Selecting the right painting company for your home renovation or painting project can be a daunting task. Here, we’ll provide some great tips to help guide you through this process. Whether you already have a specific colour scheme picked out, or whether you’re not sure how to decorate your home, a quality painting contractor should be able to give you professional advice and clarify the process to help you feel at ease and in control of your home’s décor.
Compile a List of Candidates
It is a good idea to have various painting companies in mind when choosing a painting company. You can find a list of painting companies in Victoria, BC through a simple Google Search. This should get you going if you’re starting from scratch. Another option is to ask for recommendations from friends, family members, and neighbours. Of course, a combination of both methods would also work.
Once you have a list, you can check out their websites to get a feel for their quality and the types of jobs they accept. They will likely have links to social media as well, which may be worth viewing.
Most established house painting companies will have a professional website. Be sure to check for quality in terms of website layout, functional links, and quality writing. If the website is riddled with grammar errors, then it’s probably not well-maintained, suggesting a lack of professionalism.
Get an Estimate or Quote
The next step would be to inquire about pricing. Most companies will be happy to come to your house to go over your painting project, and provide professional advice. This service is known as a site visit or a consultation (sometimes a different term is used, such as home visit).
Once the site visit is completed, the painting contractor will follow up with a quote or estimate, indicating the scope of work and a breakdown of the cost. You can compile estimates from various companies, compare the prices and the level professionalism based on their online presence and any recommendations you may have received for them.
The estimator should be able to answer any questions you have with thoughtful answers based on experience. A company that’s been in the industry for some time will likely have come across your question before, know what you’re concerned about, and give a satisfying response that illustrates their expert level of knowledge regarding various types of coatings for different substrates and climates. This person should also be knowledgeable about how one coating will interact with the coating below, how light will affect the hue of the paint, and the proper sheen to get the effect you’re looking for.
Something to check for would be how the estimator refers to the different substrates you’ll discuss during your site visit. An experienced estimator in the painting industry should use the proper terminology. For example, do they refer to “boards” in general, or do they use more precise language, such as “barge boards,” “baseboards,” “Tudor boards” and so on.
This terminology should also be reflected in the written estimate. The estimator you meet with during your visit will probably not be the same person actually applying paint to your home, and so ensuring the estimate reflects the details of your project is crucial. This will also help avoid problems down the line.
Cost Isn’t Everything
I’d like to make a point that going with the lowest cost painting crew isn’t always the best option. The same goes for the more expensive companies. The cost should be weighed against the potential benefits of what they bring to the table.
Keep in mind that quality customer service should definitely be factored in. You should be able to get a sense for how the painters deal with customers from their online reviews, their demeanour when they’re at your home, and the verbiage on their website and correspondences with you. These all suggest how much the painting company values quality, speedy, and effective customer service. If they put in the effort to ensure their customers have a good experience, then imagine how well they’ll treat you in situations of dispute – they’ll likely bend over backwards to ensure you’re a happy camper.
Check Up on their Work
It may be good practice to ensure their work is of quality. Generally, a foreman will ensure that the quality of the painters is acceptable; if there is no foreman at your house, this may be a red flag.
There are a number of deficiencies that may occur due to applying the wrong product for the substrate, failing to properly prep the substrate, or applying the paint with an improper technique.
Here are some sample deficiencies that may occur (though it is not a complete list):
- Alligatoring – Causes the paint to resemble the dry skin of an alligator. This deficiency may be caused by the following:
- Top coat drying before undercoat
- A top coat failing to bond to a glossy surface
- Too many coats of paint or an excessively thick coat
- A rigid coating (like alkyd enamel) over a more flexible coating (like latex)
- Loss of elasticity over time, which causes the film to fail to expand and contract in tandem with the substrate
- Blooming – This causes a cloudy appearance on the surface of an enamel or varnish that becomes visible almost immediately after drying. This is usually caused by:
- Poor quality paint
- Uneven ventilation during the drying process
- Solvent-soluble pigment whereby the solvent evaporates and carries the pigment to the surface, leaving a dulled gloss or powdery residue
- Flashing – This is a variance in gloss produced by uneven absorption of the coating by the surface. Viewed from different angles, the colour appears to change. This may be caused by the following:
- Touch ups
- Changes in application method (e.g., from brush to roller)
- Lack of primer applied to a surface of varied porosity
- Applying a coating over a prior coating that hasn’t had time to properly cure
- Sagging – The paint appears to have tears or droplets of uneven thickness. This deficiency is normally caused by:
- Excessive thinning of paint material
- Applying a very thick coating of paint on the surface
- Hard or glossary surface which cannot hold the paint
- Applying waterborne coatings when the environmental conditions aren’t right
The takeaway here is the your home renovation probably deserves a quality painting company to carry out your vision. Ensure you take the necessary steps to make your house the best it can be. This may mean entrusting the job to professionals and vetting candidates. Remember, this is a long-term investment, so don’t go with the bare minimum. See our article on how paint colours in your house can affact you emotional health for more info on how important colours can be: Paint Colours and Mental Health.