When homeowners are shopping for a painting contractor in the greater Sacramento area, there are many things they are looking for: a good reputation, quality services, positive testimonials, and of course, a fair price. Very few people give thought to whether a house painter has insurance. So, is it important? Should I make sure the painting contractor I choose has insurance?
Yes! While it may be tempting to think, “Hey, it’s just painting… what could go wrong?” the truth is that all kinds of unforeseen events may occur, and you want to be protected.
Why Should a Davis Painting Company Have Insurance?
There are two basic kinds of insurance that a house painter should carry, and each one has a different purpose.
- General Liability Insurance covers any damage that may occur in your home. Of course, a good painting contractor will be very careful and make safety a high priority. Nevertheless, accidents do sometimes happen. Falls and spills are always a possibility, no matter how careful you are. Also, painting tools and vehicles can cause damage, unlikely though it may seem. Hiring a painter with liability insurance means you are not at financial risk should something happen that is by fault of the contractor.
- Worker’s Compensation Insurance is another important coverage that a good house painter should carry. This is a sign that an employer cares about his employees and complies with employment laws. In the unlikely event of an employee accident on your project, you will not be at risk of a lawsuit, since the Worker’s Compensation is designed to protect both you and the employee.
Fully-Insured Yolo County Painting company
At Brooks Painting, we want to be above-board and responsible to our clients and our employees. That is why we carry full Liability coverage and Worker’s Compensation coverage. We will even provide you with certificates of insurance upon your request.
Not only do we carry full insurance, we are also licensed by the city of Davis and by the state of California. Additionally, we have also earned accreditation from the PDCA (Painting and Decorating Contractors of America), an honor very few residential painters have achieved.
Always Read the Fine Print…
This blog is more of a personal observation than my other blogs on painting projects. Over the years I have submitted hundreds of proposals for homeowners, businesses and general contractors and I have discovered one common FLAW in the bidding process. Most people reviewing proposals do not read them thoroughly… I always mention to clients when submitting my proposal to review my scope of work and paint products submitted for the job. I always have hopes they will call and ask “can you change this” or “add that here” or “clarify this” because then I know they have taken the time to read and give thought to my proposal. But the phone calls or emails never come, or maybe I should say, rarely come. If I had a dollar for every time I heard, “Oh, I didn’t know you had that in your scope” or “I thought you included that”, I would be on a real nice vacation every year! I’m sure most of us have heard the phrase, “apples to apples”. These days it isn’t anything close to “apples to apples”, but more like “apples to vegetables”.
Know Quality & What You’re Getting
To me “apples to apples” isn’t just the scope of work and products used. But the type of bidders involved. It’s also values and culture of a company. How does the company bidding represent themselves in the business community or the community they live in? So many companies use the words “value” and “quality” that we have become jaded to the true meaning of those words. Homeowners and contractors alike need to get back in the “apple” business and hold our tradesman companies to a better standard. The “need it now at this price” standard is common. If price keeps driving the decisions to hire a company, we will just continue to drive the quality companies away and lower our expectations.
You probably had no idea of the trickling effect of not reading proposals or hiring under-qualified companies, on a contractor market. It’s hard to stick to your guns, but those who do stay in business year after year in good times and bad. Always read the fine print. Make sure what you are buying is what you’re going to get. Most professional contractors really are reasonable people and are willing to take the time to thoroughly explain their proposal and answer any questions you may have. So, next time you’re reviewing bids, take the time to read them and don’t hesitate to ask questions to get the information you really need.
Brooks Painting does a lot of residential painting estimates in a year, and it is not uncommon for us to come across people who have never worked with any type of painting contractor. We provide our potential customers with a contractor comparison checklist so that they can easily compare each of their estimates. This 16 items checklist can be a very helpful tool for a homeowner to make their decision, by easily comparing the companies on an equal field.
The questions are simple and easy to answer.
Hiring a Painter Checklist
1.) Does the contractor have a valid California C-33 license?
2.) Does the contractor give a quality guarantee and written warranty?
3.) Does the contractor carry Liability & Workers Comp insurance?
4.) How long has the company been in business?
5.) Will the contractor give you a list of references with phone numbers in your area?
6.) Is the contractor a member in good standing of the Better Business Bureau?
7.) Is the contractor a member of their local chamber of commerce?
8.) Is the contractor a member of his trade organization, the PDCA?
9.) Are the painters who will be in your home company employees or subcontractors?
10.) Does the company do background and drug testing before hiring?
11.) In the contractor’s proposal clear with detailed pricing for each area of the job?
12.) Did the contractor discuss the time required for your job?
13.) Did the contractor specify the type of paint to be used?
14.) Did the contractor specify the type of surface preparation to be done?
15.) Did the contractor appear professional, knowledgeable, clean, and neat?
16.) Did any of the references indicate difficulty getting the company to fix problems?
It is so important to make sure that you are comparing apple to apple when deciding on the contractor you will use. In the painting world, estimates can be very vague, and lack a lot of details that are important. It is critical to have a comprehensive, well written estimate, as that job description is what the contractor legally needs to provide. It doesn’t matter if the contractor verbally tells you something if they don’t put it in writing. Make sure that you require the contractor to put everything they tell you they will do in writing. A few other things to think about; are they on time for the estimate, or do they call to let you know they are going to be late? Were they easy to reach and set up the estimate? How long did it take to get the estimate? These few things are all excellent indicators of how they will be to work with during the job. Make sure you feel comfortable with the company you hire- it’s not just about price. The details do matter.
Often people forget to even consider ceiling color when doing interior painting. They just assume they should use some shade of white. But there are a lot more choices than that! Sometimes white is the right choice, but have an open mind and consider some other options. BenjaminMoore.com says “Ceilings are often the Forgotten Fifth Wall in a room. Too often, little thought is given to a ceiling’s contribution to the overall room design, which is typically just coated in some ubiquitous white paint.
Look at your ceilings from a new perspective. Color, sheen, pattern, and texture on the ceiling can transform the entire look and feel of a room. So the next time you’re ready to refresh the look of a room and don’t know where to begin—look up!”
Here are some inspirational photos of what an impact ceilings in color can have.
Cabinet Painting Project in Granite Bay CA
In the photos below you can see how painting stained kitchen cabinets can change the entire look of a kitchen. This particular customer in Granite Bay, Ca. was just tired of their old stained cabinets and wanted a new look without having to pay the expense of new cabinets. We met with them and offered different finishing solutions, from changing the stain color to painting the cabinets a white or even light grey color with an accent color on the island cabinets.
Our customer, after much consideration, decided to go with a painted off white cabinet and replace the hardware with something more current. They did get three bids and found our prices competitive but with more personable services. Our sales representative helped pick the colors and explained to them one of the processes Brooks Painting uses to do cabinets.
We finished this particular kitchen with Benjamin-Moore Cabinet coat eggshell finish for a very elegant, classy look. Our client was so pleased with their new kitchen they said we could list them as a reference and show anyone in the area their kitchen.
I wish I could say it was just Brooks Painting that made this all work and turn out so well, but it takes a client too. Clients and the relationship are so important when you are working in or on someone’s personal residence. It definitely takes a whole team to score a win-win for everyone involved.
Thank you Mr. and Mrs. Nichols for being great customers and trusting us to help you give you a kitchen you love.