The sheer number of painters offering their services in the Annapolis region can be overwhelming. Do your research well, ask the right questions, and you’ll quickly discover that the number of quality artisans are few and far between. Follow these simple steps, and you’ll save yourself time, money, and inconvenience.
Step 1: Explore your options.
Your best bet is to ask friends and neighbors you trust for a personal recommendation. Don’t stop at one. Contact the painter and ask for backup recommendations.
Use sites like Angie’s List and Home Advisor by all means but remember that these sites by their very nature invite a bidding war for your business. This is great if you’re looking for cheap, but remember with painting, like everything else in life, you get what you pay for.
Google is popular. It attracts a high volume of recommendations, so you’ll have plenty of choices. But bear in mind, there’s nothing stopping a painter from posting reviews of his own workmanship. Still, if you see a high number of recommendations with high rankings, you’ll probably find a reliable painter.
Another place to look is the Better Business Bureau site. The Annual Homeowner Survey on their site lists contractor referral sources ranked by consumer trust. Bear in mind that BBB has no power to negotiate outcomes in the event of a dispute.
Step 2: Don’t get one bid.
Get several bids. Four is a good number. It’s a lot of work. But so is suing a contractor who stiffs you. Toss the bids that don’t have MHIC insurance and make sure to ask if their certification is current. You’ll find many who return your call but don’t follow through. That’s a reasonable sign that they won’t follow up on the job either. Obviously, you’ll want the prospective painters to visit your home and provide a detailed description of the job.
Step 3: Read the bid carefully.
A good bid will list in detail:
- The number of rooms to be painted
- Prep (addressing minor drywall blemishes, small cracks, re-caulking all trim as needed, lightly sanding and cleaning areas to be painted as needed)
- Priming all areas as needed
- Two coats of finish paint to walls/ceilings and one coat of paint to all trim and interior doors
- The brand of paint being used and amount required
The bid should also list tasks that are not covered. Often times, a painter, during the course of a job, will come across flaws and damage that require additional attention and expense. A painter who flags these problems ahead of time shows integrity and foresight. They’re not trying to gouge you. Don’t feel shy to ask questions. If the contractor becomes defensive, chances are they’re not on the up and up.
If you’re not asking the right questions, then your decision will most likely be based solely on price. But remember, you’re not looking for the best price. You’re looking for the company you can trust to provide you with a quality job and give you the best value for your money.
Step 4: Check references.
Your final act of due diligence in choosing a painting contractor is to check their references. Any contractor worth their salt will have a complete list of references they will provide you with so you can check out their work for yourself.
Now you can choose with confidence.
Step 5: Leverage the power of reviews.
Good contractors recognize the value of reviews. How you review them is up to you. Remind them that a great job will yield a great review and vice versa. Nobody likes a bad review.
And a good contractor will relish an opportunity to burnish their reputation. At the end of the job, the contractor will be grateful when you thank them for their excellent work by posting a glowing review online.
If all of this sounds tedious and time consuming, it is. Your other option is to simply call NDG Paint. We’re 100% confident that we deliver the highest quality workmanship and value for money in the Annapolis and Severna Park area.