Tips for Hiring a Toronto House Painter

Why Not Hire a Painting Contractor for Your Next Project? Your Time is Valuable.

It’s December in Toronto, and the snow is coming down. You’ve been 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 the time, expertise, or patience for such a project. So, you are forced to hire a house painter to do the heavy-lifting home painting job.

Is Hiring a Professional Painter Worth It

Hiring a professional house painter for your next project is not only worth it, but can be a huge time saver. In fact, hiring a Toronto painting contractor may be the best way to get the job done right and save you time.

Since being a professional house painting contractor in Toronto and GTA for the past 35 years, I’ve seen a lot of good and bad things. I have noticed clients are becoming more educated and aware of house painter scams which is a great thing. HGTV shows such as Holmes on Homes are a clear example of what can happen if you don’t do your homework. Having personally worked on the show and spoken to Mike Holmes in conversation, I also got some insights from him on what consumers should watch out for and shared some tips on how to hire a painter.

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 house painting jobs done in their homes. Get a recommendation and referral from someone you know and trust. Bonus tip, they might tell you how to find an affordable painter, so better ask them first. Get the names of painters from friends and family whom they’ve been tested and liked.

This is your best option to know how to tell if a painter is good. As you can inspect the work and go personally and chat with your buddy or family member about the quality of the result and expertise level of service.

Use contractor review websites such as HomeStars 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.

An excellent general rule for parsing online evaluations is that initially, you should not feel troubled seeing a couple of negative reviews from the contractor’s site. It’s just normal for a company to have one or two not-so-perfect reviews. This most likely indicates that they’re not posting fake and spam reviews by those people pretending to know how to become a painter in Canada.

The company probably does not spend all their time on track record management. Possibly they’re out there painting homes and doing their amazing painting job rather. However, suppose most of the reviews lean negative and likewise seem legitimate. In that case, you might still give it a chance or ask for another opinion just to ensure. 

Interior Painting Home Blue Painter with brush by Home Painters Toronto Square

Give more weight to the evaluations and reviews

Another thing to add to your hiring a-painter checklist is giving more weight to the evaluations and reviews if the company has a number of them. The bigger the sample size, the smaller the margin of the mistake. More reviews mean you’re getting a more accurate gauge of the professional painting business service. Try to find anecdotes and photos, also. Keep in mind that the most satisfied customers will not simply state, “McQueens Home Painters did a remarkable job!” however, they explain the whys and even provide proof such as pictures.

That kind of review is worth a turning point as it provides a clear and credible source of recommendation on what to look forward to for that company. Finding reviews about how much do painters charge per hour in Canada and stating the value they got from paying these professional painters is a bonus indication for reputable painters.

TIP 2: Interview The Painting Contractor

Exterior painting tudor house handyman carpentry Home Painters Toronto in action
Interior House Painting Female Painter with Brush

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. You might also try to communicate with the painting services to schedule an interview with a painter to clear your doubts. And you may prepare in advance your questions to ask painters in an interview. Here are some example questions:

Do the painters have the required licenses?

In Toronto and Ontario, WSIB (Worker’s 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?

It’s important that they are experienced, and only use seasoned, professionally trained house painters. Usually, 10 years of experience is a minimum requirement for an interior home painter.

Do they do the work themselves or do they subcontract it?

It’s 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; and reputable retailers including Home Depot, Sears, Rona, Lowes etc.

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.

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?

What’s important in these painter interview questions and answers is that you’ll want to get a free estimate for your property. Remember that your house has various floor plans and style components from any other home, so a free estimate will be specially curated for you.

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, it’s crucial you are careful with the final details of a contract. Make sure they know:

  • • What colour do you want the walls painted and what paint brand.
  • • What surfaces do you want to be painted (trim, walls, window frames, cabinets, bricks, accent wall, etc.)
  • What paint finish do you want on the walls.
  • An approximate 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 fewer chances of any miscommunications and the better the interior home painting experience will be in the end.

Interior House Painting Female Painter with Brush by Home Painters Toronto

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

What to Expect from Professional Painters

When it comes to painting, there are a few things that you can expect from a professional painter. These are:

  • Quality work
  • Expertise in how to do the job right in order to avoid having to re-paint later on down the road.
  • Attention to detail, such as cleaning up after themselves before leaving and making sure they have cleaned up your home before they leave.
  • They will arrive at your house with all of the materials necessary for them to complete the job in one day (if possible).

When all is said and done, you will have used your judgment to get the best possible home painter that you can find! Gut feeling 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!

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