Questions to ask when Hiring a Painting Contractor

Are you in the process of getting painting estimates for a project at your home? Is this the first time hiring a professional painting service? Here are some important questions you should ask the estimator.

Is your company licensed and insured?

Some states require particular trades to be licensed. If a company is not trade licensed, the company may not be able to be insured. Building inspectors can also stop work if the contractor is not properly licensed.

It is very important that the contractor you hire is insured. There are two types of insurance, liability insurance and workers compensation.  A homeowner can be held responsible if an employee is injured on the job. Howeverapartment-architecture-blur-735319, if the contractor you hire is insured, their workers compensation insurance will pay for the workers injuries and their liability insurance covers any damage done to a home while completing the job.

Do you use sub-contractors?

Not knowing who is working on your home can lead to poor quality and even put homeowners in danger. If a company is using sub-contractors to complete work, you are rolling the dice on the quality of work. You might get lucky and a seasoned painter arrives to do the work or the company might send someone hired for the day that has never held a paint brush.

Often sub-contractors rush through the work because they were given a flat fee to complete the job. Speed is more important to them than the quality of work. Also, customer service dramatically drops off when you don’t know who to contact if a problem with the job arises. Using subcontractors can jeopardize homeowner safety as well. Are the sub-contracted workers background checked and drug tested? It’s something worth taking the time to ask.

What preparation will take place before applying paint?

This is huge! Preparation is a key element to a lasting paint job and proper preparation is the difference between success and failure. Preparation and product selection move the needle for a successful paint job lasting many years. Painting over peeling paint, dirt, or gloss finish without sanding or removing mildew is only a temporarily fix. Eventually the paint will fail sooner rather than later.

Another aspect of preparation is repairing minor wall imperfections. Will the preparation include repairing nail pops, dry wall lines, etc? It’s a good question to ask because not all companies will include it in their bid, or they will rush, spending little effort on this critical step.

Will I have a dedicated foreman on my paint project?

This can be tied into the second question about sub-contracting. It’s important to know who is in charge of the job. Most companies will have a field lead, or foreman to interact with the homeowner on site and walk them through the job, answering any questions they have. The foreman wears a lot of hats. He or she is responsible for quality control, safety of everyone on site including the customer, and customer service. If the customer has concerns, the foreman will most likely be the person that works with the homeowner to resolve the issues.

What type of paint are you planning to use?

Not all paints are the same. The estimator should always take into account surface material and its’ current condition to determine type of paint, primer, stain, etc. Paint often fails prematurely due to the wrong product type being used.

An estimator might plan to use low end commercial grade paint to save money. The low grade paint will reduce the quality of the job and increase the likelihood of the paint failing.

Higher end paints tend to cover better, are self priming and produce low volatile organic compounds (VOC’s). Better coverage can result in fewer coats needed (and less money you have to spend) with a superior finish. Low VOC paints are nice to use for interior painting, especially in the winter when there is less circulation of indoor air. These paints also have fewer odors and are environmentally friendly, which homeowners, as well as painters, prefer to use. (Trust us; we dislike the smell as much as you.)

Products are also constantly changing. Professional painters must stay in contact with paint technicians and sales representatives to ensure they are using the proper product and following the right course of action for a unique job. At O’Connor’s Painting Service, we constantly communicate with our representatives from all the major paint and stain manufacturers such as Benjamin Moore, Sherwin Williams, and McCormick Paints. The representatives are well informed of new products, conditions required to apply a product, and the proper steps needed to apply a product properly.

Advertisements

Product Review: Sherwin Williams SnapDry Interior/Exterior Acrylic Paint

Often I find, when you paint exterior front doors, it takes 2-4 hours for the paint to dry and several weeks to cure. When you shut the front door after your average paint dries, there is always the fear that the new paint you just applied may release where the door meets vinyl weather stripping.snapdrycan

Last summer, Sherwin Williams introduced a new fast-drying paint called SnapDry. I tried this paint on my own front door and it did dry in close to an 1 hour as advertised.  I also had no problem with paint releasing when it touched the doors’ weather stripping.

Another benefit of this paint is that it’s designed to be resistant to UV rays and weathering. I hope that claim holds true since I get a lot of sun on my front door.

The only issue that I found with SnapDry was that if you went back to areas you painted already that no longer had a wet edge, brush marks would become visible. So it’s extremely important to follow the Sherwin Williams instructions on which areas to paint first on your door especially if you have a paneled door like the one below and not a flat door.

snapdrydoor

SnapDry is available at Sherwin Williams in quarts and gallons. It comes in a variety of colors and is semi-gloss.

Another Angie’s List Award Winning Year – Thank You

O’Connor’s Painting Service Earns Esteemed 2016 Angie’s List Super Service Award

Award reflects company’s consistently high level of customer service

O’Connor’s Painting Service has earned the home service industry’s coveted Angie’s List Super Service Award, reflecting an exemplary year of customer service to members of the local services marketplace and consumer review site in 2016.

This achievement is particularly significant as Angie’s List experienced unpreceden2016angies-ssa_webcolor528pxted member growth in 2016. More than 1.6 million consumers, many of whom were eager to quickly hire highly qualified service pros, joined Angie’s List after the company added a new, free membership tier.

“Companies that can meet higher demands without missing a beat in their exemplary performance standards truly do stand apart from their peers,” said Angie’s List Founder Angie Hicks. “Only a fraction of the residential painting companies in Montgomery County, MD were able to do it.”

Angie’s List Super Service Award 2016 winners have met strict eligibility requirements, which include an “A” rating in overall grade, recent grade, and review period grade. The SSA winners must also be in good standing with Angie’s List, pass a background check and abide by Angie’s List operational guidelines.

 “I just want to thank all of our customers for again voting us 2016 Angie’s List Super Service Award. When I started this company, my main mission was to provide a great service and quality work. Thank you for all your letters of support in achieving our company goals with this prestigious award,”

David O’Connor, President.

Service company ratings are updated daily on Angie’s List as new, verified consumer reviews are submitted. Companies are graded on an A through F scale in areas ranging from price to professionalism to punctuality.

For more than 21 years, Angie’s List restricted access to its verified reviews to consumers who paid membership fees. When the company removed that barrier, some companies worried that the new, non-paying members would not be as engaged as members of the past. Experience has shown, however, that these newly added members are just as engaged – across all age groups – as prior members. Also, because the company continues to adhere to its review verification process, there has been no degradation of review quality.

“The biggest change at Angie’s List is that we are connecting even more consumers to high quality service professionals,” Hicks said. “And that’s good for everyone.”

###

Angie’s List helps facilitate happy transactions between more than 4.5 million consumers nationwide and its collection of highly rated service providers in more than 720 categories of service, ranging from home improvement to health care. Built on a foundation of more than 10 million verified reviews of local service, Angie’s List connects consumers directly to its online marketplace of services from member-reviewed providers, and offers unique tools and support designed to improve the local service experience for both consumers and service professionals.

 

Paint Shield, a Major Innovation in Painting

My kids were always active in high school sports from swim teams to lacrosse. School locker rooms are a damp and steamy place, a perfect breeding ground for bacteria such as Staphylococcus and MRSA. The spread of bacteria from child to child can happen so easily.

This past fall, Sherwin Williams introduced a new paint called Paint Shield interior latex which is designed to kill harmful bacteria. This new EPA-registered microbicidal paint is found to eliminate 99.9% of Staph, MRAS, E. coli within 2 hours of exposure on painted surfaces. It also is found to kill 90% of these specific bacteria up to 4 years later no matter how much contaminants touch the surface or how many times its been cleaned


There is no other paint product like it on the market. If you are a school, daycare, doctor’s office, veterinary clinic, nursing home, etc. this product should be your new go-to choice for your next painting project.  The directions from Sherwin Williams requires two coats of Paint Shield over a primer for new construction or two coats of paint over previously painted sound surfaces.  It will be available nationwide beginning 2017 and come in 550 colors.

If you are interested in learning more about Sherwin Williams Paint Shield or scheduling as estimate to get your facility painted with this new bacteria killing paint product, call O’Connor’s Painting Service at 301- 963-4226.