There are few improvements that can add as much value to a property as complete repaint – especially important for apartment blocks and gated complexes or owners of freehold houses looking to attract the best buyers. In fact, realtors surveyed by the US Consumer Reports National Research Centre report that painting the exterior can add up to 5% on the value of a residential property…providing it’s done properly by a professional painting contractor!
Paint splattered where it shouldn’t be – like the glass of windows and paving – wobbly lines, patchy coverage, pronounced brush marks…getting a good finish is essential to get the most return on investment. For the best paint job, that’ll maximise the value of your property, stick to this checklist of what you should look for in a painting contractor:
How the painting contractor comes across in your dealings with him before he even starts a project is an indication of how well (or how badly) your residential painting project may go! Pay attention to his behaviour and approach to your query – are telephonic and email requests for information dealt with courteously, timeously and professionally? Is he on time for appointments, or does he keep you waiting? Also, suss out his character – is this someone you’d be happy to work with, or do you get a bad feeling?
A painter with several years’ experience is probably the better choice than one who’s just starting out. Those years of experience usually translate into a better quality, speedier, more professional job. Hiring a painter who has been in business for several years can also serve as a ‘guarantee’ against cowboy contractors.
Be sure to take a look at the painter’s track record – satisfied previous customers are the hallmark of a great painting contractor. Ask for testimonials and don’t be afraid to call these referees to ask if they’d be happy recommending the paint contracting company in question.
Don’t forget to check out the contractor’s staff, as well – ask if he employs casual or full-time labour, and what training painters undergo, and whether they’re background checked to verify their skill and character. Good painting contractors take on trustworthy, credible individuals and invest in their skills development.
Has your painting contractor drafted a detailed scope of works along with a properly presented quotation? This reflects professionalism, and this attention to detail usually transfers through to the project itself.
A bad workman always blames his tools, as they say! Having the appropriate equipment for the task at hand is essential to do a thorough job. Always enquire about access to equipment – for example, if your residential property is a high-rise apartment block, your contractor will need proper scaffolding, and high ceilings will require roller extension poles. Enquire about the brand of paint used, too.
The Occupational Health and Safety Act, No. 85 of 1993 exists to reduce the risk of accidents in the workplace. Compliance with Occupational Health and Safety legislation is not only a legal requirement – especially on large-scale projects – but is indicative or an all-round professional attitude.
Check out your paint contractor’s credentials – fly-by-nights generally tend to avoid membership to professional organisations like the Master Builders Association, and don’t offer public liability or defective workmanship insurance. Always choose a paint contractor who does!