Why not hire a painting contractor for your next project? Your time is valuable.
Its December in Toronto, and the snow is coming down. Your snuggled up in your house for the winter months getting ready for Christmas. However, your living room could use a new paint job to liven up your home around the holidays.
But there’s a problem. You don’t have time nor the expertise and patience for such a project. So you are forced to hire a house painter to do the heavy-lifting home painting job.
Since being a professional house painting contractor in the Toronto and GTA for the past 25 years, I’ve seen a lot of good and bad things. I have noticed clients are being more and more educated and aware of house painters scams which is a great thing. HGTV shows such as Holmes on Homes is a clear example of what can happen if you don’t do your homework. Having personally worked on the show and spoke to Mike Holmes in conversation, I also got some insights from him on what consumers should watch out for.
Here are five tips that you should take into consideration
when hiring a Toronto House Painter or a Painting Contractor (or any trade for that matter!).
TIP 1: How do I find a reputable House Painter?
When hiring a Toronto painting contractor who is going to determine how the walls of your house look, it’s best to ask around and find some potential candidates. Yes, Toronto has 100s of house painters, but how do you know they will be reliable, do a quality job, and not make a mess of your nest egg?
- Ask friends who have recently had a house painting jobs done in their homes.
- Use contractors review websites such as HomeStars.com/Toronto to read reviews on potential contractors.
- Avoid websites such as Kijiji or Craigslist. Yes you could find a qualified house painter there for sure. But the majority who advertise on those websites are unqualified, prefer cash deals, and are most likely unlicensed , not bonded house painters, and uninsured. If you do use these 2 websites to find a home painting contractor in Toronto ON, just make sure they have all the necessary certificates, or you could be in for a costly mistake.
TIP 2: Interview the Painting Contractor
Whenever you get a job, you have to do an interview first. This is no different. You will be the house painter’s employer for the duration of the painting job, so it’s best to do an interview with potential candidates first. Here are some example questions:
- Do the painters have the required licenses? In Toronto and Ontario, WSIB (Workers compensation Insurance) is a requirement. General liability insurance is important also but not a requirement for painters. Make sure they have both or you could leave yourself open to some huge liabilities.
- How long has the contractor been painting? Its important that they are experienced, and only use seasoned, professionally trained house painters. Usually 10 years experience is a minimum requirement for an interior home painter.
- Do they do the work themselves or do they subcontract it? Its always riskier if they hire subcontractors so if they subcontract it, make sure you meet the subcontractors as well as the salesperson selling you the paint job.
- Does the painting company provide written guarantees? In Ontario, it’s very risky to deal with anyone who doesn’t put it all in writing.
- Are the painting contractors member of any associations or well named brands? In Canada, there are several associations to affiliate with such as the Better Business Bureau, HomeStars.com; and reputable retailers including Home Depot, Sears, Rona, Lowesetc.;
- Do they have a portfolio of previous home painting works? At the very least, if they have been working as a house painter in Toronto and the GTA they must have a body of work to show you including references.
- Are the painters bonded and have criminal background checks? In Canada, there are many ways to background check their workers. Backcheck.ca is a popular one.
TIP 3: References
During the interview process, make sure you ask the painting contractor if they have any references that you could get in contact with. When talking to the references, ask things like:
- Was the paint job worth the price?
- Was the job done on time?
- Were they professional home painters?
- Were they courteous?
TIP 4: Communicate and Be Specific of Your Needs
After you’ve decided on which home painter you want to hire, make sure you are as specific as possible when describing the job to them. According to the Ministry of Consumer Complaints in Ontario, complaints about home contractors have been amongst the highest number of complaints. In Toronto, its crucial you are careful with the final details on a contract. Make sure they know:
- What color you want the walls painted and what paint brand.
- What surfaces you want painted (trim, walls, window frames, cabinets, bricks, accent wall, etc.)
- What paint finish you want on the walls.
- An approx time frame to start and complete the job.
- What your expectations are overall and what is important to you
The more specific you are, the less chances of any miscommunications, and the better the interior home painting experience will be in the end.
TIP 5: Review the Painting Contract
After you’ve walked them through exactly what you want, sit down and review the painting contract with them. Go over things such as:
- House painting Price
- What is being painted
- Details of preparation before painting
- Date/time the job will take place
- When the contractor will be paid
- How the contractor will be paid
- How long the project will take
When all is said and done, you will have used your judgment to get the best possible home painter that you can find! Gut feel is important. But also remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Get multiple painting quotes if you are at all skeptical!
Please review our other blog on “10 Questions you Must Ask Your House Painter Before Hiring Them” if you want even more information on this topic.
Since you’re looking for a painter, why not check us out? We have over 25 years of experience with home renovations, and satisfaction is guaranteed. You can check out our reviews at HomeStars.com/Toronto, or give us a call NOW at 416.494.9095, or email us at Brian@HomePaintersToronto.com to get a free estimate for your home renovation and home painting project.