What to Expect When Getting a Painting Estimate
If you are like most homeowners in the Hilton Head SC area, you will want to hire a professional house painter to paint your home rather than to attempt the job yourself. As you can imagine, painting a home can be a time-consuming and expensive endeavor unless it is done right. What you may not know, though, is what to expect when getting an estimate from a professional residential painting contractor. If that is the case, you should find the following information to be quite helpful.
Methodology Varies from One Painting Contractor to Another
It seems that every residential painting contractor has their own way of providing estimates. Some interior or exterior painters will provide a firm quote while others will only give an estimate. One painting contractor may provide only verbal estimates while another will put their interior or exterior painting quote in writing. This might be in the form of an online quote, email, text or hard copy. Some may include a not-to-exceed price. These variables are important because you want to make sure that you are comparing apples to apples.
Commonalities to Expect
Contractors worthy of consideration should be able to thoroughly explain their painting process and walk you through the steps that will be required. Regardless of how they furnish their estimates, each contractor should consider the same basic variables, including the following:
Area to Be Painted
In order to know the scope of work to be performed, each contractor providing an interior or exterior painting quote should send a professional estimator to your home who will make measurements to determine the extent of the area to be painted. Their measurements should account for doors and windows, and they should consider such things as stairs and fireplaces. Estimators should also ask you if you want your ceilings and trim to be painted. They may also take photos or videos to more thoroughly document the areas to be painted.
Surface Textures, Coatings and Colors
Estimators should take notice of the different type of surface textures to be painted as each texture may require a different type of paint or preparation. The same is true for surfaces that have a special coating. Additionally, the existing colors should be noted as they could affect the preparation required to receive the new colors.
In some cases, a significant amount of prep work may be required before surfaces can be painted. For instance, walls may have holes that need to be repaired or wallpaper that needs to be removed. In general, preparation work includes such things as filling holes, patching seams, sanding, scraping and priming. Exterior painters may have to do some power washing. Estimators should thoroughly explain the steps that will be required to prepare the surfaces for painting so that you have a full understanding of what to expect.
Choice of Paint
Estimators should then walk you through your choice of paints. Among other things, this will include the type of primer to be applied, the quality of the paint and the amount of sheen. They should also take into account any special conditions, such as high humidity levels. Additionally, they should help you choose the best color for the particular application.
Schedule and Timing
Your time and priorities are important to you. Your painting contractor should ask you if you need this work done immediately or scheduled for a future date. The painting contractor should also furnish a timeline of tasks to be performed so that your schedule will not be constantly interrupted. After all, the contractor is a guest in your home.
Things to Watch Out For When Getting a Paint Estimate
When getting a painting estimate, there are a few things that you should watch out for. First of all, beware of a contractor that is pushy or in a big hurry. You should also be suspicious of contractors that want to talk in generalities versus specifics. Here are some other things you should watch out for:
Reputable painting contractors should be able to give you firm quotes and estimates. If a contractor only wants to give you a ballpark estimate, it could be because they have not done their homework or plan to give you a low-ball estimate and then bill you at a much higher cost. Instead of accepting a ballpark estimate, you should accept only firm quotes or estimates that can be turned into a written contract by your signature.
The contract should be specific and should detail such things as the start date, estimated completion date and materials to be used. The contract should also include a change order form to be used in case you need to make some changes to the original contract.
The Lack of a Formal Estimation Form
You should also watch out for a contractor that wants to give you a quote on the back of a business card or a napkin. You need a quote that details the work to be performed, a timeline for performing the work and details of the project to be completed. Otherwise, you will not know exactly what you are agreeing to and paying for.
As previously stated, your time is valuable, and you do not want your calendar to be constantly interrupted. You should only sign a contract that has specific start and end dates. The contract should detail every facet of the job and contain no ambiguities. You want a painting contractor that follows through with promises and not some fly-by-night contractor who bounces from job to job looking for one that pays the most.
What You Need to Ask During a Painting Estimate
Receiving a painting estimate should be a two-way street. The painting contractor should explain how they will go about painting your home to your satisfaction. However, you should be able to ask questions, such as the following:
• When can you start?
• How long will the job take?
• What kind of preparation do you provide?
• What kind of paint do you use?
• What type of guarantee do you give?
• Who will obtain permits?
• Who will be working on the job?
• Can you provide a list of references?
• What happens in the event of inclement weather?
Colorworks Painting has the expertise, equipment and experienced personnel to give you a first-class paint job. Call us today, and we will be happy to send a professional estimator to your Hilton Head SC home to conduct a walkthrough and prepare a written quotation. We are fully licensed and insured, and our work is guaranteed. Our friendly staff of painters will make sure that your job is completed on time and within budget.