How to hire a GOOD painter and decorator
Updated: Sep 9
"I'm looking for a good, fast and cheap painter and decorator"
Have you found yourself muttering these words?
Well I have some unfortunate news for you... You've got more chance of making a snowman in the Sahara than finding someone who's all three!
Seriously though, It's an unreasonable request when you think about it.
Finding a REALLY good tradesperson, that is good at what they do, reliable, trustworthy and knowledgeable will more than likely mean you will be paying the appropriate costs associated with everything I have mentioned.
First of all a decent and professional tradesperson will have overheads to cover their costs. It's not all profit! Van expenses, insurances including public liability expenses, admin charges from websites, advertising, accountancy payments which of course also includes... tax!
I know there's a misconception that all tradespeople only take cash and hide it under the bed. But in a world moving to a more cashless society and clients preference to make payments via online transfers then this is moving further away from this every day.
If you want cheap and cheerful then honestly there is no issue with that. We live in increasingly more difficult times, all feeling the pinch of rising costs. But if you want the 'best' then do you believe it should be cheap too? If you're fantastic at your job, work your socks off all day, have a family to support and bills to pay... then you'd want to be paid to match these efforts.
So if you choose cheap then realistically you shouldn't expect the best. If you want a quality job from a quality painter and decorator then having short arms and long pockets isn't the way to go...
Now that's all out the way... where do you go to find the good painters and decorators?
I always strongly believe recommendations are the best route. Your friends or family members may have used someone recently and if they have a positive experience then that seems a sensible way forward.
Online reviews are good too. A website is a good way to see what the painter and decorator you are planning to hire is capable of.
Social media is also great for this purpose and any social media business accounts they have will actually give you a closer and more in depth look into their skill, knowledge and even personality! My Instagram for example has everything from my work to personal life.. to even silly playful moments to show I'm not just a painting robot.
When you do find a tradesperson (or persons, to get a few prices to compare) and have them visit your home to take a look at what's to be done, I strongly recommend you spend a moment prior to their visit to think about exactly what your requirements are.
Also be clear when you wish to have the work carried out and ask what their availability is before their visit as this will avoid wasting both of your precious time if either of your available dates do not coincide.
Colour choices are not necessarily essential but just having an idea or a guide on your preference and expectations so then the painter and decorator can provide you with a price without having to fill in the blanks if you are not certain what you want to be done.
That's not to say the decorator won't be able to assist with advice on products and finish or even colours and schemes. But if you have some kind of plan beforehand it will be beneficial to all involved.
Ask what paint systems they plan to use. If there's any problematic substrates that need attention, ask how they will tackle it.
A good decorator will then send / email you over a written proposal spec of works including costs involved (maybe not immediately... remember they also have other work commitments etc to contend with)
It may be a full simultaneous price of both labour and materials.
Or labour as one cost and the materials separated.
A quote will be the price in full.
An estimate will be an estimated figure as some works / tasks can be impossible to price to the exact amount of the labour or materials required until the works commence.
For example, stripping wallpaper and the walls behind the paper have blown plaster that need attention and repairs, not included in the quote as it was unforeseen. Even rooms full of furniture may be hiding a few nasties neither of you have picked up on until it's cleared out of the way.
Another sign of a good decorator... you may have to wait a while before they can start. If they're that good then everyone will want to hire them. And if that's the case the more likely they will have a pretty packed diary. If you find they can start next week... or even tomorrow.. then I would be sceptical of why they are available so soon.
You may not even reach them immediately on the phone! If you call and don't get an answer or called back straight away, don't be disheartened.
Imagine trying to carry out your work for a customer that has paid you to do a job and you stop every five minutes to answer every single phone call!
And some of those phone calls can be those annoying cold callers (we get them too unfortunately)
So there you go, some tips to find yourself a good painter and decorator!
All the best,