Thursday, 25 February 2016

How You can Evaluate Painting Proposals

Getting proposals for a home paint job is one thing. But being able to evaluate and choose the best of them is entirely another matter. For most homeowners the uncomfortable process begins by contacting painters, calling them over, pointing to a project and asking for quotes.

As a homeowner, you may think that the painter is a professional with expert knowledge. Perhaps you may really be unsure of what you want, and look to the painter for guidance. Going into details of quotes may make you feel inadequate. Given below are a few helpful ideas for you to consider.

Different painters, different approaches

Not to speak of the quality of the work painters do, the crucial difference you need to be aware of from the get-go is their different approaches to a project. One painter may quote more for preparation because he feels that it will ensure a better finish.

Another may decide that an extra coat is the way to get the best results. Yet another may consider important the type of paint to be used. Comparing the quotes which derive from different parameters will be a nightmare for the common customer.

Set a comparison base

The best way to get over this problem is to create a detailed project description: that would serve as the base for comparison.

  • Start by spending time going through interior design and d├ęcor magazines to get some ideas.
  • Decide on what kind of painting you want done and put it down on paper in detail – the preparation to be done, the colors to be used, the type and quality of the paint, the number of coats and anything else you want to specify.
  • Ask the painters you contact to give you a quote based only on what you have specified, even if they have other ideas.
  • They can give a second quote based on how they would like to approach the project. This quote must clearly indicate what the effect of the change will be, both in terms of cost as well as of the finish. 
  • You will then have two sets of quotes –the first based only on what you have specified (Set A), and the second based on what the painters recommend (Set B).
  • You can then choose the best quote from Set A. Discuss with the painters the comparative costs and benefits of going with the Set B options. If you feel that a Set B option will be better, you can go with that. Otherwise, you have the best quote based on your specifications ready to finalize.

Summing up

When asking for a painting proposal go into as many details as you can. Don’t worry about looking ignorant. It’s not your area of expertise, after all, and you know more about other things than the painter does. If the things you want are impossible, impractical or beyond your budget, a good painter will explain the problems to you and try to find alternatives that will work.

A painter who is impatient and brushes off your ideas without offering other convincing options is not the right one for you, no matter how skilled he is. It is your home and must be painted the way you want, and the money you’re going to pay is your own.

The painter’s role is to provide you with options and alternatives. Once the project details are firmly drawn, he should give you the best finish possible. So be meticulous about what you want, and don’t feel shy about asking all the questions you have. That’s the best way to understand a proposal and evaluate it.

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