All Los Angeles Painting Company, Inc. 

Thoughts on Selecting a Painting Contractor

Hiring the right house painter can be a difficult and confusing task.  In addition to issues of quality, cost, scheduling and trust, your painter and his crew will become an integral, albeit temporary part of your life.  The following tips will assist you in making the best choice. 

What type of painter do you need?
Most homeowners aren't aware that there are different types of house painters and there are huge differences in price and work quality.  Once homeowners understand that there a large range between types of painters and what they give the homeowners, they will understand the wide range in estimated prices from the different house painters bidding their house. 

Know the different types of painters and paint jobs.
There are three basic types of painters.  Each type will give you a different quality level of craftsmanship.  Painters range from "low end" economy types, to average painters and finally, high end residential painting contractors. 

Low end house painters.
The "spray and go" or "apartment" types are inexpensive and paint your house with a minimum of skill and preparation.  They rarely do complete patching, sanding, or priming though they usually scrape peeling paint off the walls.  Often they don't have a contractor's license or insurance.  Their paint jobs don't last very long or look good.  These fellows are great if you want a cheap job and you don't care about the mess they make or how long the job takes to complete.  These painters are called apartment painters because property owners use them often in their high turn over units. 

Average painters.
Average painters are guys who pick up a paint brush one day and claim they can paint.  They may or may not have the skills, education and experience necessary to tackle every job, but for homeowners who aren't picky about their paint job, these painters can be an acceptable choice.   Generally average painters don't do fine detailed work or craft their job to last very long.  They often are able to get the painting done for costumers at reasonable prices.  For those who aren't too picky, these can be the right painters for you.

High end residential painters.
High end residential painters focus on details, making the job last a long time and customer service.   For example, All Los Angeles Painting Company, Inc. makes sure to take care of your house  from using clean, new drop cloths to leaving your house clean and spotless at the end of the job.  Many of these painters are members of painting trade groups like PDCA and regularly read trade journals and maintain their paint education.

Saving your time during painting estimates.
Once you have figured out what type of paint job you want, let your prospective bidders know what you want.  If you want a cheap job done, tell your painters over the phone that that is what you want.  Let the painter decide if the job is within his scope of interest.  

For example, a high end painter may be perfect for a full house painting job, but unnecessarily costly for an apartment repaint.  Figure out if you are looking for a simple paint job at the lowest price, or a quality job and are willing to pay for it. 

Identify possible candidates.
The find the best professional for the job, start by asking for recommendations from friends, colleagues, neighbors, or related service providers you trust.  

Check public records.
To make the most efficient use of your time, do background checks of your prospective painters to eliminate those with questionable records.  Internet checks of the Contractors license board, BBB, etc. give you a lot of useful information.  

Interview painters.  
Once you have some names, speak to them by phone to see if they pass your first quality check.  If they pass the phone test and you invite them to your house for an onsite estimate, observe their level of professionalism.  Courtesy, respect, punctuality and the ability to communicate are some of the most important attributes a contractor can have next to their basic competency.  No matter how good someone appears to be, if they don't click with you on these points, don't hire them.  

You should also be observant for signs of substance abuse such as alcohol or marijuana.  If you suspect anything here, do not hire the contractor.  Trust your instincts as they usually know the right thing to do.   

General questions.   
  • Are you licensed, bonded and insured?
  • How long have you been painting?
  • How long have you been licensed, bonded and insured?
  • What are your areas of expertise?
  • Who are your painters and how long have they been working for you?
  • How are you going to paint my house?
  • How are you going to prepare my surfaces?
  • What paints do you use?
  • How will you clean up at the end of the job?
  • Who will be my contact person for this job?
  • How many men will be on site and how many days will this job take?
  • How many houses like mine have you completed?



All Los Angeles Painting Company, Inc.
(310) 470-9218

License #930630