Whether it’s for your home, office building or retail store, you need to hire a professional, trustworthy and skilled painting crew because there’s a lot at stake in your upcoming painting project.
But with the seemingly endless number of options, how do you find the right painting company in Toronto? Following these tips can help you choose the right team for the job.
Research Local Painting Companies
Most people usually start their search for a professional service provider by asking people they know if they can recommend someone. While you should consider anyone referred to you, it’s in your best interest to compare several prospects before making a decision and not base that decision solely on a recommendation.
Start researching companies online and reading reviews. You can automatically screen out contractors who aren’t bondable and insured. Painters aren’t required to be licensed in Ontario, but the ones who are went through an apprenticeship program and certification process, which may put you a little more at ease.
Primarily, however, you’d like their website to show that they’ve been in business for a long time and have a track record of successfully completing projects similar to yours.
Interview Potential Candidates
When you’ve narrowed down your options, start meeting/speaking with people from the painting companies on your list. Here are a few questions you can ask:
- Who will be working on the project? Are they employees or subcontractors?
- Are you licensed and insured? Can you provide your contractor license number and certificate of insurance?
- 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?
- What are your rates?
- Can you provide me with a few references from similar projects you’ve completed recently?
While interviewing painting contractors, pay attention to their body language and don’t ignore your gut feeling.
Do Reference Checks
Reach out to the references you were provided for quick interviews. Some questions to ask include:
- Was the project completed on time?
- Did your project run over budget?
- Were the contractor and any subcontractors professional and courteous?
- Were you satisfied with their work?
- Would you hire them again?
Get at Least Three Written Estimates
Have at least three companies come for a site walkthrough and provide you with a written estimate. Make sure the estimate is itemized and easy to follow and understand. Costs that should be listed include:
- Materials and paint
- Travel or other expenses
Go over all the numbers and make sure you understand how they arrived at the bottom line. You need to know exactly what it is you are paying for and be crystal clear on how long it will take.
When you have at least three different estimates, compare them to confirm that they all have the same amount of prep, materials and scope of work.
Things to Look for in a Painting Company’s Contract
When you’ve made a decision, you still want to protect yourself before you sign anything. The first thing to look for is the total price of the contract. The law in Ontario is that a contractor can not charge you more than 10% above the total estimate cost if it is included in the home reno contract – unless you agree to a new price or work order. In other words, have the painting company include the estimate as part of the contract for services.
Other important info you want to see on the contract includes:
- Company name, address, telephone number and website.
- Scope of work: areas to be painted, details of the prep work that will be done and the application process.
- Specifics about the paint and other materials that will be used.
- Start and completion dates.
- Payment terms.
Also, make sure that the contract clearly states their warranty policy on both labour and materials if the paint starts to chip or other issues arise.
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