Exterior PaintingInterior PaintingPainting Contractors10 Biggest Mistakes to Avoid When Hiring a Painting Contractor

Adding a fresh coat of paint to your home is one of the best ways to increase its value.  In fact, a HomeGain survey found that the return on investment (ROI) of painting the exterior is about 55%. And painting the interior can lead to an ROI of as much as 107%.

The numbers don’t lie—a newly painted home is a better home.

That being said, the only way to guarantee your paint job looks great and lasts for years is by hiring a painting contractor.

But how do you know who to trust? What should you look for? And what kinds of red flags will show that a painting contractor isn’t going to be a good fit?

This article takes a look at the top 10 most common mistakes when hiring a painting contractor.

And with it, you can avoid some of the costliest issues when painting your home.

Table of Contents

1: Hiring a Painting Contractor with Little Experience
2: Basing Your Choice on Price Alone
3: Forgetting to Check References
4: Not Hiring a Local Paint Contractor
5: Handling Clean-Up Yourself
6: Not Getting the Contract in Writing
7: Paying in Full Up Front
8: Forgetting About Insurance
9: Getting Just One Estimate
10: Not Being Clear About the Entire Project Scope

1: Hiring a Painting Contractor with Little Experience

First and foremost, experience is key when hiring a painting contractor that’ll make your home look great.

Try to find painting contractors near St. Louis that have a long history of delivering superb results. And if you can find a contractor with decades of experience, then you can rest easy knowing they have the expertise needed to keep their business running.

Sure, there’s nothing wrong with giving a new business a chance. But when it comes to something as substantial as a home paint job, you don’t want to leave it to amateurs.

Cost to Hire a Painter
Source: HomeGuide.com

2: Basing Your Choice on Price Alone

Hiring a painting contractor to paint your home can be pricey.

According to HomeGuide, the typical range for the job is $1,811 to $3,201.

However, it’s important not to let price alone drive your buying decision.
Low-priced painting contractors might be able to get the job done for less. But oftentimes, they’ll cut corners, use inferior materials, and may even make it difficult for you to repair their mistakes.

Instead, think of hiring painting contractors as an investment rather than a task.

And don’t settle for the cheapest options out there. Because in all likelihood, you may end up regretting it later.

3: Forgetting to Check References

References are key when hiring a painting contractor.

And with so many review sites online these days, getting a feel for a painting contractor’s quality is just a few clicks away.

Angie’s List is one good place to look first, but you’ll have to give them project information to see find a painting contractor. You’ll also want to check out a painting contractor’s Better Business Bureau rating. And finally, the best painting company will have high Google star reviews that will help solidify choosing out the quality of a contractor.

Just be sure you aren’t relying entirely on the reviews posted on the contractor’s website. Who knows how trustworthy those reviews really are.

4: Not Hiring a Local Paint Contractor

You’ll want to find a local paint contractor rather than one located outside of town.

With local house painters near St. Louis, you can rest assured there won’t be any problems showing up each day. Plus, they may get to the job site early and finish the project sooner rather than later.

Plus, a local paint contractor will be more likely to take on intricate jobs, too, like repainting old cabinets.

Boy getting messy with paint

5: Handling Clean-Up Yourself

When the job is done, there’s going to be a lot of cleanups involved.

Furniture or plants need to be uncovered. Painting materials need to be gathered up and stored. And painter’s tape and other odds and ends need to be disposed of.

It’s quite a bit of work. And if you haven’t made sure cleanup is in your contract, you could end up having to do it all yourself.

So be sure your painting contractor includes cleanup before choosing to partner with them.

6: Not Getting the Contract in Writing

Before work begins, you need to take a long hard look at the actual contract. And it would help if you were sure you have a physical copy you can refer to whenever you want.

A solid painting contract is going to cover a variety of issues, including:

  • An exact cost for the project (including labor and materials)
  • Types of paints to be used by the painting contractors
  • What services are included (sanding, pressure washing, priming, etc.)
  • What techniques will be used along the way
  • Guaranteed cleanup
  • The use of drop cloths

7: Paying in Full Up Front

This one should be obvious.

But even still, be sure you’re not being duped into paying for the full project before it’s even begun.

Your painting contractor will likely ask for a deposit fee to help them afford the supplies and get started. But it would help if you were wary of any contractor that demands full payment or even more than a third of their total fee.

This is likely a scammer that’ll either never show up, or they won’t do quality work.

8: Forgetting About Insurance

When hiring a painting contractor, always be sure they have their general business liability insurance and worker’s compensation policies.

These insurance policies protect you and your home if there is an accident, and someone is hurt, or your property is damaged.

While it’s important for interior paint jobs, it’s even more vital for exterior house painting as ladder work is typically involved.

9: Getting Just One Estimate

True, getting multiple estimates from different painting contractors near St. Louis can be a bit of a hassle. Plus, you’re busy.

So you may be tempted to go with the first contractor you find.

This is a mistake.

Not shopping around can leave you in the dark about a reasonable price for your home painting project.

On top of that, doing so can help you spot red flags for painting contractors too. If, for instance, a painting contractor is charging significantly less than others, it may be a sign of a lack of skill or cheap materials.

10: Not Being Clear About the Entire Project Scope

Last but certainly not least, it’s important to be 100% clear about everything your project entails.

Is your paint bubbling up in certain areas? Do you want your ceiling painted too? Are there areas where mold has begun to grow?

This information is vital for your painting contractor to know before the work begins rather than after. Otherwise, they may not have the materials or expertise to deal with the full scope of your project effectively.

And in all likelihood, that’ll lead to unforeseen costs for you down the line.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do You Deal with a Bad Painter?

Even after avoiding these mistakes, you may still be stuck working with a bad painter.

So, what do you do then?

There are a few ways you can ensure your painting project is getting the high-quality treatment it deserves.

  • Address the Problem Head On – Talk to the painter’s face to face. You may be dealing with a simple miscommunication problem rather than an unskilled worker. And once you bring the issue up to their attention, any professional should understand and work it out.
  • Go Up the Chain – If the problem still is not being dealt with, try speaking with one of the higher-ups. They may have the authority to alleviate the problem.
  • Notify Them of a Bad Review – Reputation is a big concern among painting contractors. Sometimes the simplest way to fix a problem is to let your bad painter know you’ll be posting a negative review. Sometimes that’s all it takes to shift their attitude.
  • Resort to the Law – If your painting contractor has seriously botched a project or damaged your home, you can settle the matter in small claims court. First, however, you’ll have to prove that they didn’t deliver what they promised in their contract.

What Should I Look for When Hiring a Painting Contractor?

So, now that you know the most common mistakes when hiring a painting contractor, what should you look for?

Here are just a few qualities to watch out for to help you when hiring a painting contractor.

  • Decades of experience
  • Glowing reviews and references
  • All proper insurance and licenses
  • A detailed and comprehensive estimate
  • Are local
  • Have exceptional customer service
  • Offer a quality guarantee
  • Free consultation
  • Use the highest quality paints
  • Provide proper preparation procedures
  • Will minimize disruptions throughout the project

Is It Worth It to Hire a Professional Painter?

You bet it is.

As you can see, you need to consider a lot of different things when finding a painting contractor. And in this business, you typically get what you pay for.

If you want high-quality work, you need to invest the time into hiring a painting contractor that will take your project seriously and get the job done right the first time.

And if you’re looking for painting contractors near St. Louis, HBP Painting Contractors is your go-to choice.

At HBP, we’ve been providing quality interior and exterior painting services since 1983. We’re family-owned and operated, customer-focused, and ready to bring your home painting idea to life.

So don’t risk making a massive mistake when hiring a painting contractor.

And get in touch today for your free HBP Painting Contractors consultation and estimate!



HBP Painting Contractors

HBP Painting Contractors offers interior and exterior painting for both residential and commercial clients, cabinet painting, and deck staining near O’Fallon and surrounding cities and counties, including St. Charles County, St. Louis County, Jefferson County, and Franklin County.

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