While some homeowners enjoy donning their DIY hats, throwing on the overalls and giving it their best shot, others prefer to bring in the professionals, and feel safe in the knowledge that the job will be done right.
And while it’s all well and good making the decision to bring in a painter and decorator, knowing how to choose the right one can often be a bit of a minefield. That’s where we come in – here’s how to find the best painter for your job.
Hire someone with experience
Sounds obvious, we know, but hiring someone with the right experience and training will save you time and money in the long run. Ideally, you’d use a forum such as Check-a-Trade or Which?, but you can also have a look at painters and decorators who are members of a recognised national body such as the Painting and Decorating Association.
There are also some paint brands that run their own accredited schemes, such as Dulux’s Select Decorators – by searching within these associations and forums, you’re far more likely to find a painter and decorator who has the skill set and experience that you’re looking for.
Check out their ratings and reviews
Again, it might sound obvious, but checking a painter’s reviews and ratings is one of the easiest ways to gain some honest feedback on their work. Whether that’s through Check-a-Trade, Which?, the company’s website or their business Facebook page, you’ll get a good idea of whether you’re on to a winner, or whether you need to keep searching.
You should be able to see what work they’ve done recently, with some reviews offering before and after pictures where you can really see their work – and whether their approach is right for the changes you want to make, whether that’s in your home or in a commercial property. It’s also worth asking friends and neighbours in the area who they’ve used previously, and if they’d recommend them – sometimes word of mouth is the best kind of review!
Trustworthy and reliable decorators will rarely quote you or agree to take on a project without actually coming to visit the property first – and you should be wary of any who do.
Ideally, you should contact three or four recommended painters with a brief outline of the work you’d like done along with some measurements – and once they’ve come out to see your home and the conditions of the surface they’ll be working on, they should then be able to provide you with a quote. Usually, most professionals will happily offer a free quote for new potential clients, so if you’re asked to pay a fee just for them to come and give you a quote, you might be best looking elsewhere!
When asking for quotes, be sure to ask for a breakdown of costs – this will ensure that you know which items are included as standard, and which you’ll have to pay extra for (and this should help when comparing against quotes from other painters!)
Ask the important questions
In addition to doing your research and getting a few different quotes, there are questions you can also ask which will help you to choose the right professional for the job. For example, it’s always important to ask about their availability – while cancellations do happen, an in-demanded and talented painter will usually be booked up in advance.
If you’ve come across a decorator who can start the job tomorrow, it might be worth doing a little more research – of course, sometimes a slot can come up at the last minute due to a client cancelling, but more often than not, it’s an indication that something just isn’t quite right. The other questions that you should be asking (and comparing the answers to!) include:
- How long do they anticipate the job taking?
- How much extra will they charge if it turns out there’s more work involved than originally agreed?
- What hours do they work – do they do evenings and weekends, and if so, will that cost more?
- Do they subcontract? If so, can you see the reviews and ratings of any subcontractors involved?
- Will they do the prep work involved, or should that be completed before they arrive to start the job?
- Do you need to store their paint and equipment overnight/at the weekends, or will they take it away with them and bring it back each day?
Ultimately, bringing in a professional to do the job is often an investment that pays for itself in the long run – but hiring the wrong person can quickly become a nightmare. Our reviews and expertise speak for themselves, so if you’re looking for your next painter and decorator… you’ve found them!