What to Ask a Commercial Painter Before You Decide to Hire


Carolin Petterson, Negosentro | Painting business premises requires many more considerations than painting a residential business. After all, this will slow down your business, since your building will be unavailable for some time. Also, when choosing the colors, you need to think about what your clients will like and which colors will inspire productivity in your workers. Finally, there is the financial aspect, since you want to keep the costs and the quality of work in balance. That’s why you need to research your options to find the best commercial painter out there. Once you’ve narrowed your choices down, you should ask the painters the following questions to make sure there aren’t any blind spots.

Do you have a list of businesses willing to verify the quality of your work?

Any reputable commercial painter will have a list of businesses they cooperated with and provided service for. Those businesses that have first-hand experience with the contractor should be willing to verify the painter is doing a good job for the appropriate price. Be slightly skeptical of the list you get, especially if many of the listed companies aren’t available to talk to you, or some of them have close family or friendly ties with the contractor.

Do you have insurance?

Painting is a tricky business and sometimes painters can even damage your premises. However, if the contractor has general liability insurance, any later repairs needed in your offices will be covered by that insurance.

Do you hire independent contractors or employees?

You would have thought that a thing like this isn’t very important, but this is closely associated with insurance. If the contractor hires employees, all of them will be covered by general liability insurance, but this policy does not cover individual contractors. In case of damage caused by an individual contractor, this could become a major issue. For individual contractors, check whether each of them is individually insured.

Do you need an upfront payment?

There is no right or wrong here. Some businesses will ask for upfront payments, while others will be satisfied with you paying them when the job is done. However, if your contractor is asking for a large upfront payment, that is definitely something that should raise the red flag. This is a sign of undercapitalized business and a poor performer. A reasonable compromise would be a small upfront payment, but after the works are already begun.

Do you have additional capabilities?

Painting the company’s premises often comes with a wide range of other upgrades that need to be done, including fireproofing services and floor coatings. Having a single contractor doing all the work could lead to substantial savings. Many commercial painters in Sydney and other larger cities offer additional services that can be very useful – paint manufacturing and consultation, abrasive blasting, line marking, to name a few.

Who is doing the cleanup?

This is one of the additional capabilities that needs to be especially emphasized, because many businesses usually think that it goes without a saying that the contractors will clean up after themselves and remove any dirt and residues associated with painting. However, that is not always so, and you should still ask about it and if you get a confirmation, have it written down on paper, just in case.

How long is your warranty?

While the property’s exterior should be painted once every 15 years (if the paint job is of good quality), the interior paint can last much longer, if the contractor is using good paints with a lifetime warranty and low or no VOCs levels. Still, your interior is also exposed to dust, dirt, humidity, and sometimes even smoke, depending on the function of the building. Having that in mind, you should accept no less than a seven-year warranty.

How long will you take to get the job done?

If you are not working, you are losing money, and depending on your branch, you may be even losing clients. That’s why you need a contractor who is willing to get the job done as quickly as possible. Make sure you set a strict timetable (add a few days for emergencies), so that you can let your employees and clients know how long you will be out of business.

How accurate is your quote?

Last, but not least, the price you will get on the contractor’s quote is just an estimate. While it is often pretty close to the real figure, it is never fully accurate. There are many factors that affect the total price and can’t be foreseen, including the cost of paint, removal of the old paint layer, and repairs that come up during the very works. That’s why you shouldn’t take the quote for granted and always expect you will need to pay more than it says on the quote. Also, you should consult with the contractor about common unexpected costs.

In the business world, everything is about profit, and profit is about information. Knowing the answers to these questions will prevent you from losing money on poor paint job, and provide you with quality service you can afford.

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