What will you get?
When you are considering bids and you notice that most come in around the same price except for one you should be suspicious of what you will get for the money. Materials such as paint, tools and labor do not fluctuate that much and if you have a contractor offering you a ridiculously reduced price you have to wonder where they are saving money. What corners are they going to cut in order to still make a profit from painting your home? The old adage you get what you pay for is very true when it comes to house painting.
A contractor who bids a job really low may not be carrying enough insurance for your property and their workers. These insurance premiums do not come cheap due to the fact that this is a high risk career. Too often contractors will skimp on insurance and leave the homeowner holding the bag. You could potentially be liable for an injured worker and repairs for a poorly done job. If you do consider a low bid contractor make, sure you check the validity of their insurance.
Who will be working on your house? Cheap contractors often use cheap labor, which includes illegal aliens and day laborers. These people are not professional house painting contractors and their work will show it, this goes back to the previous point of you get what you pay for. Moreover, illegal immigrants and day laborers likely will not be covered by worker’s comp again going back to a previous point that you could end up paying through the nose for this cheap bid.
You never want to have house painting done without some kind of warranty, but when the bid is low, you have to wonder how they will cover any warranty. Low ball offers are probably barely covering costs in the first place and if they have to come back and repaint your home, they are going to be in the red in a hurry.
This leads to the next warranty question, how much of a warranty do they offer? The going standard is five years for a painting contractor warranty and if they are offering this have, you read the fine print. Never take anything for granted particularly when hiring a painting contractor; what you think is a standard warranty may be full of loop holes for the contractor to squirm through.
Years in Business
Can you verify how long this painting contractor has been in business? If they have been in your area less than ten years there is a good chance they are moving around to avoid honoring their previous warranties. If you want to be safe, only choose a company who has been in the area for at least ten years. This is plenty of time for them to establish a reputation and provide a long list of satisfied customers. Notice that said satisfied customers, a good contractor should be able to provide you a list of at least 25 people who have been pleased with their work, any less than that, points to a painting contractor who is not following through.
Just because they are offering you, a cheap bid does not mean you are in the clear when it comes to money. Some contractors will require you to pay an upfront deposit, which is not standard practice in the business. Requiring money before the work has begun indicates a contractor who cannot afford to purchase the materials they require or they may be planning to stiff you on the job. Either way a deposit is something you should consider very carefully.
House painting contractors can save you a lot of time and money while making your home look fabulous. However, when a contractor is offering to do the job for subpar wages you should be a bit concerned. This is an important decision and a poor house painting job is something you might have to live with for a very long time.