How To Plan For Your Exterior House Painting Project

How To Plan For Your Exterior House Painting Project

It has been a strange year. I think we can all agree it's time to get back to normal.

In addition to cleaning up your yard and planting fresh flowers, painting the exterior of you home may be on your list of projects to complete this year.

Now is the perfect time to schedule your free estimate. I believe home improvement contractors are going to be in high demand and waiting could mean the difference between painting this year or having to postpone for another year.

Here are some tips to prepare for your paint project. These tips will increase the chances of your project running smoothly and efficiently.

Hire only a licensed contractor - Make sure the contractor you hire is licensed by the California State License Board (CSLB). You can verify any license at their website at A licensed contractor means that you are protected by a consumer agency that monitors, regulates and writes laws governing all contractors that do business in the state of California. This agency will not be able to assist you with issues you may have as a result of hiring an unlicensed contractor. You definitely want them on your side if you have a serious dispute with your contractor.

Recommended and Required Insurance - Make sure your contractor meets the insurance requirements for working on your property. The state of California requires any contractor with an employee providing service at your home to furnish worker compensation insurance. If a worker gets hurt on your property and your contractor does not have workers compensation you will be responsible for all medical expenses and any lawsuits that may result due to the injury. In other words someone else will own your home.

General Liability Insurance is not a requirement but you may insist on it as part of any agreement that you enter into with a contractor. Most reputable contractors will carry at least a one million dollar insurance policy. This will protect you from any damages, non work related accidents or mishaps that may happen on your project. The same holds true for Auto Insurance.

Getting Estimates: Getting three estimates is recommended by the CSLB. Finding a reputable contractor can be an intimidating task. We recommend asking your friends and neighbors for names of contractors they have used and have had a good experience with. There are several social media sites such as Nextdoor, Yelp, Angie's List, BBB,Facebook and Houzz. All of these sites will have posted reviews from previous customers. We recommend interviewing contractors with a least a 4 star rating. Ask to see samples - photo's or addresses of their work. Most contractors have websites with before and after photos of their projects. If you're doing a cabinet project they should have sample doors for you to inspect. Check each contractor out on the CSLB website. This site will have critical information such as Workers Compensation insurance policy and the contractors bond policy ($15,00.00). The site will also list any actions taken by the CSLB against the license and how long the license has been active.

The Estimate: All estimates and contracts should be in writing. They should be clearly laid out to list what is items are included, what items are excluded, what type of preparation and to what level (there are 5) the preparation will be done. What type of paint and brand of paint. How many coats of paint. Does the contractor offer a warranty. Is the warranty realistic (5 Years or more is not realistic). Your estimate should include the total price, the amount of the deposit (10% is the maximum allowed by law), any progress payments should be listed and the final payment should be clear. Change order policies and additional charges should be defined as well. Does the contractor have additional charges for multiple colors. Does the contractor charge for additional coats of paint. Confirm with the contractor that all change orders must be in writing and approved by both parties. Telling a worker to paint a item that is not included in your agreement or part of a written change order could lead to a serious misunderstanding. It's always a good idea to read a contract before you sign it. Make sure you receive a copy of your contract and all change orders. Make sure your copy is signed by the contractor.

Other items to consider: During the meeting with your contractors you should include the following questions:

  1. How many painters will be working on my home?
  2. What time do the painters arrive and what time do they leave?
  3. Who is supervising the work?
  4. Do I need to be home during the project?
  5. How many days will the project take?
  6. Do you help with lawn furniture, or heavy items?
  7. What about my pets?

Following these recommendations and asking some important questions with give you the best chance of your painting project to be successful. Of course we hope that you consider Trico Painting for all of your painting needs. Please feel free to contact our office if you would like to schedule a free estimate 916-550-9648.