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The Home Depot

What to Look For in a Paint Contractor?

Pro Referral > Home Guides > Painting > What to Look For in a Paint Contractor?
What to Look For in a Paint Contractor?

When you’re looking for any type of pro, it’s all about what they know. And you really want to make sure that the person you’re paying can actually prove some things about what they say they can do.


We’re all pretty trustworthy people. But a great American author, Damon Runyon, once said, “Trust but verify.”

  1. 1.Credentials

    Finding a legitimate paint contractor starts with a little research – asking to see a variety of papers and making a phone call to a couple of their previous customers. That’s not all. Here’s a rundown of what you want a future contractor to lay on-the-table before ever getting to the costs or contract:


    • Make a list of 3-or-4 potential contractors

    • Head over to the Better Business Bureau website and see if anyone has cited them for shoddy work

    • Ask the ones you’ve picked if they have comprehensive insurance, are bonded and have all necessary licenses

    • Get a list of referrals and how long ago the work was done

    • Carefully read the contract. Don’t be afraid to say, “Can I look at this overnight?”

    • Find out if they have a warranty for their work and what it covers

  2. Talk to the contractor about how long the project will take, and make sure to get it in writing.
  3. 2.Making A Choice

    Everyone on your list meets the minimum requirements. Weighing the difference depends on a few things: Professionalism and price. Get a few bids. You’re not necessarily looking for the lowest price. If someone comes in way, way low, there might be a reason.

  4. 3.Teamwork

    The simple fact is you’re not just hiring a contractor; you’re paying for a team to do the work. For smaller paint jobs the work could be done by just one person. Larger projects will take more hands.

  5. 4.Your Protection

    If you’re in an area of the country that doesn’t require that the contractor have insurance, only hire from the pool that has comprehensive liability. Not settling there, ask if the owner has Workers Comp for their employees. This is for your protection. Some paint contractors sub-contract. It’s cheaper that way because the head of the company doesn’t have to pay the additional costs for employee benefits. Considering that’s the case in this example, you want to see all insurance papers from every sub-contractor.

  6. 5.Journeymen

    You want professionals who have been doing work like the one you’re about to contract for many years. For instance, a Journeyman guarantees that they’ve been an apprentice for about 3-years. The Journeyman is the one that actually supervises the folks doing the work. You want people with experience. Anyone can go to a Big Box Store and hire day laborers. How long have the people been with the contractor that you picked?

  7. 6.Timetables

    Talk to the contractor about how long the project will take, and make sure to get it in writing.

  8. 7.Finished Service

    Everything is finished. The work looks pretty good. It was done on-time. The working space wasn’t muddied and all seems to be well. Before the final check is drafted, get back with the Painting Contractor at your place and do a walk-through. Is everyone happy with the results?


Good. Cut the check and enjoy your new world.

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