How To Choose a Professional Painting Company in Portland
Posted by Sam Sundeleaf on Wednesday, November 04, 2009
Choosing a professional painter can be a daunting task for the scrupulous homeowner. Websites and yellow page advertisements offer numerous options. We would like to share a few tips on how to make the process a bit easier.
- Make sure the paint company you are considering is licensed. Simply ask the painter if he or she can show you a copy of their current license. If they can't, delete them from your list. In Portland, licensed contractors also need a City of Portland Business License, and if the work is done in a suburb of Portland a Metro Contractor's Business License is required.
- Check the contractor's license history on the CCB's website. You can find out if their license has ever been suspended in the past, if they have had any disciplinary actions.
- Make sure the paint company carries the proper insurance. This includes liability, bond and workers' comp insurance. This information can also be verified on the CCB's website.
- Look into their references. While most contractors will gladly show you a page or two of happy clients, they will be reticent to discuss any negative feedback they received. You can find out a lot about a company by how they respond to criticism and a problem. Ask a company for negative as well as positive customer feedback.
- Take a look at their work. Not all painting companies are created equal. Some painters specialize in painting large commercial buildings and bridges while others may paint only very fine homes. Ask if they are willing to share a list of several addresses where they've done work. You can then drive by to get a better idea of the clientele they serve and the quality of their workmanship. Also, remember to ask specific questions about their warranty, their handling of wood repairs, stucco damage, and other preparation details. These details are significant because they will give you an understanding of how they prepare a surface for paint.
- Check how long they have been in the painting business. Remember, being in business for 30 years does not necessarily mean they are the best. The experience of a painting company is just as important. Ask them how long their painters have been painting, how long the owners have been in the industry, and why they are in business.
- Ask about their employees. This is an important step for finding or eliminating house painters. How does a company hire their staff? What kind of training do they offer? Are they drug tested? Do they receive background checks? Anytime you have people working on your home, you want to be able to trust them and feel safe.
- Discover how they conduct their business. Ask them about the painting process and what it looks like. Your goal is to determine if they are organized and if they have a good plan of how they would paint your home. Do they give you a scheduled start date? Will they have a project manager assigned to your home? Will they conduct a final walk through when the job is completed and give you a written guarantee of their work? If a paint company looks organized for your first meeting, chances are, they will continue to provide excellent customer service. Many painters have a hard time answering their phones, setting and keeping appointments and completing a project in the allotted time.
- Finally, go with the person and company you trust the most. Ultimately, you will need to feel comfortable with the estimator and his promises! If you’ve done your homework and you like a particular company, no doubt you will make the right choice.