and reviews on Angie’s List in 2018.

“Service pros that receive our Angie’s List Super Service Award represent the best in our network, who are consistently making great customer service their mission. These pros have provided exceptional service to our members and absolutely deserve recognition for the exemplary customer service they exhibited in the past year.” said Angie’s List Founder Angie Hicks.

Angie’s List Super Service Award 2018 winners have met strict eligibility requirements, which include maintaining an “A” rating in overall grade, recent grade, and review period grade. The SSA winners must be in good standing with Angie’s List and undergo additional screening.

Curtis Gabhart

 “We are beyond humbled to be recognized by our customers for the second consecutive year. Our promise is to give each customer the 5-star experience that they deserve. This distinction reaffirms that we continue to deliver on that goal of a world-class experience. Customer feedback is the greatest compliment we can receive and the backbone of our business. We would also like to extend a sincere thank you to each of our all-star team members for all of their hard work and dedication to our company. We look forward to a prosperous 2019 and continuing to serve the San Diego Community.” – Curtis Gabhart, President of TruLine Painting

TruLine Painting has been listed on Angie’s List since 2012. This is the second consecutive year TruLine Painting has received this honor.

Service company ratings are updated continually on Angie’s List as new, verified consumer reviews are submitted. Companies are graded on an A through F scale in multiple fields ranging from price to professionalism to punctuality.

For over two decades Angie’s List has been a trusted name for connecting consumers to top-rated service professionals. Angie’s List provides unique tools and support designed to improve the local service experience for both consumers and service professionals.


About TruLine Painting 

TruLine Painting is a full-service and one-stop shop painting contractor focused on delivering a 5-star experience to every customer. In addition to providing award-winning interior & exterior painting services, we also provide stucco repair, carpentry, cabinet staining & finishing, power washing, window cleaning, and much more. This ensures we are the only contractor that you will ever need to hire. With over 25 years of industry experience, we have become San Diego’s premier painting contractor. We believe the proof is in the painting and that’s why we invite you to look at our gallery of past projects and dozens of five-star star reviews from satisfied customers.

Contact:

4569 Mission Gorge Place, Suite N

San Diego, CA, 92120

619-663-5878 – Office

CA Lic #872552

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