Hiring a professional painter; take your time

Prepping, priming and painting a room or a whole house correctly can take days or weeks. Painting can be a do-it-yourself project, but if you want it done quickly and neatly maybe you should hire a pro. Your Better Business Bureau offers advice when hiring a painter.

Last year, more than 1,500 complaints and about 1.2 million inquiries were recorded about painting contractors with your BBB nationally. Locally, your BBB recorded almost 14,000 inquiries regarding this industry.

Your BBB recommends taking your time to hire a painter. Whether you’re painting a room, a whole house or just doing some touch-up work, your BBB offers a few tips for finding a trustworthy painter.

• Consider a painting contractor’s reputation and years of service.

• Shop around and get several quotes. Don’t settle for the lowest bid.

• Check with family and friends. If they’re happy with a company they used, most likely you’ll be too. You can also check with a local paint store for recommendations.

• Ask for references. A reputable painting company will be happy to provide a list of previous customers. Don’t be afraid to contact them or even ask to look at the work completed.

• Ask if the painting contractor belongs to any professional organizations like the Painting and Decorating Contractors of America.

• Get a written contract, which details the work to be completed, including paint brands and colors, number of coats, who’s responsible for cleanup, payment schedule and the start and completion dates. Don’t sign anything until all blanks are completed. And, make sure warranties, guarantees and verbal promises are included.

• Never pay up front. Don’t pay cash. Pay by check or credit card when the job is done to your satisfaction.

• Make sure the company is insured. If the painting contractor isn’t insured, you may be liable for any accidents that occur.

• Ask questions. Don’t be afraid to inquire about something you don’t understand.

John Blair, Pro Painting Solutions, LLC, says “Painters need to go above and beyond customers’ expectations.” Blair also says first impression is everything. “Proper attire and attitude is important because the customer is inviting you (painter) into their home.”

Remember, if you have any questions regarding painting contractors, get help from your BBB, such as a list of BBB Accredited painting contractors and reviews on ones you’re considering. Visit www.bbb.org or call (937) 222-5825 or (800) 776-5301.

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John North is president of the Dayton Better Business Bureau.