Bringing in professionals to help you with a residential painting project is a task that calls for a bit of planning. If you want to see that your effort will go off without a hitch, pay attention to these common areas of concern.
Do You Need to Paint?
The first issue to think about is whether your house actually has to be painted. In some cases, there will be obvious signs such as paint peeling or chipping off. You may also see indications that the paint is fading — a problem commonly caused by years of exposure to UV radiation from sunlight. Due to the fact that different sides of a home are exposed to different levels of abuse, one side — usually the south-facing, sunward one — will be more faded than the others.
Conversely, there's also a decent chance the paint job on your home just needs a bath. If you're looking at the outside, washing it with a pressure washer and a high-quality solution may restore its luster… or cause the chips to finally go flying. If you're looking at the inside, try washing the walls by hand and see what they look like.
Finding a Contractor
Okay, you have washed the paint and learned that it definitely was in need of more than a bath. It is time to hire a contractor, but how do you know who'll be up to the job?
Looking at professional organizations for help finding contractors is always a good idea. The Painting and Decorating Contractors of America is one of the more widely recognized organizations in the industry by offering accreditation and education for its members. The Finishing Contractors Association also accepts painters into its membership, although it has a broader purview. Lastly, there is the American Coatings Association, a group that brings together painters, manufacturers, and suppliers. You may also want to contact your local Chamber of Commerce to learn who handles residential painting work where you live.
Questions to Ask
Painting can be a messy business, and the first thing you should inquire about is whether the company you're talking with is fully licensed, bonded, and insured. It's a good idea to ask for contractor license numbers and run them against your state's database. Learn how large their crew is and how much equipment they can bring, too. Finally, ask for quotes and make a point to compare.