Painter myth #1: Since I know the square footage of the space I want painted, a painter should be able to give me an accurate price over the phone.
Fact: While you can get general “ballpark” estimates based upon square footage at websites such as homewyse.com (either interior or exterior), there are numerous variables when it comes to painting. Every space, like every person, is unique. Will the surface you’re planning to paint need one, two or three coats? Are there imperfections such as nail pops, water stains, cracks or holes that will need to be repaired prior to painting? What other details should be taken into account?
All these questions help add accuracy to a painting estimate. Painting contractors don’t want to give you a quote that’s completely inaccurate and overpriced. And as the consumer, you want to make sure that what the contractor is promising to deliver is what you are expecting to pay for.
Here are some things to think about when getting a painting estimate:
Painter myth #2: All painting companies are comparable as long as they have a valid license.
Fact: You should never hire a contractor that does not have a valid license as verified through the Department of Labor and Industries. However, even if a contractor is properly registered, that still doesn’t guarantee that they have the same standards as everyone else. How are you supposed to know that you can trust the painters that show up to paint your home? What protections are there if something goes wrong?
Here are some things to consider when choosing a painting company for your project:
Painter myth #3: All painters are properly trained and will paint my home to the same quality standard.
Fact: Most painters learn to paint on-the-job. Ideally, this should be part of a formal training program that includes extensive study of fundamental painting techniques such as those contained in the Painting & Decorating Craftsman’s Manual. There should also be established industry standards that are communicated up front, so that they are very clear to both you and the contractor.
These standards should include:
These standards cover a range of issues that commonly become the subject of misunderstandings, or in extreme cases, contract disputes. They provide guidance for both you and the contractor concerning how such differences can best be avoided, and save time and money when used and referenced in painting quotes and contracts.
Painter myth #4: All estimators should know how to accurately estimate my project and give me an idea how long it will take and how much it will cost.
Fact: Every painting company will have its own estimation process, and any estimator should have a general idea of what to charge for a typical paint job and a rough idea how long their crew will take to get your project done. But, can they tell you exactly how many hours of labor and how many gallons of paint it take for your project? This will allow you to see what their hourly rate is, and how much they are charging you for paint and sundries.
One of the oddities of the painting industry is that projects are typically quoted as a fixed bid, which means that the total price is determined up front despite how much time and materials the job actually takes. This tends to lead painting contractors to do estimates that are NOT broken down into hourly rate and materials cost, which can make it very difficult to understand how they determined the price that they are quoting you.
Any professional estimator should be happy to discuss with you exactly how they came up with their price. They should want to provide the best value to their customers. But, they also don’t want to lose their shirts because of something that got overlooked in the estimation process either. That typically leads to both parties being unhappy in the end. So, it’s always a good idea to be as transparent as possible and go over the estimate and scope of work together, so that it is very clear what you will actually be paying for if you decide to choose a painting company to do your project.
If you’d like to see how Arclight Painting could help you through the estimation process for your project, contact us now for a free estimate.