Choosing Your Painter
Many consumers accept interior and exterior painting quotations and base their decision solely on price and don't consider the longer-term quality issues.
Lane Brothers want to help fully educate our customers on what they are purchasing. Never underestimate the value of quality materials and quality services.
Here are some important points to keep in mind when choosing your painting contractor:
Does the contractor have current general liability and workers compensation policies? Seeing a certificate is not good enough! Some contractors pay their first premium, get a certificate and discontinue subsequent payments. Request the name and phone number of the contractor's insurance agent and verify their status 24 hours after receipt of the bid. If the painting contractor only has general liability insurance, you are not adequately protected.
General Liability - Protects your personal property from damage. Repair or replacement is provided if needed.
Workers Compensation - Protects you from being liable if a painter injures himself or herself while in your home. These policies are expensive for legitimate contractors, but they protect you, the customer. Remember many contractors may offer lower bid prices because they don't have current insurance. Don't put yourself at risk!
- Experiences and Professionalism
Does the painting contractor use full-time professionals? Often bids are lower because the contractor is using students, retirees, handymen or low wage labor. This can result in people being rotated in and out of your home and significantly impact the end result. This can create trust issues, craftsmanship and/or quality problems and your job may take considerably more time than necessary. The quality end result is directly proportional to the quality of the people performing the work! Lane Brothers requires that all of its painters have a journeyman status in the industry with a minimum of 6 to 8 years experience.
- On-site Supervision
Is the painting contractor going to provide on-site supervision or are they going to "drop by to check on the guys"? On-site supervision ensures that the scope of the work and the painters are being managed properly at all times. Also, you have someone to communicate with when important questions arise. Most often a 3-man crew is sufficient to maintain proper supervision and consistent workmanship. We do not believe in over-manning a job with 6 or 8 painters or under-manning a job with one. Lane Brothers Job Supervisors must have a minimum of 10 to 15 years experience in the industry.
- Professional Affiliations and Endorsements
Is the painting contractor affiliated with professional industry and consumer advocate organizations? Legitimate, quality minded painting contractors would be members in good standing with organizations like the Painter Decorator Contractors of America and The Better Business Bureau. This should be important to the consumer because the contractor has shown an interest in keeping up with industry changes, standards and quality control.
Is the warranty detailed in the proposal or bid? Any warranty should be detailed and clearly written in your bid. Make sure that the contractor providing the warranty can stand behind it. Remember a warranty is only as good as the quality of the contractor providing it. If you are not working with a legitimate professional contractor then don't expect the contractor to stand behind their warranty, if they even offer one.
- Paint Quality
What is the quality of the paint being recommended? Ask questions of your painting contractor and do a little research about the grade and warranty of the paint. Make sure you are getting a true premium 100% acrylic or latex paint. Low grade and 1 year warranty paints should not be represented as a premium or custom approach to repainting.
- Paint Preparation Products
What is the quality of the preparation products being used? Check your proposal to make sure the painting contractor is not using 1 hour-recoat acrylic primers, fast dry oil primers or less expensive acrylic caulks. An alkyd 24-hour recoat primer and a high quality electrometric caulk should be specified in your proposal. Lesser expensive products will reflect a lower price final bid and many times are used as shortcuts. Look for descriptions such as; "preparation would include treating any obvious mildew with mildewcide, power washing where practical, scraping any loose or peeling paint back to a tight edge, hand sanding and caulking would be performed where necessary." Ask questions and get the details!
- Paint Application to Siding & Dilution of Paint
How is the paint going to be applied to the siding? To prolong the life of siding, paint should be diligently applied to the bottom edge of the lapboard to properly seal it from any further entry of moisture into the board. This will arrest any further warping or swelling to the masonite board and prevent replacement. All cedar siding should be back rolled with the application of a stain product. Lane Brothers absolutely does not dilute coatings whatsoever. Coatings do not need to be diluted to be applied by an airless sprayer. Today's airless sprayers are very powerful and can handle materials full body as intended. Selecting a painter that will not dilute coatings often comes down to whom you ultimately trust!
- Meeting and getting to know your Painting Contractor
Can the painting contractor meet with you and explain how they will paint certain elements of your house? It is very important to meet face-to-face with your painting contractor. Find out their experience level, how much work they currently are doing and ask for references. Ask questions about how the painting contractor plans to address certain areas or difficult areas of the job. Don't just accept a proposal or bid sight unseen or one that is left on your doorstep. If the low bidder wants to start your job the next day, many times this means this painter has no work. Generally, contractors producing quality results will have to schedule projects more than a day ahead of accepting them due to existing work in progress. If the painting contractor doesn't feel good about the work they are doing, this may affect their willingness to make sure you are happy with the final job.
- Spraying versus Brush Painting
How does your painting contractor handle large surface areas? It is quite simple. You can't apply paint consistently across a large surface area using a brush. An airless sprayer can apply paint more quickly (a gallon per minute) and more evenly than a brush. If you are having your siding painted, make sure your contractor is using a sprayer so that hard to reach areas and the bottom edges of lap siding are covered properly. This will prevent any further warping or swelling. Windows and trim areas should always be hand painted.