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Tips for hiring a commercial painting contractor

May 3, 2022 · 8 minutes to read

House painter at work in the site.

Running a small painting business can initially be a difficult career move – especially when you are on your own. Not only is your entire income dependent on your skills as a professional painter, but you will need to brush up on other aspects of running a business such as marketing, accounting, and insurance.

But after a while, you begin to get your processes sorted. Your client lists begin to fill up and your biggest problem is keeping up with demand. While this is a good problem to have, it means you can think about hiring a painter contractor to share the load on some jobs.

But with a lot of competition out there, some people might resort to saying they are a professional painter when they don’t have the appropriate skills, business insurance or training. This could result in a sub-par job being done, which could cause financial and reputational damage to you and your business.

It’s your business at the end of the day, so it’s on you to sift through the grifters from the painters and land yourself a competent painter contractor. This short guide will explain how to hire a contractor for your painting business so you can get the job done professionally.

1. Get referrals from your connections

As you probably already know, a lot of painting contracts are sealed by word-of-mouth. Whether it’s your friends and family or your neighbor Joe who is ecstatic about the color of their new feature wall, the words of the people you trust come at a premium.

If they had a good experience, they are likely to recommend their contractor to you. From there, you can get the contractor’s number and proceed through the next steps.

2. Look at multiple estimates

While the opinions of those around you are valuable, they are by no means the end to your hiring process. They could provide all the recommendations in the world, but until you survey a few estimates you can’t be sure if their price is reasonable.

While you may already have some idea because of your profession, getting multiple estimates will allow you to get the average price of your area.

Try and find the price where you feel most comfortable with and cut out the painter contractors that are not within this ballpark figure to narrow down your search.

Another important tip to consider is to try and get a written estimate rather than just an assurance from a conversation. Putting it down in writing establishes the estimate and allows you to properly evaluate what is a fair price for the services provided. This also helps protect you if the contractor changes the job last minute as you have written evidence of what was estimated.

3. Check their experience

It’s important to check the experience and credentials of your prospective painter contractors. Generally, the more experience one has as a painter, the more competent they are to finish the job. Some states also require painter contractors to hold specific licenses so make sure you check up on your local regulations before you hire.

Another good idea is to check online and read online reviews. While reviewing can be subjective, a decent number of positive reviews generally suggests the contractor does a good job. Some may also show pictures and descriptions of previous work, which could help guide you in the decision-making process.

If the contractor has made it to the point where you reach out to them, don’t be afraid to ask questions specific to the job that might allow you to see if they are suitable.

Lastly, ask for a list of references and contact them. An endorsement from multiple people outside your circle will help ensure the potential hire isn’t just embellishing their credentials.

4. Sort out insurance

Before you sign the contract, check what insurance your business and the contractor are covered by. Many contractors consider different types of policies to protect themselves from various risks. Without these types of insurance, you may be liable if something were to happen.

General Liability cover* is a form of insurance commonly taken out by painters and other contractors who work on and in a client’s property. It protects your business against third-party claims of bodily injury and property damage. Depending on where you are located, General Liability insurance might be required to obtain a contractor or business license, so it’s best to check your local regulations.

If you want to consider protecting your own business from various risks, compare painter insurance quotes from leading insurers.

5. Get a guarantee and a timeline

Once you are fairly confident with the painting contractor you are going with, ensure you get a guarantee and a timeline of the job.

This will give you the assurance that everyone agrees on the specifics of the job and when it is to be done by. If the contractor doesn’t offer or refuses a guarantee or a timeline it’s probably best to consider moving on.

This guarantee is often part of the final contract so make sure read on understand everything before you sign it.

How to Reduce Costs When Hiring a Painter?

Here are some handy tips to help you save money when hiring a painting contractor to help out in your commercial painting business.

1. Request recommendations

Take a look at the work done by other painters. If the contractor cannot provide you with a list of previous clients you can speak with, you should not engage them. Make certain that a painting company’s staff are all skilled and that the goods they use are of the highest quality. Check the quote carefully to ensure it includes all the resources you’ll need, such as brushes, prep materials, and paint.

2. Cut out the middleman

If you can get the paint and primer straight from a merchant or, better yet, a wholesaler, you might be able to save money. While purchasing paint from your contractor may be more convenient, you will be paying a mark-up that may otherwise be avoided.

Ask your painter if this is an option, because some won’t paint with products they don’t provide themselves. This is primarily due to warranty issues. So checking if this money-saving solution is possible ahead of time will help you cost-effectively plan the job.

Make sure you get high-quality paint from wherever you get it. The hue is secondary to the product’s uniformity and longevity.

3. Do the prep work yourself

You can save money on labour costs by cleaning up the current space thoroughly beforehand. Wash the walls and floors, as well as any other painted surfaces. Wipe off the trim and moulding to remove any dust, dirt, or debris that could interfere with the taping.

Remove any furniture from the area to be painted, as well as any photographs, shelving, or other decorative components. This will ensure that your customer’s belongings are well-cared for and less likely to be broken or damaged.

The quantity of prep work required typically determines the outcome of the painting. Inquire with your painting contractor if there are any actions you can take to ensure that all the necessary prep work is completed. If your contractor is paid by the hour, removing the outlet covers and light fittings and taping off windows and edges yourself will save you money.

Before the painters arrive, use drywall mud to fill in any cracks or damage to the drywall. Make sure the area is smooth and sanded. If the painters you subcontract to are required to perform any of these repairs, you will almost certainly be charged a significant amount in addition to the estimated price.

4. Why even hire a painting contractor?

Hiring a painting contractor can be cost-effective and help you get the job done well while allowing your business to take on additional work. With the help of a professional painting contractor, your redecorating or restoration job will be completed efficiently and to a high standard – without you having to do all the work yourself. Your painting contractor can also help with preparation and onsite cleaning.

Are you in need of business insurance* for your painting business? BizInsure makes comparing business insurance quotes quick and easy – without all the trouble. Compare business insurance quotes and secure your painting business insurance in minutes today! Call us on 1-877-900-9998 or get a quote via our website.

*This information is a general guide only and does not take into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. Always check with your local licensing board when getting or renewing your contractor license to ensure you are meeting their current licensing requirements.
*As with any insurance, coverage will be subject to the terms, conditions and exclusions contained in the policy wording. The information contained on this web page is general only and should not be relied upon as advice

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