Choosing a Painting Contractor – How Do You Decide?

When most do a Google search for “Naperville Home Painting Contractors” or “Naperville Home Painting Company“, many choices appear for you to choose from.  How do you go about choosing a painting contractor to be the the best company to work with?  There are many decisions to pick from, but I feel these are a good start for you to analyze when getting multiple estimates:

  • Do you want to pick only the cheapest painting contractor?
  • Do you want the best painting company, but know you will have to pay more for that?
  • Do you want the job done right away, or can it wait a month?
  • Do you want the most experienced painters on your project?
  • Do you care if the painting contractor is fully insured, or doesn’t that really matter to you?
  • How many years in business does the painting contractor have?
  • Do they run a full business or just a one-man operation?
  • Can you see photos or videos of previously completed projects?
  • Will they be using top quality paint products and put that in writing?
  • Will thorough preparation be used and put in writing?
  • Is your painting contractor you are considering part of any formal organizations, where you can check them out further?

I will have more blog posts discussing these in length.  Let’s look at the first one, subsequent blogs will follow.

Do You Want to Pick Only the Cheapest Painting Contractor?

Some of our new prospective clients who discover us on the internet are getting two to three estimates.  They sometimes make choices strictly on comparing prices.  I get it.  You don’t want to be taken to the cleaners.  You want to make sure that your estimates are in the same ballpark.  I always tell my current

clients and potential clients that price shouldn’t be your only decision.  After all, your home is one of your biggest investments in your financial portfolio.  If you have, for example, an estimate for an exterior project from three painting companies:  one is $2,500, the second is $1,500, and the third is $4,000, most would say go with the lowest or middle company.  Some would automatically think the highest contractor is taking them to the cleaners and charging too much.

Here are some possible reasons the middle to the high exterior home painting contractor is more than the cheapest one.

  1. You should have each one put their estimate in writing, with clear descriptions of paint products, preparation.  This can affect the price if they aren’t doing all the proper steps.  Someone can verbally tell you what they are putting on the home, but make sure it is in a written contract.  Also, make sure they are putting in their contract the preparation and steps of how they will prepare your home prior to applying products.  This is key to have the best longevity.  Every estimate I provide, we have the preparation, the number of coats, products being used, and any terms or clauses stated at the bottom.  We make sure that you are fully informed, in case there is any confusion after the project starts, we both can go back to it as a reference.
  2. I always say that you get what you pay for.  Maybe you should be asking yourself, “Why is the highest company so much higher?”  My guess is that the highest company is fully insured per Illinois insurance standards, carrying general liability as well as workman’s compensation.  Most men do not carry WC, for that reason, it’s crazy expensive these days.  But it protects you from having your home in jeopardy in case someone does get hurt.  Do you really want to take the chance of having someone fall off a ladder from the roof and not be fully insured?  Hospital expenses can easily start in the six-figures.  I’ve taken the stance for the full 27 years that I’ve been in business to be fully insured, to protect my client’s assets – their home.  You can trust that I’ve taken the proper measures to have everyone on your job site fully insured.  I can have a Certificate of Insurance sent to you, so you have that “just in case” moment.  A lot of contractors just say they are insured, but really aren’t.  If you ask for one, most have a “copy” of their Certificate of Insurance sent to you.  A copy won’t protect you in case of an accident.  You need to have an official Certificate of Insurance with you as the Certificate Holder stated, it has to be signed by the insurance agent, and the date at the top has to be for that week that you requested it.  On the COI, it will show if they have just GL or both GL and WC insurance.  You have to read the details.
  3. Does your contractor sign an agreement or is it just verbal?  An estimate or contract is only as good as one that is signed.  Make sure you are getting things in writing, that both you and the painting contractor sign.  My wife, Brenda, who manages the offices, makes sure we both have a signed contract in place prior to the job starting.  That way, we both have it for reference and can keep it for documentation for years to come.  Cheaper contractors just do a “quick” estimate on a carbonless document, with standard items, and leave it at the door.  Do you really want that?
  4. How long has your contractor been in business?  Some of the cheapest painting contractors are not true painting contractors.  There aren’t too many of us around anymore.  When choosing a painting contractor, note that the true contractors were taught by their family, a family craft.  Some painting contractors are men that lost their jobs, and figure that painting isn’t too hard, they can figure it out.  But they can’t.  They don’t know all the details that need to be done to achieve longevity.  I was taught by my father when I was 13.  I’ve been painting now for 36 years, and bring to each job my experience not only as a true painting professional but been in business for 27 years.  I plan on being in business 27 years more – guaranteeing you I’ll be around for the next project.

I will have more blog posts on this topic.  This is just a few reasons why estimates can vary in price.  In the end, you make the final decisions.  Make sure you are checking out all the details before you make that final decision.  

If you enjoyed this post click here for my post on Best Painting Contractor in Naperville. 

Don’t forget, if you need an estimate on any of your painting projects, give me a call.  My team and I have been serving the Orland Park, Homer Glen, Mokena, Frankfort, Tinley Park, New Lenox, Lemont, Orland Hills, Palos Park, St. John IN, and all of Chicago area for 30+ years.