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Scott's Painting Plus Inc.

(610)931-6707

"Your Satisfaction is My Reward!"

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10 Questions to Ask When Receiving a Painting Quote

Posted on February 28, 2013 at 6:15 PM Comments comments (1137)
Here is a list of 10 questions that you should ask any contractor while receiving your quote.
 
1. Do you have a business card?
As soon as I walk in to an estimate and exchange greetings, I always hand out one of my business cards. You will now have the contractor's information and it shows professionalism on the contractors part.
 
2. Do you have any before and after photos of your work?
I keep a photo album in my van with before and after photos of previous work. I also have a bunch of photos on my phone from more recent jobs. I believe this also shows professionalism. If the contractor doesn't have pictures of previous work, than it would lead me to believe he doesn't take alot of pride in what he does. You also have to beware that he doesn't email you pictures(with the estimate) that are stock photos taken off the internet. If you would like to see before and after photos of my work, you can visit Scott's Painting Plus facebook page, or look up my business on Yelp, or visit my website.
 
3. Do you have a website?
This question can usually be answered by looking at the business card. If there isn't a website address on the card, I would still ask this question. You never know, the new cards could be in the mail. If he does have a website than you can check it out before hiring the contractor. If you would like to check out my website you can go to www.scottspaintingplus.com.
 
4. Do you have insurance?
This is a very important question. Most fly by night contractors won't be insured. If something were to happen to them while working in your home, they could sue you.
After hiring a contractor, always ask for a copy of their insurance. Scott's Painting Plus is insured by Erie Insurance.
 
5. Are you registered with the state as a Home Improvement Contractor?
It is illegal to perform work in someone's home, as a contractor in the state of PA, without being registered. The contractors that are registered are most likely legit businesses and are paying taxes. On the other hand, the fly by night contractors most likely aren't insured, registered, or paying taxes. When you receive a bid that is considerably low, it would throw up a red flag in my eyes that maybe the contractor isn't legit. Scott's Painting Plus HIC #PA097277.
 
6. Do you have references?
This is another important question to ask. Make sure you ask for their first and last name and their phone number. I recommend asking for three references and calling all of them. When you are speaking with the references, you should ask alot of questions. Were they on time? Did they leave the work area clean at the end of each day? Were they friendly, honest, and reliable?
 
7. How long have you been in your line of business?
This question will let you know their experience. You can ask some follow up questions like, "Who did you work for before starting your business?" This will also give you another reference that you can call. I established Scott's Painting Plus in the beginning of 2010 but my experience exceeds 15 years. I am a 2nd generation painter and apprenticed for my father's company since the mid 1990's.
 
8. Do you offer any discounts?
This question could be answered many different ways but it can't hurt trying to get a deal. I offer a Winter Discount that will end on March 15th. The work has to be booked by that date to receive the discount. For any work over $1500, there is a 10% discount on labor. For any work under $1500, there is a 5% discount on labor. I also offer discounts on entire exterior painting jobs. Call Scott today at (610)931-6707 and ask about the "Exterior Painting" deal. 
 
9. What products do you use?
This question is mainly for painting and staining. I like to use Benjamin Moore products and Sherwin Williams products. If a contractor tells you that they like to use America's Finest, politely ask them to leave...lol.(it cost about $8/gallon)
 
10. How do you handle payment arrangements(do you take credit cards)?
Unfortunately, at this time, I do not take credit cards. I will ask for a deposit(usually 20% to cover the materials) so your project can be scheduled. I schedule jobs by first come first served. After the deposit, depending on the size of the job, it is either remaining balance paid upon completion of job or 2 payments(1 half way through the job and the other upon completion).  
 
Usually you will be able to tell from the first impression if the contractor is the right one for your job. If you get the answers you are looking for to the questions above, you will be proud of the end result.
 
Thank you,
 
Scott Rhoads
 

Hiring a Painter

Posted on February 13, 2013 at 6:53 PM Comments comments (5403)
                  Hiring a Painter
 
Anyone can paint right? Wrong!!
 
If you try to paint a room yourself, and it doesn't go as planned, it will cost more to fix the mistakes than it would have, if you hired a pro in the first place.
 
You also have to watch out for the "so called" professional painters that shouldn't be painting. Anyone can say they are a professional painter but not everyone can produce quality work.
 
How can you tell just by meeting a painter if they are good at what they do?
 
The first thing you can do is ask him for photos of previous work. This doesn't always work as he/she can borrow photos or download pictures off of the internet.
Another option, which I believe is the best, would be to ask for at least 3 references. Make sure you ask for the first and last name of the references, just in case they are relatives, friends, etc. posing as references. This way you can google them before calling. I suggest that you call all three references before hiring someone.
If you are satisfied with option 1 and option 2, you can ask for their insurance information. If the painter, in question, is just trying to make some extra cash, most likely he won't be insured.
Also ask for his Home Improvement Contractor #. Pennsylvania now mandates that all trade related businesses register with the state prior to performing any work in someone's house.
 
After you receive all of the information listed above, this still doesn't mean you should hire the painter.
 
It all comes down to the price, right?
 
When you receive the quote, look for how detailed and specific the job description is. This will show you how the job will be done, what he will be doing, and if it is up to the standards that you set.
 
If you receive a quote to paint a room and the total cost is $99, I would be very skeptical as to how someone could do it for that price. This is a typical price for someone that will upsell you on every little extra thing that wasn't in the original quote. Oh, you need the walls patched too? That will be an additional $....... Be wary of low ball quotes. Personally, when I send a quote, that is the price it is going to be to complete the work that is stated in the quote. There are no hidden fees or upselling being done at Scott's Painting Plus.
 
If the price is too good to be true, it probably is. Or the one sending the quote isn't qualified. In this era where everyone thinks they can be a professional house painter, be careful and do your homework before hiring someone to paint your home. I have received many calls where I was asked to fix previous painter's shoddy work.
 
Call Scott's Painting Plus today at (610)931-6707 for your, no obligation, FREE ESTIMATE!! I have many reputable references, my Home Improvement Contractor # is PA097277, I'm fully insured, and you can check my website at www.scottspaintingplus.com to check out before and after photos of my work.
 
Thank you for reading. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.