Professional painting tips are helpful in tackling a DIY project of your own or when you want to hire a professional painter. The Internet has created some savvy DIY’ers. But you can never really know that much about a skilled trade until you actually try to do it...
Prep work is one of the most annoying but necessary parts of painting. Some who have never really done anything more than paint a bedroom may not understand. Its ok! Thats why we are here! So this is a small project. A small stained and clear coated piece of wood that...
It can be daunting when it comes to choosing painting contractors! There are so many out there and I’d say 9/10 people I’ve spoken to have no clue to begin. I always suggest that people start with credentials. Most importantly, whether or not the Painter is licensed. Licensed Contractors obtained their licenses for many good reasons and there are many good reasons to choose Licensed Contractors. Here are my top 5 reasons to choose licensed painters.
1. Filter Out the Bad Apples
It takes a bit of work and motivation to get your license. A contractor must have a minimum of 4 years experience working in their trade and provide proof of that experience. In addition to having the experience a contractor has to learn about the legalities in their specific state. There are 2 tests, law, and trade. This gives the contractors a solid foundation to start their business. The licensing process doesn’t guarantee an amazing contractor. However and more importantly, the process ensures people have experience. A painter can work under any company that is owned by a contractor with a license. Having a license equals credibility and who wouldn’t want to be credible… well… read on.
So why wouldn’t someone have a license?
Are they really bad apples? We don’t believe anyone who doesn’t have a license is just a rotten apple! We are not here to judge or point fingers either. Possible reasons could include: criminal history, which can prevent a person from obtaining a license, the license has been revoked or suspended, not legally eligible, aren’t interested in going through the process because they believe they can make money without it (this is illegal in the great state of California, by the way), or they just don’t or can’t spend the money to get a license.
I know what some of you are thinking. “Well John Smith painted my home and he was an amazing painter, great guy and he isn’t licensed!” That may be true and that is totally possible. I find that more often that not, John Smith wants to be legit or gets by on word of mouth referrals because he is that good. But on the other hand, John Smith can call out on your project whenever he feels like it. He might not be having a great day or week and botches a project. That’s where a legit license protects YOU! I assure you in this age of social media no painter will leave you high and dry without consequence. I can go on forever, but I’d be getting into life lessons and quoting Tony Robbins on motivation. No one wants to hear that. Bottom Line: Obtaining credibility is like practicing to get your license to drive. Would you want someone who didn’t know how to drive park your new car? Think about that when you are choosing contractors.
2. Contractors are bonded!
No, not 007 Bond, bonded! Simply put, a bond is like insurance for you. That means in the unlikely event that your project goes terribly wrong you are covered. For example, if a painter never finishes the job. The contract says it’s a 4 week job but it’s going on 3 months. Yikes! Well the Contractors State Licensing Board can suspend or revoke the license. Money from the required minimum 15 thousand dollar bond would be taken and given to a qualified contractor to finish the job.
This. Happens. All. The. Time. I have gotten so many calls that have started with, “I had a painter, but he just stopped showing up.” If this happens to you, call the CSLB, the link is above.
3. Liability Insurance
Yup, more insurance. All these licensed painters have to have insurance for their business. In fact almost all businesses have liability insurance. Here’s a little scenario: Let’s say a contractor or one of his employees damages or breaks your brand new Smart TV! NO! (assuming that there is proof and no one is scamming anyone.) This wouldn’t be a fun experience for anyone. Least of all the painter and/or the owner of the business. But guess what? Insurance will more than likely cover it or the company will work with you to settle whichever is easier. Remember that license to drive? Drivers have insurance and when you get hit by someone without it you lose. Sad but so very true.
Now imagine the same scenario, except the contractor is unlicensed. Now let’s really crank up the anxiety of any business and home owner. Imagine a pipe is broken and the first floor of your beautiful new home is completely flooded causing $50,000 in damages. A licensed contractor has insurance! An unlicensed contractor, no matter how skilled probably isn’t skilled in giving up $50,000 to pay for any damages.
4. Workers Comp
You thought that workers comp covered you at work. Well it covers you when you hire contractors too! This is a Big one! If the contractor has employees he should have workers comp. If an employee gets hurt at your home, you, YES YOU, can be sued. I can’t stress enough that this is truly a big deal! Like car accidents, you may never have to deal with this type of situation. But think about how often we drive versus how often we get our homes painted. You may be the one person it happens to and trust us, it has happened. Protect yourself and your home!
We write contracts that are binding. The work and the cost are in the contract. The time frame is in the contract. If we say something will be done, it will be done. A contract protects us, the contractors, but it also protects you.
There are legal ways in which I will explain how you are protecting yourself when hiring a licensed contractor. In addition to the legal reasons there is the quality aspect. As a Painting Contractor I have personally bid against unlicensed individuals. My favorite one was when I bid to paint the complete interior of a home and was under bid by a house cleaning service. I was called back later on to come finish the job. They were way over there head making mistake after mistake. This in turn cost the customer much more money and time.