Once you have decided to contract with someone to do a particular painting and decorating project, how do you go about
selecting the right company? Do you make your selection on price, size of company, years in business, or other criteria?
To locate the names of reputable contractors, there are many sources of information. Some of these sources are PDCA's Find a Pro
search engine, friends, relatives, architects and design professionals, and local "quality- oriented"
paint supply stores. However, these sources can only give you limited general information. In order to make an educated decision,
you need some specific information about any person or firm you are considering hiring.Always verify the
contractor is licensed and insured.
Quality contracting firms will be only too happy to provide you with copies
of their certificates of insurance. They should provide bonding information (if the job is large enough to require such) and
documentation of safety training and compliance programs. Not all states and municipalities require licensing however business
registration with your state and municipality is generally a minimum requirement.Written Contracts are
Reputable contractors will encourage the use of a written contract. This contract should clearly explain
the scope of the work to be performed. It should also cover such items as surfaces to be painted, methods and extent of surface
preparation, time schedules for the project, and payment procedures. Knowing the total scope of the work enables you to carefully
evaluate the different bids you may receive with the proper information and keep them on a level playing field. The contract
serves to protect both you and the contractor.Invest Time in Verifying References
a list of references from the prospective contractor. This list should include the contact person, address, and telephone
number of the previous client. Follow up on this list with a phone call. Remember, the contractor will not give you a bad
reference. Therefore, ask references if they know of any other work this contractor has performed. Be sure to ask whether
the contractor and employees treated you professionally and with respect. The references you are interested in should be projects
similar in size and scope to yours. Also, some of the projects should be at least a few years old. This will help you gauge
the performance of the construction and materials used. If possible, try to see the work that was done.
any guarantee or warranty programs the contractor may offer. Ask about the manufacturer's warranty on the products to
be used on your project. Remember you are looking for long-term durability from the paint job. The use of high quality products
is as important as the selection and performance of the contractor. Verifying references will provide a return on your project
Is Your Contractor a PDCA Member?
Determine if your contractor is a member of
the Painting and Decorating Contractors of America
. It has been in existence since 1884 and has over 3100 members all over the country and parts of Canada. The focus
of the association is the education of its members and the promotion of professionalism within the industry. Look for the
PDCA logo on your contractor's business card, bid sheets, or trucks. Trade associations such as the Painting and Decorating
Contractors of America (PDCA) offer many programs for the education of painting contractors. This education includes training
in the area of safety, business management, technical areas of painting and surface preparation, and more. Quality painting
and decorating contractors are well educated on the different aspects of any painting project and that knowledge helps eliminate
surprises. Excellence in paint application is as important with your selection of a contractor as are the skills to properly
manage their business and your project.Not all association memberships are alike
Associations such as PDCA and the Better Business Bureau are Non-Profit Associations who are interested in making the contracting
world better, not just selling their products, which many marketing and sales type association type groups are in business
for. PDCA is the only national association for painting and decorating contractors and one of the oldest contractor associations
Industry standards are another benefit of trade associations. PDCA produces nationally recognized Painting
Industry Standards that cover many different aspects of a painting project. Use of these standards in proposals and contracts
helps improve communication between the client and the contractor, assists in ensuring quality, and becomes a basis for evaluating
the job’s requirements.In Closing
Good contractors are very eager for your business.
They are also very proud of their craftsmanship. Once you have made your selection, step back and give the professional room
to execute the project. You have both done your homework, so give the professional the opportunity to meet and exceed your
expectations. Remember, as with anything else in life, you get what you pay for. If you want high quality and reliable service,
be willing to pay the price that comes with it.
Here's to your successful painting projects.The Painting and Decorating Contractors of America
is a full-service national trade association representing over 3,100 companies engaged in all sectors of the coatings application
industry. PDCA has developed this article to assist you in making an informed decision when you next contemplate a painting
or decorating project.