What to look for in a professional painting quote

If you’ve ever heard horror bait-and-switch stories of painting contractors quoting one price only to keep adding new materials, “unaccounted for” aspects of the project, change orders, or any other multitude of add-ons to the budget, then you understand why some people are daunted by the idea of receiving a professional painting quote.

Even though there are some “bad eggs,” most professional painting companies look out for the best interest of their clients. However, knowing you can have confidence in a painting quote can give you peace of mind. To help you know what to look for, we’ve put together a list of 10 things that should be included in your professional painting quote:

The professional painting estimate is given on-site (and they want you present for it)

Don’t rely on a professional painting quote that isn’t given on-site. Unless a professional painter actually sees the painting project ahead of time, you can be sure that there will be changes to the quote when he is on site the first time. Your estimator should also want you on-site for the quote as well so you can answer any questions they may have about the space or project to ensure an accurate quote.

A few minutes of time spent with your estimator before a project begins means you’ll receive a much more accurate bid. Take the time to describe the project to your estimator and answer questions he or she may have about the project and you’re mitigating the risk of being surprised by expenses halfway through the project.

Did the estimator take measurements?

Measurements are the lifeblood of an accurate professional painting quote. Without accurate measurements, your painting contractor will have to leave room for error in materials and labor. Taking measurements the first time around means he or she has a more accurate scope of the project and will be able to come up with a more accurate projected cost.

Note the prep work that needs to be done

Your professional painting quote shouldn’t be comprised of a contractor peeking his head into each room. He should take a thorough look at the surfaces to be painted, noting any prep work that needs to be done, including patching holes, scraping, priming, sanding, pressure washing, or caulking.

Agree on materials

Materials, including paint, prep materials, etc. should be decided upon and included in the initial quote. You don’t want to get a call from your paint crew on the day of the job asking if you want to pay an extra forty bucks for a higher-quality paint.

Know who you’re paying

Make sure it’s clear in the quote who is getting paid for the work. Is the check made out to the professional painting company? Will you be paying a contractor separately from his crew? Make sure there are no surprises. A professional painting company like Painter1 will have you make payment directly to the company so you never have to worry about a crew member approaching your for their personal share.

Look for a Change Order clause

What happens if something unexpected comes up during the project? A respectable painting company will have a clause in their contract stating that no changes to the project or bid will be made without a signed change order from the homeowner. This protects you from any costs being added to your project without your approval.

Know who’s in charge of clean-up

Does the crew clean up the work area and take away trash at the end of the project? Is there a final walk-through before the final payment is made? Will the person doing the final walk-through be the same person who wrote up the quote?

Sign the quote

Once the numbers are agreed upon, most professional painting companies will ask you to sign the quote to signify that both you and the painting company agree upon the quote as written.

Don’t be fooled by ballparks or price ranges

A contractor may quote you a “ballpark price” or a price range in a nice, round number that seem easy to agree to. Even if the contractor insists that this estimate includes “all prep work and materials” but refuses to write all the details of what, exactly, that entails, be wary. If prep work and materials aren’t detailed and signed on the quote, you may be setting yourself up for added expenses down the road.

Start-date and time for completion

Did you discuss when the painter would be able to start your project? Do you know approximately how long the painting project will take? Without this information you could be stuck waiting for a project to begin or experience a project begin dragged out (sometimes with additional costs due to “unknown complexities of the project”).