8 Tips for Hiring a Residential Painter

Finding talented home painters can be challenging. From understanding the estimate to seeing your vision come to life, use these tips to feel confident in your decision and avoid any surprises.

Home Painting Guide
Craftwork provides residential paint services in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Whether you’ve moved to a new area or have lived in the same city for years, finding local painters to update your home can be challenging. Leaning on word-of-mouth or random websites to find a professional painter usually leads to more questions than answers.

The ambiguity in pricing and frustrations with communication makes even the most reasonable person question if their standards are too high. To relieve any uncertainty about cost fairness and quality expectations, we’ve created a list of 10 tips to help you evaluate a painting contractor.

1. Understanding the Estimate

You shouldn’t feel like an estimate was created based on what you can afford. There needs to be a clear rationale as to why you’re paying a specific number. A home painter typically charge based on three things; materials, labor, and time.

If the quote you are given isn’t clear, ask these questions to ensure you understand the cost:

  • Scope of the project: What areas in my home are included in the quote? What preparation is expected of the homeowner versus the crew? What repairs are needed? How long will the entire job take?

  • Materials: What brand and type of paint do you use? Is the price of the paint included in the estimate? How many coats of paint are included in each space?

  • Labor & Other Costs: How many people will work on the project? Does the total cost include taxes? What do you typically pay employees per hour?

Cabinets the Craftwork team painting in the Myer's Park area.

2. Premium Materials

We hire experts to understand what materials are best for each space in our home. The right painter should provide details about the type of paint they are using in each room and explain the value of each selection to justify the cost.

Usually, higher-quality paint:

  • Has a thicker consistency, achieving quality results with fewer coats.

  • Enables easier touch-ups, especially if you’re using the exact paint from the original can.

  • Has superior resistance to scrubbing and can hold up to regular cleaning without wearing down.

  • Lasts 10 years before fading.

If you are planning on moving soon, request less expensive paint.

3. Who is coming into your home?

It’s important to feel comfortable with the people entering your home. From the business owner to the painters, homeowners can discover if they are hiring an above-board company that respects their employees.

Here are a few questions you can ask the professional house painter you're evaluating:

  • Are the people coming into my home employees or subcontractors?

  • How do you select your subcontractors?

  • Are you responsible if the subcontractor makes a mistake?

  • Do any of the employees or subcontractors have a criminal record?

  • Are your employees paid a fair wage?

Craftwork provides residential paint services in Charlotte, North Carolina.

4. Business Credentials

Paint companies must be licensed specifically for residential painting in over 20 states. Professional house painters and interior painters are also required to have active liability insurance and workers’ compensation coverage for a license to be issued.

Liability insurance relieves the customer of the responsibility for any damages incurred by the contractor. If you file a claim for property damage done by the painter, there will be a monetary payment for that issue. Workers' compensation coverage ensures that the homeowner doesn’t have to pay for any medical bills or other payments if the painter is injured during the project.

If painting contractors haven’t shared their credentials, request the painter’s contractor license number and certificate of insurance prior to signing a contract.

You can confirm licenses online as well:

5. Communication & Scheduling

Painting contractors coming in and out of your home can disrupt your routine. Understanding when they’ll be in your home if you have to be there, and what rooms you won’t have access to can be stressful for your family, pets, and neighbors.

Here are a few questions that should be resolved before work begins:

  • What time will the paint crew be at my home and leave every day?

  • Do I need to be home while you work?

  • Where will the paint crew park?

  • Where will your crew clean their tools?

  • What condition will my house be left in during a multi-day project?

  • When will I regain access to specific rooms?

  • If I find an issue or mistake, who do I tell?

  • What should I do with my pets while your team is in my home?

  • If there is an emergency and I can’t have people in my home, what steps should I take?

  • Are there any financial repercussions for rescheduling?

6. Understanding Payment

When you’re ready to move forward with a contractor, it’s important to understand if their payment methods work for you. Typically, professional home painters require a down payment of 10% to 50% of a job’s total cost, in order to pay for materials needed for the job.

The contractor should provide a formal contract defining the payment terms in detail, including:

  • When the downpayment is due and how it can be paid

  • How unexpected costs will be addressed during the project

  • If there are any fees associate with last minute changes by the homeowner

  • How the contractor will resolve issues if you are unhappy with the final product

  • How you can tip the team who has worked on the project

  • When the final payment is due

Craftwork home painter adding orange paint to a wall with a brush.

7. Customer Referrals

Professional painters will have reviews available on their website or customer advocates you can call, but you should check Google Reviews for more candid feedback. If you want to go the extra mile, you can check the Better Business Bureau to see if there is a complaint history.

If you are speaking with a previous customers, here are three essential questions to ask about a professional painting contractor:

  • Was the project completed on time?

  • Were you satisfied with their work? Would you say there were a good painter?

  • Did your project run over budget?

8. Painting Portfolio

Residential painters should have multiple examples of their painting services. Whether it's an exterior house painter or interior house painting, you should easily be able to scan social media or review platforms like Yelp, Google or Instagram to visually confirm you approve of their house painting services.

A home Craftwork has painted in the Charlotte area.

House painting contractors should not only have an interior portfolio to share upon request, but go out of their way to brag about online! Residential painting services provide many opportunities to capture inspirational images.

When examining the best residential painting services, look for:

  • Images with clean painting lines and properly prepared spaces that show they are protecting the home.

  • Photos of complicating painting techniques like high-gloss or limewash. If they are trained in specialty painting, they can tackle any issues that may pop up during the project.

  • A portfolio that shows recent work to prove they are consistently providing quality work.

  • Exterior photos if you're looking for exterior house painters.

Craftwork's Portfolio

We love to showcase we provide the best residential painting services in Charlotte. You can check out our latest work, updated almost every day to showcase our work, on Instagram! Instead of searching for "painters in my area" for your next project, get an estimate with Craftwork today!

This article includes photos by Theme Photos on Unsplash.

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