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February may not first come to mind as the time to think about exterior painting – even at Matthews Painting, we’re booking for interior work this month! – but it’s a great time to start planning for spring. Good news for our Goshen, Indiana and Columbia City, Indiana customers.
Choosing a painting contractor you trust may be the most important part of the planning process. While it may seem like it’s less about painting and more about paperwork, you’ll be glad you took the time in advance to explore your options and cost estimates, review certifications and insurance, and get good answers to your painting or staining questions. Here are a few tips we’ve learned, drawn from our customers.
First of all, you’ll always want to ask about painting experience. Your home isn’t something you want to trust to anyone without it, so make sure a potential painting contractor takes a few minutes to talk about themselves and their painting business. Ask if the firm belongs to the Painting and Decorating Contractors of America, the only association of its kind that sets standards for safety, technique, education, professionalism and ethics in the industry. Matthews Painting is one of just a few dozen Indiana companies that are PDCA members.
The emphasis on ethics is important, and the PDCA Code of Ethics reflects the values that painting contractors must bring to the job. One question to ask is about who else your painting contractor candidate might be bringing to your job, because whether you have employees or subcontractors makes a difference. You know a carefully screened, professional and uniformed staff when you see one – but be sure to ask if the painting crew is covered under Workman’s Compensation and if the painting company carries general liability.
During the process of selecting a painter – and we always recommend you talk to several professional painters – don’t be afraid to ask for references. Most painting companies are happy to provide the names and contact information of previous customers who have agreed to serve as references, and some of them, including Matthews Painting, includes that information with a customer packet on every quote. We have ours ready for you when we first bid house painting or staining job.
In fact, don’t be afraid to ask lots of questions! A painting company that stands by the work welcomes them, so ask about warranty information, what kinds of paint or stain products they will use, how long the house painting or staining job is going to take, what it will be like while the painting or staining work is in progress and anything else you want to know. A good question to ask any painting contractor is about job site behavior, and we’ve heard it lots of times – no one wants profanity, loud music, lunch wrapper trash or worse for themselves and their neighbors, and we have an employee handbook that spells out our expectations so that we never risk our reputation on customer service like that. If you want to see a complete checklist of questions, see our website here.
Finally, be up front with your questions about costs and payment options. Be mindful that many home improvement scams involve pressure to pay before the work is completed – paint work that never happens, or that is of inferior quality and workmanship. In most cases, a reputable company with a positive BBB rating and presence in the community won’t ask for an excessive down payment. Before the house painting or staining work begins, you’ll clearly understand the estimate, what it includes, and details on a payment agreement.
One last thing: Don’t hesitate to call us. We’re never too busy for your concerns, and no question is too small for us to care about if you do. Choosing a painting contractor means you’re also choosing someone you can connect with. We’ll be there through every step of the painting or staining job, and for years after it’s all done!
Matthews Painting has now expanded our interior and exterior wall, ceiling, trim, door, window and kitchen cabinet painting and staining, wallpaper removal, drywall repair, deck staining and sealing and log Home staining and sealing into the Goshen, Indiana, Columbia City Indiana, Warsaw, Winona Lake, Leesburg, Syracuse, Indiana, North Webster, North Manchester, Lake Wawasee and Lake Tippecanoe areas.