Top ten questions to ask a house painter before you hire them

Having your home painted by a professional painter can be a pretty big investment not only financially, but because you will be looking at that new coat of paint every time you pull into your driveway. Everyone wants to avoid getting a dodgy house painter that slaps on a couple of coats hap-hazardly and fails at even the most basic of tasks.

Like any industry, there are always going to be cowboys that make the rest of us look bad. This article is designed to help you find out about any house or fence patiner you choose by asking the right questions and arming yourself with a little knowledge so you don’t get duped by dodgy painters.

1. Are you a licensed painter?

Ensure your house, fence or interior painter is part of the Queensland Building and Construction Commission. Being a member of this association means painters are regulated by a governing body that oversees all manner of building, plumbing, construction and painting

It’s worth noting that a license isn’t always required for residential house painting as it varies depending on the state and the size of the job.

In Queensland for example, any painting project above $3,300 requires a licenced painter.

2. What safety measures do you put in place when you’re painting a house?

As you can appreciate, painting a house comes with a range of different potential safety issues, particularly on high-set or double story homes. When dealing with safety, I’m not just talking about making sure your painters have appropriate scaffolding and safety harnesses in place for workers – there are also other potential safety issues like lead paint disposal or what to do if asbestos is found in the house.

3. What safety precautions will you take for my house?

It’s not only workers that need protection when a job like house painting is happening, your home can also potentially be damaged if you have inexperienced or unprofessional people working on your home. Making sure appropriate preparations are made before painting even starts is a must along with ensuring surfaces that aren’t being painted are protected.

4. What types of painting services do you offer?

This may seem like a strange question but it gives the painter an opportunity to expand on their services and tell you a little more about how they go about painting homes, fences, brickwork, etc.

By asking about additional services you will be able to get a better feel for if the person you’re talking to knows what they’re doing, has much experience and if they're going to do a quality job for you.

If you get a quote that’s considerably cheaper than others you’ve received, there’s a good chance they’re skipping some important steps or are using sub-par quality products to get the job at the cheapest price.

5. Can you give me some examples of similar houses you’ve painted to mine?

Any experienced professional should be able to give you a wide range of examples of their work. This helps you to gauge the quality of their workmanship and get an idea of the quality of work they will conduct on your home.

There’s nothing wrong with asking for examples or to speak with other customers. Some people might not wish to give out their customers details, and that’s OK, but it doesn’t hurt to ask.

6. What brands of paint do you use for interior, exterior and fence painting?

Asking about brands is more about finding out the quality of the paint your potential house painter is using. If your house painter uses high quality paint, this is always a good sign.
If your painter is using cheaper paints of an inferior quality, this may also be a reflection of their workmanship. A serious painter will use good quality paints as they’re more concerned about ensuring their customers are happy and getting referral work than making a quick buck by slapping on a few quick coats of paint.

7. What’s included in the quote?

It’s important to know what is and isn’t included in any quote you get for a home beautification project. House painting incorporates many different elements from materials and labour through to equipment hire and removal costs for things like asbestos if it’s found in your home.

Make sure your quote includes everything you want painted like trims, doors, frames, cornices, etc.

8. What clean up do you do?

By asking your painter what type of cleanup they do, you’re letting them know that you expect your home to be left in the same, if not better condition than when they arrived. This will show you the type of painting contractor they are.

Are they there to ensure your home gets a great paint job and clean up afterwards, or do they plan on getting the paint on as quickly as possible and moving onto the next job?

Also make sure their cleanup process is in their quotes so you’re able to hold them accountable should something be missed.

9. Do you work for yourself or do you employ contractors?

When talking with someone about painting your home, walls or fence you want to make sure the person you’re talking with is indeed the person that will be doing the work for you. All too often painting companies will hire a slick salesperson to sell you a service only to have contractors turn up to do a sub-quality job on your home.

Make sure the person you’re talking to is the one doing the work.

10. What type of warranty do you offer on your work?

Find out what type of warranty is offered on the work they’re performing. If someone’s offering a lifetime warranty, beware of this type of offer.

As you can appreciate, a lifetime warranty for paint is worth about as much as the piece of paper it’s written on. Three and a half year warranties are more common as most paint issues will appear within the first 12 months if there’s something wrong with the house paint job that’s been completed for you.

So there’s our top ten questions to ask you house painter before you hire them. Hopefully this article will help you to understand the importance of asking questions and getting a better idea of who you’re working with before you sign on the dotted line.

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PO Box 2334
Keperra Qld 4054

Tel: 0433 123 785

Tony Devito
Trading As: TFS Painting Contractors
Phone 0433 123 785
QBCC Licence No: 738526