Whether you lack the time or the skills to give your beautiful St. Petersburg home a fresh coat of paint, hiring a pro is the way to go.
Friends and neighbors can help you find reputable painters to consider for your project.
You need to go even deeper than that to ensure you’ll get quality work.
What Does a Painting Contractor Do?
Hiring a solid contractor to paint the interior or exterior of your home should ensure the job is done quickly and professionally. In addition, they’ll have all the tools most homeowners do not keep on hand to get the cleanest and smoothest final results.
A professional can advise you on the best primers and paints for your specific plan.
They’ll let you know the plan on how big of an impact the paint job will have on your day-to-day life. For example, are you ok with leaving tarps and supplies down or stacked in a corner, or do you want all materials cleared out on a nightly basis? Of course, this will increase labor costs a bit, but it’s your home, and you need to decide your comfort level with a little or a lot of clutter.
Start with a Plan
Go into the project with very specific expectations that are part of a written contract.
If you want a turnkey job, spell out that the painter and the crew will move furniture, prep surfaces to be painted, cover all the areas that are to stay free of paint, and complete cleanup and remove all tools, tarps, and dropcloths.
If you’re willing to do some of the work, sanding your walls and other surfaces, for example, you can likely save a nice sum of money. Be sure to get your painter to tell you the correct sandpaper grade and get a little lesson in proper sanding techniques.
Also, consider how many areas you want to be painted, whether inside, outside, or both. Finally, think about how the project will impact your home life. Have a plan for how you’ll cope if you don’t have access to the kitchen, a living area, or a bathroom for a prolonged period.
Think about Florida weather patterns. If meteorologists predict an active tropical storm or hurricane season, you’ll be better off waiting for calmer, dryer conditions for painting.
Research Painting Contractors
Plan on checking out three or four potential contractors. The aim is to get estimates from your top three picks to compare.
Beginning your search online, where you can check company websites as well as online customer reviews, will help you come up with your list of possible painters to hire.
It takes time to do your homework, but it will be well worth it when the job is complete, and you’re happy with the great results.
At a bare minimum, painting contractors should have a license to work in Pinellas County and proof of insurance coverage.
Consumer protection experts say get the names and phone numbers of at least three business references. Then, call those past clients and have a conversation about their experience with the company.
Have a thorough conversation with any tradesperson you’re considering hiring. The project will go more smoothly if you’re both on the same page from the start.
Some questions you may want to ask to get a feel for which candidate is right for you and your job include:
- Can you show me proof of insurance and your license?
- Will you complete the work on your own? Or with employees or subcontractors?
- How many coats of primer and paint do you generally recommend?
- What’s the payment schedule from the first downpayment to the final payment?
- Would you please share the names and numbers of a few of your past clients so I can visit with them?
Vet Your Top Prospects
When you’re checking a painter’s references, there are specific questions. For example, you want to know whether the project went as expected and how the contractor handled issues that came up that differed from original expectations. Such as unforeseen weather delays or problems getting all necessary materials within the contracted time.
Consider asking the previous clients serving as references:
- Would you hire this company again?
- Was the project finished on time? If not, why not?
- Did the project stay within the contracted budget? If not, what steps did the painter take to be sure you were satisfied?
- Did you feel comfortable having the painter and crew in and around your home and family?
Get It in Writing
A lot of headaches spring out of not having the details of a deal in black and white.
You should receive a written estimate spelling out costs for materials and labor. If you’d like to do some of the work yourself, ask that things like sanding or clean-up be broken out as a separate line item so you can consider whether the savings are worth it.
Once you decide on which painter you’re hiring, get the contract written and agreed to by you both to avoid unpleasant surprises along the way.
It’s reasonable to expect a guarantee or warranty on both the materials and the work. A two-year warranty on the work is a fair number. Have your contractor spell out how they’ll handle fixing things if the paint flakes, peels or fades excessively.
Resources for Picking Painters in St. Petersburg:
- Check out Google and Yelp Reviews
- Asks friends and neighbors in St. Pete about their experiences. Often your insurance company is a great resource. They have a vested interest in you hiring someone legitimate who does a good job on the home they’re insuring.
- You can also search on Angie’s List and ThumbTack.