The views of this article are the perspective of the author and may not be reflective of Confessions of the Professions.
One of the hardest parts of paying a contractor to paint your home is knowing if the results have been worth it. Just like builders and electricians, it can take a while for any problems to become apparent, and you won’t notice anything’s wrong if you’ve not had much experience with paint in the past. What looks good to you might actually be a disaster to a professional, and you can’t always tell whether a contracted painter has done the best possible job or not.
Know the Expectations You Set
Part of the process for hiring a contractor is outlining what you’re expecting and the goals they’ll have to achieve. However, it’s always a good idea to make sure you have a copy of exactly what you asked them to do since this gives you a bit of insight into what you asked for compared to what you got. If you didn’t specify a certain type of paint or an exact color, it’s unreasonable to get angry at them when they don’t use them, so always look back at your emails or written contracts if you have them.
Try to keep your expectations to a reasonable level if possible, too. Not all contractors are masters of their craft, so they can still make small mistakes now and then, like a slightly thicker coat paint on one side of a door, or a marginally lighter shade of the same color in one room compared to another. Sometimes even a smaller company like CL McDaid Painting can offer better skills than the professionals, so don’t assume that a higher price or larger company means better quality.
These are problems that even the most professional workers can run into, and you’ve got to accept that most contract workers are trying their hardest to fulfill the requirements you gave them rather than the ones in your head.
Check the Paint
It’s easy to spot an incredibly bad painting job, but it’s trickier to find one that’s only a little bit off. It’ll also vary between paint colors, types and brands, so you can’t rely on your knowledge of a single style of paint to identify another. However, there are certain things that are clearly visible in almost any wall, ceiling or other interior surfaces, such as:
- Uneven paint, which can be a sign that the painter didn’t properly even out the paint and left lumps or areas that were too thick.
- Drips and splatters, which can indicate that the paint didn’t dry at the proper rate and wasn’t laid on evenly. Minor splatters are usually just because of the painting work, but good painters will still clean them up or avoid causing them entirely.
- Streaks and discolored sections of the surface, which are usually the result of poor painting and improper use of the paintbrush.
- Large scratches, which can be caused by a range of different items being bashed against the wall. Keep in mind that these won’t necessarily be the painters’ faults, though.
Get an Expert’s Opinion
The easiest way? If somebody in your family is experienced at house painting, ask them! Painters are the most qualified people to notice mistakes in that field, and they might even be able to identify things like the cause of the problem and how to quickly hide or repair it.
What If Something’s Wrong?
If your contractor has clearly done something wrong, you can usually bring it up with them, especially if it’s a major mistake or something that breaches the agreement you made and requirements you brought up. Most contractors are paid by you to perform the specific work you request and can refuse if it’s out of their skill range of capabilities, meaning that they’re responsible for any problems that cause if they decide to take the job.
Because of this, you’ll often be able to get some kind of compensation, either financially or through the damages and mistakes being repaired. However, it’s good to look into this ahead of time if possible: make sure the contractor is licensed and has some kind of guarantee or legal protection for you. Many small businesses are well-liked for this specific reason, since they give customers a way to protect themselves if anything goes wrong, so you never know which companies will give you the best protection in your local area.